Sunday, October 21, 2018

Summer Reading: Did You Make it Count?

Summer is officially over in the Northern Hemisphere, and I have mixed feelings about that. On one hand, it means more time indoors curled up with books.

On the other hand, winter is coming.

But let's not focus on that just yet. Let's talk books.

I did not gobble them up like a glutton, as I have in years past. Instead, I read in fits and starts, trying out (and rejecting) title after title until I found one that fit. More often than not, I found YA novels helped smooth out the snags, and I was able to read steadily for a while before I floundered around for another book.

I am a firm believer in jettisoning books that don't work for the reader. Nothing against the book: my friend Carole has read books I have been unable to get into — but I'll try again. (And thank heavens for that, or I would have missed The Dinner and Less.)

So, without further ado, here is what I read during the 2018 summer reading program from May 25 to September 23:


  1. The Public Library📖
  2. The Book With No Pictures 📖
  3. The Useful Book 📲
  4. China Rich Girlfriend 📖
  5. Standard Deviation 📲
  6. The Plant Paradox 📲
  7. How a Mouse Saved the Royal Cat 📲
  8. Robert Kennedy Jr.’s American Heroes: Robert Smalls, the Boat Thief 📖
  9. Seven Miles to Freedom 📖
  10. Thunderstorm 📖
  11. An American Marriage 📖
  12. A Man Named Ove 📖
  13. Dear First Lady 📖
  14. What if Everybody Said That? 📲
  15. Quilt of States 📖
  16. Crazy Rich Asians 📖
  17. Frogs Are Funny! 📖
  18. Thrall 📖
  19. Dear Evan Hansen 🎧 📲
  20. The Devil’s Arithmetic  📲
  21. The Sun is Also a Star  📲
  22. Less  📲
  23. The Ideals Guide to Literary Places in the US 📖
  24. Cat Haiku 📖
  25. Differently Morphus 🎧
  26. The Emerald Circus 📖
  27. Pen & Ink Tattoos & the stories behind them 📖
  28. How to Relax  📲
  29. Marcelo in the Real World  📲

Upon reflection, I am surprised by the number of print books on my list. I felt like I spent more time on my Kindle than on the page.

I am pleased that 17 of the books listed above were library books. Oh, I didn't slow down on the number of books I purchased, but upped my library game. (Go Library!)

Some books I had in both print and E, but read in E because it was more convenient. Honestly, I liked having the option to highlight on the page and share the highlights in Goodreads — but holding a book in my hands feels great.

I have not finished an entire audiobook in months, but not because of the books I have chosen. Audiobooks are my gym companions, and they compete with podcasts and my need to unwind with Fluff 'n Trash™. (Pop Culture Happy Hour, I'm looking at you.) Plus, despite my treasure trove of audiobooks, most of the ones I listen to are library loans, and the loan expires before I finish the book. I may have to adjust my Audible membership to accommodate my TBR-Audio list, or spend more time at the gym. (Hey, do it for the books!)

Full disclosure: I did not finish one of these books. I found The Plant Paradox unreadable and mostly unintelligible. I feel about this book the same way I felt about The Case Against Sugar: it could have been an essay, or a series of magazine articles, rather than a full-blown book.

How did your summer reading fare? Tell us in the comments below, or email me. Check back next week for Intrepid Reader Karen's summer reading list!

And a special shout-out to the artists of this year's Summer Reading graphic: Beth Wilson and her DoodleCats!

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