Reading · The Classics Club

Week’s End Notes (28) – Of Summer Reading Plans

Geber Daisy

It’s been a while. With the end of April’s Children’s Classics Event, I dove into May with a focus on reading rather than writing, so now I find myself with, yet again, a backlog of posts to write—but at least a number of books are finished. I may, however, in the future have to institute a rule that I must write about one book before moving on to the next.

I have been working on some posts related to my Paul Laurence Dunbar reading, actually, but I’m not quite finished, so those will have to wait. In the meantime, I’m succumbing to temptation yet again, but I don’t think this will harm me. At worst, I will have too many books to finish in the fall; I make no promises of actually finishing anything on time, for that is unnecessary stress, when my job provides plenty of its own deadlines.

It’s only just the first week of “unofficial” summer, those June-July-August months when the school children are out of class and those of us still stuck behind a work desk long for the days of unfettered freedom, of long summers and ample reading time. The nostalgia creeps in every year, and every year I am convinced that I might read more than I do any other time of year. Foolish, of course—often work is even more busy in the summer—but an aim nonetheless.

It does seem that we are likely to have an uncomfortably hot summer—already we’ve hit 90 F (32 C) once—and in those temperatures I really am fit for nothing better than reading. So perhaps this year… Optimism springs eternal! With that thought in mind, and tempted by the sight of so many bloggers laying forth their summer plans, I set out mine, perhaps a week late, but a whole summer still stretches forth.

First, the next Classics Club spin. I’ve finished the reading (Pedro Páramo), but still need to write up a post for the last one—only a month or so overdue. Oops. It always gets me to read a book I might otherwise postpone, though, even if at times I finish months late. For this round I’ve only included books I already have on hand, as I’m currently trying to read off my shelves. A few I intend to read this summer, regardless of the spin outcome.

  1. Taming of the Shrew – William Shakespeare
  2. A Midsummer Night’s Dream – William Shakespeare
  3. His Last Bow – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  4. The Bluest Eye – Toni Morrison
  5. The Iliad – Homer
  6. An Oresteia – as translated by Anne Carson
  7. Fables – Aesop
  8. Aeneid – Virgil
  9. The Italian – Anne Radcliff
  10. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
  11. Cranford – Elizabeth Gaskell
  12. Mary Barton – Elizabeth Gaskell
  13. The Lusiad – Luís Vaz de Camões
  14. Three Exemplary Tales – Miguel de Cervantes
  15. The President – Miguel Ángel Asturias
  16. The Warden – Anthony Trollope
  17. The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
  18. Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
  19. Suttree – Cormac McCarthy
  20. Gulliver’s Travels – Jonathan Swift

Then there’s the next Spanish Lit Month coming up in July, hosted by Stu of Winstonsdad’s Books and Richard of Caravana de recuerdos. I’m not sure yet what I will read, but I’d really like to actually finish something this year, as last year I failed abominably and nor did I manage to finish anything on time for Richard’s winter/spring Mexicanos perdidos en México event (Pedro Páramo was supposed to double for that as well…maybe I should save my post on it for July! Hmm…actually, that probably is what will happen…)

15 Books of Summer Button

Finally, I see many bloggers signing up for the 20 Books of Summer hosted by Cathy of 746 Books. I initially dismissed the idea—I’ve not read 20 books in 3 months since I was in school—but there are options for 10 or 15 books as well. Surely I can read ten! My list is subject to change—I don’t wish to be strictly limited in my reading, if something catches else my eye. But these are the books I most want to read this summer, so it is likely I won’t deviate too much. Also, I’ve included an extra title in case my Classics Spin title is one I’m going to read anyway.

  1. Taming of the Shrew – William Shakespeare
  2. A Midsummer Night’s Dream – William Shakespeare
  3. The Raven Boys – Maggie Stiefvater [reread]
  4. The Dream Thieves – Maggie Stiefvater [reread]
  5. Blue Lily, Lily Blue – Maggie Stiefvater [reread]
  6. The Raven King – Maggie Stiefvater
  7. His Last Bow – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  8. The Bluest Eye – Toni Morrison
  9. Chronicles of Avonlea – L.M. Montgomery
  10. The Sound and the Fury – William Faulkner
  11. The Grey King – Susan Cooper
  12. The Farm – Louis Bromfield
  13. Enter Jeeves – P.G. Wodehouse
  14. TBD – Spanish Lit Month Book (if not Classics Spin title)
  15. TBD – Classics Spin Book (if not already listed above)
  16. Silver on the Tree – Susan Cooper (if Classics Spin Title is 1, 2, 7, 8, or 14)

I was going to stick with 10, but I realized that quite a few of my books are either YA or plays, so if I actually wanted to challenge myself I needed to bump it up to 15.

Well, I think that should  be quite enough to go on! And what are your bookish plans for the summer?

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16 thoughts on “Week’s End Notes (28) – Of Summer Reading Plans

    1. Thanks! I actually read the first 20 pages or so of The Sound and the Fury earlier this year and really liked it, but was pulled away by other obligations, so I’m really looking forward to getting back to it.

    1. It’s always fun to learn about new books, isn’t it? I really don’t know much at all about my spin title, but had found it on several lists of Spanish-language classics, so included it on my club list.

  1. We keep fluctuating from between 34C to 19C. A weird summer so far.

    Glad to see that you’re participating in the Spin. I did too against my better judgement. I was hoping to get a book that I’m already reading but no such luck. Your 20 books of summer sound relaxing. If I can get through The Faerie Queene, I can relax again, but I see months of it rolling out before me. Help!

    Have a great summer of reading!

    1. I really don’t like hot weather, so I’d be fine with fluctuations as a break from heat–but milder temperatures all the time better yet!

      The spins have always prompted me to pick up something I might otherwise have put off, even when it takes me months to actually finish the title–so I count that a win. I actually did pick up The Faerie Queene at the library, but ultimately decided that it was too much for right now–if I were reading that it would be more like 1 book of summer! Good luck getting through it–I hope you get to reading relaxation soon!

  2. Glad to have you back and glad to have you join the 20 Books of Summer as well! We’ve missed you around 🙂

    I can’t wait to hear what you think of The Taming of the Shrew. I read it almost 6 years ago and I still think about it a lot, and I see how the story has influenced many contemporary novels as well.

    1. Thanks, Elena! I’m actually already familiar with The Taming of the Shrew, since I saw it performed live (and then read it) many years ago, but it’s been so long that I’m curious as to how I will read it this time around. And after the Shakespeare horror play I just read (Titus Andronicus), it will be nice to change up to some comedy!

  3. I hesitated as you did but finally joined #20BooksOfSummer.
    It was the best thing to do b/c it keeps me reading during our not so sunny month of June.
    Some places in The Netherlands go 5 x the normal amount of rain! It is jus depressing weather. Books keep the sun shining in the house! I completed another Children’s Lit Classic….and thought I stop by and see what you were doing. Shakespeare posts? Admirable…I think I’ll save him for the Fall. Classic Spin? I’m not a spinner….
    Spanish Lit month…sounds interesting. I ‘ll try to read 1 or 2 French books in the summer but can’t promise anything!

    1. Nancy, I’m also hoping that #20BooksOfSummer will keep me reading this summer – at least at a better pace than I’ve read much of this year. I like to turn to books to brighten up a gloomy day as well.

      I’ve long enjoyed reading Shakespeare, I think because I was introduced to him when I was young by way of seeing actual productions rather than initially through school studies. I’ve been reading and watching his plays for so long now that he’s not as intimidating as he used to be. And I do enjoy Spanish Lit month, at least when I actually manage to participate! I’ve only actually tried reading something in Spanish once–that’s a bit beyond me!, but it’s always fun to see what others read.

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