Summer Reading List, Clarified

I had this lovely vision of being able to read the books for my book group, the books for the online discussion of Muriel Sparks, the YA books I already owned, plus a bunch of new and classic YA books from the library. The good news is that I found a bunch of good YA books at my favorite used bookstore. The bad news is that when I made a list of all the books I thought I’d like to read for the summer, there were thirty nine, which is about half again as many books as I’ve read in the first five and a half months of this year. So I’ll limit my to-read list to those I own. The starred books are ones that have been on my shelves for a while. The others are newer purchases. Allowing for the chaos factors of library reserve queues and friend recommendations, I think a list of twenty will be plenty challenging.

King Dork by Frank Portman
*Sense and Sensibility by Austen
*Catcher in the Rye by Salinger
Scott Pilgrim, Vol. 3 by Bryan O’Malley
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Sparks
another Sparks book
*Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
*Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
The Prop by Pete Hautman
*Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty
*Second Helpings by McCafferty
Magic or Madness by Justine Larbalestier
Magic Lessons by Larbalestier
*The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Steven Chbosky
*Satellite Down by Rob Thomas
*Tam Lin by Pamela Dean
Monkey Island by Paula Fox
Baby by Patricia Maclachlan
I Am the Cheese by Robert Cormier
We All Fall Down by Cormier

4 Responses to “Summer Reading List, Clarified”

  1. emily Says:

    I have always been a big Cormier fan. I am the Cheese was a book I read multiple times as a teenager. I am not a big fan of McCafferty. I thought her stuff was a bit contrived, and her character not particularly compelling. But YMMV. I thought Middlesex was wonderful.

  2. girldetective Says:

    I am itching to get to the Cormiers. I read a history of YA book last year which was useful in that it pointed out the good ones, like Cormier’s, and the ones that were historically important, but not that good, like Hinton’s. That’s also where I got the recommendations for Monkey Island and Baby. I’ve been blown away by Slave Dancer by Fox and The Facts and Fictions of Minna Pratt by MacLachlan.

    I am ambivalent about McCafferty. The first book did not have a proper ending so that the entire story really takes place over 2 books. When the character did finally have sex in the second book she was coy about it, even though the book is shelved in adult lit in stores, not YA, and almost throwback, romance-novelish about it: oh, it was so great. First sex is rarely great. On the other hand, I thought the character had a very strong voice, and was very funny, both of which are important to me, and it is these things that outweigh my other problems with the books. The third book just came out, which is why I want to re-read the first two.

    I am looking forward to Middlesex. I am NOT enjoying Sense and Sensibility.

  3. Boutros Says:

    I loved Middlesex. I’ve read it multiple times. The different topics Eugenides weaves together are incredible. Hope you like it!

  4. girldetective Says:

    Middlesex is my book group’s book for August, so it’s going to be a while before I get to it. I liked, but didn’t love, Eugenides The Virgin Suicides, but have only heard good things about Middlesex, and from many people whose opinion I trust, too, so that’s why it’s on the list.