Summer Reading 2019: Book Culture on Columbus
If you're anything like us, you always kind of enjoyed the summer reading you had to do in school. Luckily for you, we've found a way to turn "kind of" into "really" using one simple trick: set your own reading list! Here you'll find the books that our booksellers have decided to try and tackle this summer. This is strictly for participation credit, there will not be a test, we promise.
1. The Odyssey by Homer (trans. by Emily Wilson): Summer seems like the perfect time to finally dive into this adventure. I grabbed my copy as soon as it came out, but you know how reading lists go, so as excited as I was for the first translation of The Odyssey by a woman, it has been sitting patiently on my bookshelf. I loved immersing myself in the journey when I first read The Odyssey in high school, so I'm eager to delve into that world through a fresh lens.
2. Circe by Madeline Miller: There's clearly a mythological theme running through this list, but Circe is another title I've been eager to pick up for a long time. I love retellings of stories and can't wait to see the Circe that Miller has created. I used to be really intrigued by myths when I was younger, but have forgotten a lot of them at this point, so I'm hoping this will be a re-entry to that fascination.
3. Rough Magic by Lara Prior Palmer: I can't say I've ever been particularly interested in horses--I think they're incredibly beautiful creatures, but they also scare me a bit. So I wasn't expecting to be so drawn in by this memoir, but after reading the description (a nineteen year old young woman goes to Mongolia on a whim with zero training to compete in a ten day horse race that recreates the horse messenger system devised by Genghis Khan and WINS), there was no escaping the fact that this one jumped straight to the top of my list. I can only imagine the whirlwind tale this will be, and I'm excited.
1. Text Me When You Get Home by Kayleen Schaefer: This is a phrase that I have used for years with all my friends and so when I read about this book I became instantly intrigued. I try to dip into non-fiction every once in a while and feel like something like this that studies female friendships and their evolution is just what I need for my non-fic hit this summer.
2. Once & Future by Cori McCarthy and Amy Rose Capetta: I love the King Arthur legends and I have read a lot of the originals and am very into a lot of the retellings. Right off this book caught my eye just based solely on that but than add in a female King Arthur and LGBTQ elements? I'm all in on this one!
3. Black Leopard Red Wolf by Marlon James: I LOVED James' A Brief History of Seven Killings, and I LOVE fantasy so I was so so excited to hear that a brilliant writer such as Marlon James was writing a fantasy book. I added it to my list right away and feel like this summer will be the perfect time to read it.
1. Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse: A bookseller here at Columbus told me about this book and I am so excited to read it this summer! This post-apocalyptic novel takes place after most of the world has drowned after climate change takes effect. The heroine is Maggie Hoskie, a Dinétah (known pre-apocalypse as Navajo) monster killer who is her reservation's best hope for locating a missing girl. maybe not the lightest summer reading, but who needs a "beach read" when we have amazing Native authors writing amazing Native heroines?
2. West by Edith Pattou: When I was in middle school, I read East, and was captivated by an epic fantasy tale. 18 years later, Pattou has published the sequel --West. This book is sure to have adventure, romance, and heart. I can't wait to reread the first book, and then start this one.
3. The Harp of Kings by Juliet Marillier: I AM SO EXCITED TO READ THIS!!! Juliet Marillier is one of my all-time favorite authors, I've read everything she's ever written and now she has a new series coming out! Marillier has a wonderful tradition of setting her historical fantasies in ancient Ireland with plots loosely based in the lore of yore. This book stars a complicated, surprising, strong woman dealing with magical interference from the Otherworld. Honestly, anything Marillier writes I'm going to read and I'm sure this will be as excellent, if not better than her previous work.
1. Soap by Francis Ponge (trans. by Lane Dunlop): This summer's all about thinking like non-human objects. I think a good springboard for this little adventure is Francis Ponge's Soap, because soap's so elemental, so slippery.
2. Alien Phenomenology, or What It's Like to Be a Thing by Ian Bogost: What kinds of feelings does your TV have? I've got high hopes for this slim philosophical book. And if it turns out to be goofy--so much the better!
3. Scardanelli by Friederike Mayrocker (trans. by Jonathan Larson): This one's gonna get a little freaky with language symbols. Are sentences mystical robo-animals? Can't wait to find out.
1. The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon: To be honest I've already started this book, but it's 800 pages long so I figure I'll be finishing it when we have settled into the summer months. I wanted to read this book, because 1.) It came heavily recommended by my best friend. 2.) I've decided this is my year of reading large genre fiction (a theme you will see in my two other choices). 3.) It's a new work of high fantasy that is written by a woman, taking place in a land ruled by women, and the main characters are women heroes. I'm about that life.
2. The Once and Future King by T.H. White: I've wanted to read this book for years, and I've always been interested in Arthurian legend (shout out to my girl Madame Mim from Disney's The Sword in the Stone). This book sits on my shelves and has stared at me for what seems like an eternity, so I think it's time to take the plunge! I look forward to getting deep into the world of Camelot and I hope that reading this will be the start of a new obsession.
3. The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien: I'll be up front: LOTR is one of the greatest works of literature. Full stop. I have been hesitant in tackling the rest of the Middle-Earth legendarium, but methinks it is time! This book is a dense history of a world that I think about regularly, and I am ready to take my knowledge and love for it to the next level!
1. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien: I once made it halfway through The Fellowship of the Ring before tiring of reading about people walking through a forest. But I've recently been convinced that it's worth trying again. And so I will.
2. A Dance to the Music of Time by Anthony Powell: 12 novels published as 4 volumes–nearly 3000 pages in total–about aristocratic Englishmen navigating their upbringings and the major events of the 20th century. My kind of beach read!
3. Binstead's Safari by Rachel Ingalls: I've owned this book for a few months and am excited to finally get around to it. The story of a woman breaking out of an unhappy marriage and stepping into her prime. Already a great plot in itself but, because this is Ingalls, nothing is quite so conventional.
Happy reading! And if you're in need of more suggestions, check out what we read last summer!
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- Q&A with Abbigail N. Rosewood, author of If I Had Two Lives
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