Over the summer, I put a list together of everything I’ve been reading the last couple of years, including the titles I WANT to read.
I’m the slowest reader in the world. I can write and type quickly, but I savor every word when I’m reading. Funny that. Makes no sense to me. Reading is laborious, and I often re-read lines, perhaps searching for nuances, noting sentence structure, possibly committing styles to some recessed storage in my writer’s brain. When it comes to writing, I can’t get my flowing thoughts down fast enough; I feel like I’m stepping on the gas. But, when I’m reading, it’s like I’m crawling through rush hour traffic with the emergency brake on.
Still, I worked my hardest over the summer to devour as many books as possible. Some were in my target market’s genre: Middle Grade Fiction. Others were titles to Inform My Writing about living on a boat (while I sail often in the summer, I’ve never actually lived on a boat). There are some helpful Magazines I subscribe to. And some were just great Beach Reads.
Considering how slow I read, the length of this list surprised me.
Middle Grade and YA Fiction:
From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler/E.L. Konigsburg
First Light/Rebecca Stead
When You Reach Me/Rebecca Stead
Saraha Special/Esme Codell
Jemma Hartman, Camper Extraordinaire/Brenda Ferber
Julia’s Kitchen/Brenda Ferber
Judy Moody Series/Megan McDonald
Hope Was Here/Bauer
Out of the Dust/Hesse
So B. It/Weeks
Books That Inform My Writing
Chicago Day By Day/Frommer’s
Gift From the Sea/Lindbergh
Writing It Right/Asher
Chicago with Kids/Fodor’s
The Mother Tongue/Kittredge & Arnold (I have a first edition copy from my friend, Aleca Sullivan, who gave it to me as a gift as I began writing my own book. I treasure it).
Basic Keelboat Certification/U.S. Sailing
Eats, Shoots & Leaves/Truss
The Elements of Style/Strunk & White
Vanity Fair (I make it a priority to stay up on well-written current events and pop-culture articles).
Books That Brought Me To Tears:
The Middle Place/Kelly Corrigan
Sailing Grace/John Otterbacher
We Need to Talk About Kevin/Lionel Shriver
Cinderella of Wall Street/Lydia Fisher (Self Published)
Books On My Shelf, waiting to be read:
City of Thieves/Benioff
A Wrinkle in Time/L’Engle
The Tale of Despereaux/DiCamillo
Island of the Blue Dolphins/O’Dell
The Secret Language of Girls/Dowell
The Phantom Tollbooth/Juster
A Year Down Yonder/Peck