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My Summer Reading 2017

Summer reading 2017
Here is my summer reading for the holidays… A mixture of pleasure, work, re-reads, curiosity and recommendations from friends and students. Unfortunately, and like many others, modern life is not conducive for reading for me at the moment. I have too many distractions both at home and at work. Nevertheless, my family all know that our holiday is where I find the time to read. I do pay them some attention, but they are old enough to sort themselves out. My holiday role is NOT to be their servant and to be at their beck and call. My holiday role is to read.

Recommended by Others

‘Station Eleven’ by Emily St John Mandel – A novel given to me by Daisy Fuggle, she is convinced I will love it, how can you refuse a 16 year old who loves a book so much?

‘A Manuel for Cleaning Women’ by Lucia Berlin, as recommended by Margaret Gosley – I have read a few of the stories, and I am looking forward to reading the rest.

‘The Glorious Heresies’ by Lisa McInerney – I bought this on a whim after reading a great review. Months later I have no recollection of it – but I will give it a go.

Off the shelf…

‘The Miniaturist’ by Jessie Burton – has been on my shelf – unread, since Christmas – time to give it a go.
‘His Bloody Project’ – an interesting angle on crime.
‘The Muse’ by Jessie Burton – bought for me…gathering dust…
 ‘A Man Called Ove’ by Fredrik Bachman – I feel like I have been missing the party because I haven’t read this yet, it gets excellent reviews, another book that has been on the shelf since Christmas…
‘The Tenant of Wildfell Hall’ by Anne Bronte – I have had this book on my shelf for years, and I haven’t ever read it. We are now told Anne had the potential to be the best Bronte. Let’s see how it compares.

Work and Women

‘The Age of Innocence’ by Edith Wharton – I read it years ago, but it is time for a re-read in preparation for American Literature super learning days. My reading of American literature has been totally dominated by male authors, I need to give the women a higher profile.
 
‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’ – Let’s see if it is even better than ‘The Kite runner’. I will be teaching this for the first time, I am looking forward to it.

‘A Lost Lady’ Willa Catha – I recently read ‘My Antonia’ linked to a work project and totally loved it! I decided I needed to read more Catha, although many critics say ‘My Antonia’ is her best novel.

 ‘In Search of Memory‘ by Eric R Kandel – I suspect it will be last on my list – but I aim to give it a go. My original thoughts were it may give me an insight into how to use memory to prepare students for 100% examinations.

In Memory of…

 ‘A Girl on the Swing’ – in honour of Richard Adams who died this year. A comment on Facebook, on the thread of his obituary, stated that this was one of the most disturbing novel they have ever read. I couldn’t resist finding out how the author of ‘Watership Down’ could produce something so disturbing. I can’t wait to find out.
A copy of’Exposure’ by Helen Dunmore, who also died this year, should be on the way. Hopefully it will come in time – her novels never disappoint me.
 
I am also waiting to see if ‘Jekyll’s Mirror‘ turns up before I go. It is potentially a new text for KS3, an area where we undoubtedly need a new and relevant text to deliver.
My thoughts and feelings about the books will be posted on Facebook and Twitter as I read them…
by Christine Thomas