Summer Reading: How Time Flies!

Summer reading may have been over for a brief time — but time is fluid these days, and why not let your mind wander back to times of warmer weather (in the northern hemisphere) and longer days.

I read a few good books, a few meh books, and one or two that didn't do the trick for me.

Let's start with the ones I disliked so much I stopped reading them. 

  • People really like Glennon Doyle, but with Untamed, I skipped ahead to find something that didn't sound like heady new love and platitudes. I surrendered and stopped listening after about 70 percent.
  • Stranded should have been my jam, but I could not stand the thoughtless, selfish, and reckless central character Sophie. Sure, if I was in the same situation, I may fight against a new reality that shoots me back a century into a completely different society. However, I doubt I would willfully, blatantly, and thoughtlessly offend and jeopardize my protective host. I gave it a surprisingly long time to find its groove, and the elements were intriguing, but I just couldn't get past the main character.

If you had different experiences with these books, let me know — I am always up for a conversation about why and how a book works with a different reader. 

Now, here are a few titles totally worth the time:

  • Project Hail Mary is as good as everyone said it was. I read in print and will listen to it soon because there are some dialog elements that must be heard.
  • Hooked examines food addiction and the role of food manufacturers in our health, or the lack thereof. I read Michael Moss’ previous book about the processed food industry, and this title did not disappoint.
  • Firekeeper’s Daughter was a stunning debut decades in the making about an Ojibwe woman’s experience with methamphetamines in her Indigenous community. I got lost on my run more than once listening to this amazing book.
  • I read a great anthology, Come On In: Stories about Immigration and Finding Home, that featured contemporary stories examining current U.S. immigration for people all around the globe. (Always have a short story anthology on hand for those times when a book is needed but a long-form book just won't do.)
  • I found some very interesting graphic novels, and embraced my inner art lover. Old Souls has me rethinking the Afterlife, and The Big She-Bang was as empowering as it was eye-opening.

  • I enjoyed two very different novels that are among my favorites of the year so far. The Once and Future Witches offered a much different world with a chance at deep and lasting sisterhood; and They Both Die at the End, which was published a few years ago that found a second wind thanks to Booktok, made my little municipal heart curious about managing people's foreknowledge of death.

I read a good number of books during my Summer Reading Season (from the Friday before Memorial Day and the Sunday following the autumnal equinox). Here is the complete list, with symbols indicating print books (
πŸ“–), audiobooks (🎧), library loans (πŸ€“), e-books (πŸ“²), youth books (πŸ‘§), and graphic novels (πŸ–Ό)

  1. The Phone Booth at the Edge of the World πŸ“–πŸŽ§πŸ€“ 
  2. This is How You Lose the Time War πŸ“–πŸŽ§πŸ€“
  3. After the End of the World πŸ“²
  4. Any Way the Wind Blows πŸ“–
  5. Firekeeper’s Daughter πŸŽ§πŸ€“
  6. Bearded πŸ“²πŸ–ΌπŸ‘§
  7. This Land is My Land: A Graphic History of Big Dreams, Micronations, and Other Self-Made States πŸ“–πŸ–ΌπŸ€“
  8. The Lions of Fifth Avenue πŸ“²πŸ€“
  9. Our Friend Hedgehog: The Story of us πŸ“²πŸ€“πŸ‘§
  10. Texts from Jane Eyre πŸ“²
  11. While We Can’t Hug πŸ“²πŸ‘§
  12. The Big She-Bang: The Herstory of the Universe According to God the Mother as told to Marisa Acocella πŸ“–πŸ–ΌπŸ€“
  13. In the Heights: Finding Home πŸŽ§πŸ“–
  14. The Final Girl Support Group πŸ“–
  15. The Okay Witch and the Hungry Shadow πŸ“²πŸ–ΌπŸ€“
  16. The City of Ember: the graphic novel πŸ“–πŸ–ΌπŸ€“

  17. Old Souls πŸ“– πŸ–ΌπŸ€“
  18. The Handmaid’s Tale graphic novel πŸ“–πŸ–ΌπŸ€“
  19. Bloodlust & Bonnets πŸ“–πŸ–ΌπŸ€“
  20. How to Sleep Soundly Tonight: 250 Simple and Natural Ways to Prevent Sleeplessness πŸ“– πŸ€“
  21. Come On In: Stories About Immigration and Finding Home πŸ“²
  22. The Once and Future Witches 🎧
  23. Tooth and Claw πŸ“²πŸ“–
  24. They Both Die at the End πŸ“²
  25. Rivals 2! More Frenemies Who Changed the World 🎧
  26. Stranded (DNF 50%) πŸ“²
  27. πŸ“–
  28. Untamed (DNF) πŸŽ§πŸ€“
  29. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue πŸ“–
  30. Hooked πŸŽ§πŸ€“
  31. The Night Library πŸ“– πŸ‘§
  32. In the Heights: The Complete Book and Lyrics πŸ“–
  33. Anne of Green Gables: A Graphic Novel πŸ“–πŸ–ΌπŸ€“
  34.  A Good Marriage πŸ“²
  35. Project Hail Mary πŸ“–
  36. Early Morning Riser 🎧 

Why, yes, I read some books in multiple formats. 

I use My Library as often as possible to curb my book-buying binges and let the government carry some of the financial burden of my obsession. Plus, their collection is much bigger than mine, and I always discover a new delight with every visit to the library or download from Overdrive or Libby.

(Full disclosure: I like listening with Libby and browsing/managing e-books with Overdrive.)

I did not list all of my favorites: Early Morning Riser was another home run by Katherine Heiny, made me ponder honor and obligation, After the End of the World was a perfect addition to the Carter & Lovecraft series, and Rivals 2! was a delightful learning experience with stories and enemies across the ages.

I need to carefully plan the rest of the year's reading, so I can finish the tomes I am reading with friends and indulge in a few stories for my own enjoyment. I will keep you apprised of what I'm reading, and I hope you'll do the same.