Summer Reading Pile

June is two weeks away, and we are almost done with school.  That means: MORE READING TIME! Maybe I am being overly ambitious, but recently I have been able to juggle three books a month, plus books that I read aloud to my children.  It has helped to estimate how long I think I need to read a book and then schedule it, which is what I am doing here by putting a list together of books I should read or want to read through summer.  I may not be able to do it, but I will try.


The Chronicles of Narnia - Cleo @ Classical Carousel has inspired me to read the entire series (with my kids); and since we have already read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, we will skip that one.

War and Peace - I expect this one to take all summer (three months, at least).  And I think I have a reading partner who said she would read it, too.  And maybe I can get her mom to read along with us. Reading partners are encouraging.

My √Āntonia - I really want to read this second book by Willa Cather.

The Hunger Games - With all certainty, I love dystopian-type themes, like 1984 and Brave New World.  I liked the movie, so I think I'll like the book.

Confessions - This one is a for-sure read because it is my first biography on TWEM list.

The Book of Margery Kempe - This is the second biography, and I am hoping to get to it this summer.

Mourt's Relation - This book, and the next two are all super short books on the Puritans in America.  I have had them forever, and after reading William Bradford's journal, I am inspired to read more about the Pilgrim's.  If I complete one or more of these, I will add them to my History Reading Challenge.

Visible Saints 

The Puritan Dilemma

The History of the Kings of Britain - I want to take a break from Howard Pyle next month (as I finish up Sir Launcelot by Pyle this month), but I would like to read another book for my Arthurian challenge.

Little Women - A very long time ago, Jillian suggested that I add this title to my Classics Club list, so I may even consider reading it to my girls.  Once I took my 6-year old (who is now 14) to see a play version of Little Women, and at intermission I asked her if she understood what was going on.  She said, "Yes.  And, for some reason, Christopher Columbus must be her (Jo's) dad."  Anyway, she has since read the book a few times, and it is one of her favorites.

Possession - I am determined to revisit this one and finish it!

There are others that I want to read, too, like Catch-22, and The Catcher in the Rye; and while some people continue to talk about Hemingway, I have a desire to reread The Old Man and the Sea.  Then that makes me start thinking about Steinbeck, and I want to reread The Pearl.  But I need to stop while I am ahead because now my appetite overwhelms my ability.  So enough.

So, what are your summer reading plans?


  1. Good luck with your reading! What are you going to read first? I started War and Peace last month, but got sidetracked by other books. It is going to be the only classic I plan to read this summer. I really enjoyed Little Women and Possession, so I think you will find them a nice change from some of the more intense books.

    1. Thank you. How long do you estimate it will take you to read through W&P? I do hope I can get back into Possession. It seemed really intriguing for awhile, but then I fell out of interest and had to stop.

  2. Replies
    1. I think I will be encouraged to read it aloud to my girls, too. I cannot believe I have never read this!

  3. I am collecting a ridiculous pile for summer. Partly this is because I don't work in summer, and so I'm checking out whatever books I think I *might possibly* want to read (my college is centrally located in the middle of nowhere, so I don't visit in summer). Plus I hope to have a little more time for reading, though I'm probably too optimistic about that.

    I want to read a German Tristan, August 1914 and some other WWI history and poetry, my language challenge book, and all sorts of things. I should probably take a photo and write a post, it's a crazy mixture.

    I was thinking of hosting a readalong of Les Miserables, but now I think I'm going to put that off.

    1. I was also thinking about hosting a readalong of Les Mis...and I also decided to put it off! Haha...I was thinking I might do it next year when I'm completely done with school. But if you do it first, I'll join!

    2. Jean, do write up a post of your ambitious summer reading pile. It would be fun.

      BTW, I had Les Mis on my reading hopes for this year, but I finally had to return to reality. I'll save it for my epic read next year. Oh, see, if you do a read-a-long next year, I'll join you and maybe Emily, too.

    3. Les Mis is a realllllllllllly good book (yes, it required all those extra Ls!). It does have a few random "essay" chapters on the sewer systems of Paris and the history of a random order of nuns, but otherwise the story material is really engaging. I also think you'd appreciate Val Jean's attempt to reform himself through Christianity and the vision of Christian Humanism it advocates that is a major part of the book!

    4. Consolation:

      Thanks for the encouragement! I am familiar with the story and fell in love with the theater production (NOT the movie), and it just seems like a beautiful story.

  4. Your reading list is exciting! I'm currently trying not to build up too much of a list for summer so I can just see what I feel like reading, but of course there's already somewhat of a list. The prospect of books is just too fun not to think about. Good luck with your reading this summer! I'm looking forward to reading your thoughts on all the books on the list! (Oh, and I love your new blog banner, by the way!)

    1. Thanks, Emily. I don't know if I'll get through these either, or if I may change my mind b/c I feel like something else. Like you said, you need to "feel like reading."

  5. I'm glad to inspire you to read The Chronicles of Narnia! I had such fun reading them this time. I would highly recommend reading in the published order (have I said that already? ;-) ). It was a completely different experience for me. Luckily in this order, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is the first book, so you would be ready to go on to the second.

    I loved My Antonia! It still brings back wonderful memories.

    I am stalled at the end of War and Peace however it was a great reading experience. Tolstoy is an amazing writer.

    ….. and ……. I just finished The Old Man and the Sea and I highly recommend it. After a bad experience with Hemingway years ago, this read was a welcome reacquaintance.

    There is one book on your list that I hated, but I won't say anything until you post your thoughts ……

    I'm looking forward to the WEM biographies. Augustine, here we come! :-)

    1. I did not know the publishing order was different for Chronicles of Narnia, but it works for me. Thanks!

      Ah! Now I want to know which one it was that you hated. It's either Catch-22, Catcher in the Rye, or History of the Kings. Well, maybe it is best I do not know.

      I will put out a post next week about starting TWEM Autobiographies, and I'm inviting others to join us on Goodreads.

  6. I love your reading list - I think you'll have a great summer with those books. Little Women was one of my favorites growing up. I'm going to wait a few more years before I have my daughter read it. We're rereading the Narnia series now (3 books left) and really enjoying it.

    I think I'm going to take off the month of August from any reading challenges. Maybe. Then I can just read what I want. War & Peace is the very last book on my Classics Club list and the size is beginning to intimidate me!

    1. Thanks, Tonia. I cannot wait to read Little Women to my girls. They are going to be excited. And Narnia, too.

      RE: W&P: I am intimidated by the size of W&P, too, b/c once I start it, I want to commit to it. But it is going to take me so long to finish.