Longing for Summer: A Thursday Thirteen

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Shalom Auslander’s The Foreskin’s Lament. Bitter, angry religious memoir? Sounds like my kind of book.
  7. 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.
  8. Gabriel Josipovici’s Moo Pak. Anything by Josipovici, fiction or nonfiction, would be just fine.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.


Filed under Books, Fiction, Lists, Reading

19 responses to “Longing for Summer: A Thursday Thirteen

  1. What a fun post. You’ve got some on here that are on my list – Fingersmith in particular! I did enjoy Hearts & Minds a lot (still need to blog about it) and I highly recommend The Bookshop. What a great little book. Now I need to go check on some of these other titles you mention which sound very intriguing.


  2. Yes, I’d love to have summer holidays arrive NOW! This is a great list. Even though I’ve read the Penelopes I still get them mixed up, constantly. It’s become a bit of a joke, I’m so bad at keeping them straight.


  3. Sounds like you are going to have a great summer with that list! I’ve just been lent Fingersmith by a friend and can’t wait to read it. The Sebald also fascinates me- I’ve read a little of Austerlitz but it wasn’t the right time to get into it. I must get back to him one of these days.


  4. What a fabulous list, Dorothy! Oh dear, I can feel my tbr pile yearning towards some of those titles already and you haven’t even written on them yet!


  5. Jenny

    I love campus novels, too. Delicious fun when you don’t actually have to be there! Sometime you should make a Thursday Thirteen list of university-related novels you love. (Or maybe I will!)


  6. I’m not sure what my fixation is with lists, but I do love making them and reading those lists that others come up with. Even if you don’t read all the books on the list, it’s nice to think what you might choose from in anticipation of summer vacation. I thought you had already read Fingersmith–it’s a great novel and I plan on reading her Affinity soon. If you end up reading Frost in May perhaps I could read along, as I’d like to read that this year as well. You have lots of good books here! Now bring on summer!


  7. This is an impressive list. I’ve just gotten a copy of The Bookshop and want to start it soon. I’m with you on the countdown to summer!


  8. I’m sure you’ll love Rosy Thornton’s book and either of the Fitzgerald’s will be a treat. If you start ‘Frost in May’ I defy you not to read right through the quartet – all available from Virago. What a lovely summer to look forward to.


  9. LK

    You’ve got some great ones there. I loved Frost in May (have to get back to the second book of the trilogy).

    I’m virtually clinking your glass of iced tea. Happy summer reading!


  10. Looks like a wonderful, varied list to me. I love drawing up these sorts of lists (sticking to them is another thing, of course). Don’t forget to read a science or math book or two, as well, though :-)!


  11. I’d love to have a long, lazy summer starting right now. You’ve made a nice list. I’m going to have to check out some of them.


  12. adevotedreader

    It is fun to make a list, isn’t it?

    I can’t recommend The Tenant of Wildfell Hall highly enough, it is wonderful. The Bookshop is also a favourite.

    I haven’t read Foreskin’s Lament, but enjoyed Shalom Auslander’s wicked short stories, Beware of God.


  13. Lists rule! And I love yours. Penelope Fitzgerald’s Bookshop was a lovely read. And I look forward to reading your response to Roland Barthes. Now…off to make my own list of 13 for summer. Thanks!


  14. Iliana — I’m glad you can recommend the Thornton and the Fitzgerald — I’m looking forward to getting to both of them! And Fingersmith too.

    Melanie — I’m certainly glad I’m not the only one! And yes, summer can’t get here a moment too soon.

    Jess — it sounds like maybe a bunch of us will be enjoying Fingersmith soon — yay!

    Litlove — thank you, and while I’m truly sorry about the tbr list, as it’s probably quite long enough, I hope I can convince you to read some of these books too to hear your thoughts!

    Jenny — that’s a great idea for a list, although I’m not sure I have read 13. Didn’t Danielle of A Work in Progress do this once? I’ll have to check. Danielle??

    Danielle — it would be fun to read Frost in May together, or roughly around the same time. I’ll have to make sure I get to it this summer and let you know ahead of time!

    Lisa — The Bookshop seems to be quite popular among commenters here — a good sign, surely!

    Ann — oh, I didn’t realize Frost in May was the beginning of a quartet. Well, I’m in for some fun then!

    LK — I’m glad to hear you loved Frost in May — I’ve heard so many good things, I’m really looking forward to it.

    Emily — I almost put a science book on the list but I got to other things first — I’m looking forward to more science, though, especially after having enjoyed the Lightman book so much.

    Stefanie — thank you; the fun is certainly in compiling the list, but who knows if I will stick to it (surely not!).

    Devoted Reader — I’m glad to hear good things about Auslander, as I know nothing of him really. And also good to hear about Bronte — how come Ann doesn’t get as much attention as the others?

    Deborah — thank you! I’ll look for your list.


  15. dkmommy

    I read #3 and loved it! Hope you do too. I remember it well, even though it’s been awhile since I read it.


  16. Oh good to know! Lots of people seem to have loved the Bronte novel.


  17. Hi Dorothy. I did make a list of ‘academic novels’ here:
    Of course I would love to see Jenny’s and get more ideas! 🙂 And do let me know when you plan on reading Frost in May!


  18. Thanks for the link Danielle — and I’ll certainly let you know about Frost in May!


  19. Pingback: Summer plans « Of Books and Bicycles

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