Summer is so close, and yet not nearly close enough — 3 weeks until the end of classes, and then another two weeks after that of final exams, grading, and a school retreat, at which I have to take on some responsibility instead of just whining and moaning my way through it like I did last year. (Ummm … this retreat is purely voluntary, so I really have nothing to complain about, except my inability to say no when people at work ask me to do things.)
So, inspired by Danielle’s regular (or semi-regular) Thursday Thirteens, I thought I’d spend some time thinking about what I might read this summer. I am by no means holding myself to this list; rather, it’s what I would want to read if my summer began today:
- Sarah Waters’s Fingersmith, which I just this minute mooched from Book Mooch. I remember reading The Crimson Petal and the Black last summer and loving it, so a return to some Victorian-era fiction sounds perfect for this summer.
- Rosy Thornton’s Hearts and Minds. The author graciously offered to send me a copy and I instantly accepted. I’ve heard such good things about this book, and I do love campus novels. Yes, this might be a strange thing to read over the summer, when I’m wanting to escape from school, but reading a novel about campus life is not at all like living it.
- Anne Bronte’s The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. I’ve been meaning to read this one forever, and after my great Wuthering Heights experience, I’m excited to read more of the Brontes. I also have Agnes Grey and Shirley on hand.
- Antonia White’s Frost in May. I can’t get enough of those Viragos, and this one I’ve heard mentioned quite a few times.
- Penelope Fitzgerald’s The Bookshop and/or The Blue Flower. I keep mixing up Penelope Fitzgerald and Penelope Lively. Perhaps once I’ve read them both I’ll stop doing that.
- Shalom Auslander’s The Foreskin’s Lament. Bitter, angry religious memoir? Sounds like my kind of book.
- Amanda Vickery’s The Gentleman’s Daughter. This is about women’s lives around Jane Austen’s time. I’d love to know more. In fact, I might begin this one before summer.
- Gabriel Josipovici’s Moo Pak. Anything by Josipovici, fiction or nonfiction, would be just fine.
- Mary Brunton’s Discipline. This was published in 1814, so she’s a contemporary of Jane Austen. I’ve heard very good things about her, and I do love novels from this time period.
- Roland Barthes’s The Pleasure of the Text, or perhaps A Lover’s Discourse or anything else of his that strikes my fancy. Barthes is a theorist I’d like to read more of.
- William St. Clair’s The Godwins and the Shelleys: A Biography of a Family. A number of books on my list either come from or are about the Romantic period — such a fascinating time, isn’t it? I also want to read St. Clair’s The Reading Nation in the Romantic Period.
- Louise Gluck’s Proofs and Theories. A collection of essays by one of my favorite poets. Some more of her poetry would be wonderful to read as well.
- W.G. Sebald’s The Emigrants. Sebald is such a fascinating writer; I loved The Rings of Saturn and am looking forward to reading more.