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 between Memorial Day and the Sunday following the autumnal equinox, my season of  summer reading. Here is the complete list, with symbols indicating print books (
πŸ“–), audiobooks (🎧), library loans (πŸ€“), e-books (πŸ“²), children's 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.