Final Tally: 21 Books I Read This Summer

I think it is generally accepted that most (all?) good writers are good readers. We write stories because we love reading them and it’s important for writers to continue reading throughout their lives to keep their minds fresh and connected with their first love. It’s far too easy to get sucked into your writing and forget what anyone else’s work sounds like. It doesn’t even have to be a book you like in order to help you. Actually, maybe the books you hate are the best for your writing because you won’t be tempted to copycat them 😉

It might be 22 by the time school starts because I’m in the middle of Jessica Day George’s book “Dragon Slippers”, but it’s unlikely, so I’m going to say I’ve read 20 books this summer. Not bad, huh? Okay, so 18 of them were audiobooks , but I think that’s still legit since they were all unabridged. So here is my list:

1. Crocodile on the Sandbank (book 1 of a long series) by Elizabeth Peters (Early 1900s Egyptian archaeologist couple murder mysteries)

2. Lion in the Valley (book 4) by Elizabeth Peters

3. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell (Not the fluffy romance I had braced myself for).

4. Gold of Kings by Davis Bunn (Alas, I simply don’t find this author’s writing very polished).

5. Elixer by Davis Bunn

6. Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett (My first Pratchett book–SO much fun!)

7. The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud (Totally miss the brilliant use of footnotes in the audiobook)

8. The Copper Scroll by Joel C. Rosenberg

9. Black by Ted Dekker (book 1 of the Circle Trilogy. Amazing Christian suspense and allegory!)

10. Red by Ted Dekker

11. White by Ted Dekker

12. That Hideous Strength by C.S. Lewis (book 3 of his space trilogy).

13. Sour Puss by Rita May Brown

14. The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald (Fairy-tale style book written as beautifully as music).

15. What Your Childhood Memories Say About You and What You Can Do About It by Kevin Leman (Nonfiction book that was mostly stuff I already knew, but a few new insights)

16. The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emma Orczy (Lighthearted Robin Hood-esque romp)

17. Illuminated (book 1 in the August Adams series) by Matt Bronleewe

18. Leviathan (book 1) by Scott Westerfield (Alternative history of WWI/Steampunk).

19. Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (Umm, if you’ve never heard of it, you need more geeky friends)

20. Bewitching Season by Marissa Doyle

21. Forest Born (book 4 in the Bayern series) by Shannon Hale (One of my favorite authors of all time!)

Now, I’d like to briefly draw your attention to the categories I have here. Generally, my criteria for choosing audiobooks is based on how likely I am to read a physical copy of the book. If there is a high chance I would NOT read this book normally, that makes me MORE likely to listen to it instead. So that’s why I have quite a few classics on my list. I have an overarching aversion to any book I’ve heard English profs waxing poetic about (blast, I still need to write a post on why I hate the classics). So because of this aversion, the only way you are going to get me to read a classic outside of homework–especially a long one–is pump it directly into my hears while I’m doing something else.

I’ve also discovered recently that most public domain books (AKA, a lot of the classics), can be found for free downloading on . I’ve been very impressed by the quality of the readers so far.

Another category that pops up a lot on this list is the mystery. This summer there have been a lot of historical/thriller mysteries (Think National Treasure or Indiana Jones), but normally, Agatha Christie is more my style. Because these sorts of books are very hit or miss in their quality, I tend to avoid trying new ones in hard copy. They sort of run together in my mind since the Templar Knights or the Free Masons seem to make appearances in all of them.

Many books on this list  (Pimpernel, Pratchett, Gone with the Wind and Leviathan) are recommendations from friends or from my mom (whose taste in books is almost identical to mine) and those seem to be the ones I enjoyed most. I’m a natural born critic, so I wish I could write mini-book reviews on them all, but this is a writing blog, so I shall refrain. If you want to start a comment discussion about any of them though…I would not object in the least 😀 (I have a LOT of English major friends out there, I know).


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