Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Summer Reading List

I am an incredibly slow reader. Often I have to reread a page several times to fully grasp the concept, making my reading progress even slower. Despite the effort I read because the simple pleasure of getting lost within the pages of a really good book.

Every October when I come home from vacation I get busy with life in general and reading is moved low on my list of priorities. But as soon as the weather warms and the pool opens (in short, summer holiday commences) the only place I want to be is tanning by the pool with a stack of books...or my Kindle...which is essentially a stack of books condensed into less matter.

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens - Finished and highly recommending highly. Dickens does it again.

The Iliad by Homer - I am reading the Alexander Pope translation...the language is absolutely beautiful. If I still love this book by the end I may add the Odyssey to my reading list.

Romeo and Juliette by Shakespeare - I've never given Shakespeare a fair chance and a little tragedy is always nice ... ?

Pressed Pennies by Steven Manchester - The author is a friend of my mother's and one of the characters is named after Henry (!!!).

Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis - Based on several strong recommendations from multiple friends. Plus C.S. Lewis always grounds me and reminds me the focus of my faith.

Gifted Hands by Ben Carson - Inspiration for the journey. :)

Politics: A Treatise on Government by Aristotle - My first in philosophy...if nothing else I'll memorize a few passage to throw out at dinner parties while pretending I have the foggiest idea about what I am talking about.

Republic by Plato - Because it seems wrong to read Aristotle and not Plato.

Sacred Singleness by Leslie Ludy - Rereading.

Rosalind Franklin: the dark lady of DNA by Brenda Maddox - After reading this book I may never be able to read The Double Helix again.

Emma by Jane Austen - Because recently I have found myself relating to Emma (slightly ironic sentence when you consider I have an relative named Emma).

Better: a surgeon's notes on performance by Atul Gawande - This sounds like a book my mom would love...a surgeon applies surgical methods of optimizing performance to everyday life. Started reading this book and realized my description was a tad off. I quote, "This is a book about performance in medicine. As a doctor, you go into this work thinking it is all a matter of canny diagnosis, technical prowess, and some ability to empathize with people. But it is not, you soon find out. In medicine, as in any profession, we must grapple with systems, resources, circumstances, people - and our own shortcomings, as well. We face obstacles of seemingly ending variety. Yet somehow we must advance, we must refine, we must improve. How we have and how we do is the subject here." Even better than I thought!

How Starbucks Saved My Life: A Son of Privilege Learns to Live Like Everyone Else by Michael Gates Gill

So excited summer and reading are back again! I'm always looking for recommendations so tell me...what are you reading this summer?


  1. Great list!!! Shakespeare is often--read it in the original language! It's like trying to read the Bible in Spanish--eventually, your brain will adjust. AND THEN watch the movie with Hailee Steinfeld and Douglas Booth (on Netflix whoop whoop!).

    I'd definitely recommend "The Book Thief"--I have yet to see the movie, but the book is amazing. It's told from a really interesting perspective (Death), so don't be confused for the first few pages like I was. ;)

  2. Oh and definitely read the Odyssey! It's even more exciting than the Iliad--and the Aeneid was my all time favorite Ancient Lit book. :)

  3. Welllll . . . you already know the books I'm reading. But I love this list!

    We listened to lectures on both The Iliad and The Odyssey recently, and it brought such life, significance, and new beauty to the ancient stories. I read both in half a dozen children's versions when I was little and a translation of the The Iliad in tenth grade, but now I want to dive into the full brick of The Odyssey as well. (There's a hashed and rather violent metaphor for you. :P) And I commend you for taking on Plato and Aristotle; I haven't had the motivation to do so myself yet. Homer, Plato, and Aristotle in one summer: I look upon thee in awe.

    We should swap notes on Mere Christianity — it's been on my reading list for years, and summer's the time to change that status!

    I'm saving Emma for when we read it in British Lit next year, but I love the story. A good summer novel, that.

    A Tale of Two Cities is worthy of every bit of praise it receives and more. Read it. Love it. Fangirl over it. It's what one does. ^.^