Whatcha Reading?

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

Hunger Games/Colllins

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

Criss Cross/Perkins


Judy Moody Series/Megan McDonald

Hope Was Here/Bauer


Out of the Dust/Hesse

So B. It/Weeks

Books That Inform My Writing

The Handy Book of Knots/Penn

It’s all too much, so get it together/Walsh

Chicago Day By Day/Frommer’s

The Everything Guide to Writing Children’s Books/Bolton

Gotham Writers’ Workshop:  Writing Fiction

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).

Professional Blogging for Dummies/Getgood

The Small-Boat Sailor’s Bible/Smith

Basic Keelboat Certification/U.S. Sailing

Eats, Shoots & Leaves/Truss

The Elements of Style/Strunk & White


Writer’s Digest

Poets & Writers

Writer’s Journal

Vanity Fair (I make it a priority to stay up on well-written current events and pop-culture articles).

The Sun

Books That Brought Me To Tears:

The Middle Place/Kelly Corrigan

Sailing Grace/John Otterbacher

We Need to Talk About Kevin/Lionel Shriver

Beach Reads:

Cinderella of Wall Street/Lydia Fisher (Self Published)

This is Not the Story You Think It Is…A Season of Unlikely Happiness/Munson

Books On My Shelf, waiting to be read:

City of Thieves/Benioff

Currency/Zoe Zolbrod

A Wrinkle in Time/L’Engle

Reviving Ophelia, Saving the Lives of Adolescent Girls/Pipher



Wednesday Wars/Schmidt

To Kill A Mockingbird/Lee

Olive Kitteridge/Strout

The Tale of Despereaux/DiCamillo

Island of the Blue Dolphins/O’Dell

The Secret Language of Girls/Dowell




Fahrenheit 451/Bradbury

The Phantom Tollbooth/Juster

A Year Down Yonder/Peck


9 responses to “Whatcha Reading?

  1. I read Olive Kitteridge this past summer. It si filled with wonderful stories beautifully written. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

  2. *I obviously type faster than I can spell, I meant ‘it is…’ 🙂

  3. Ha! I found your blog!! Awesome, Christine! Can’t wait to read your novel.
    Take care – we should all get together sometime soon.

    Chris Gillock

  4. I think if you get to “To Kill a Mockingbird” you will forever cherish it…..it sticks with you…. otherwise, you list is very impressive!

  5. Shelley Sutherland

    Are you on goodreads.com? You can keep track of everything you read, want to read, post reviews, compare books with friends, join groups, etc. If so, and you are so inclined, friend me. I’m a friend of Shirlene Ward’s, who recommended this blog to me.
    Shelley Sutherland
    Assistant Youth Services Supervisor
    Niles Public Library
    Niles, IL

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