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Summer Reading

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With school out and (hopefully) a bit of spare time on the horizon, what do you plan on reading this summer? Will you be picking up something off the New York Times' bestseller list, a light beach read or a suspenseful page-turner? Does your reading list include any professional development material? How will you use the summer to restore and prepare yourself intellectually? What recommendations do you have for your teaching colleagues?

Whether for pleasure or professionalism, we want to know—what pages will you be turning this summer?

40 Comments

I haven't read anything with more than 10 sentences on a page or without any pictures in the entire book since before Christmas vacation. I feel like I have been deprived of part of my life. YET when I think of some of the new books I have read I realize it has opened new avenues to a very important person---my grandson. Who is an excellent expressive reader and spent 5 months living with Grandma and Granpa.

I haven't read anything with more than 10 sentences on a page or without any pictures in the entire book since before Christmas vacation. I feel like I have been deprived of part of my life. YET when I think of some of the new books I have read I realize it has opened new avenues to a very important person---my grandson. Who is an excellent expressive reader and spent 5 months living with Grandma and Granpa. I am ready for summer reading of my own choosing.

I always look forward to catching up on my "pleasure" reading (I love James Patterson, Patricia Cornwell, and Dean Koontz)during my summer break. I've completed one book and started another already. However, I'm tutoring one student this summer, so I'll probably do some professional reading to help with that and keep my mind in the instructional mode, too. My school/school system is really pushing the guided reading/literacy block idea, and I'm trying to be the old dog learning new tricks; so I want to get my hands on some materials to expand my knowledge and improve my performance in that area.

I've already read the required Grisham and am trying to read some of those classics I never read. The Hunchback of Notre Dame is my current undertaking with a dictionary in hand. My son noticed me writing down the words I'm unfamiliar with and he's decided to do the same as we read Treasure Island together. So, even in the summer, I'm the English teacher!

I'm currently reading "Chew on This" by Eric Schlosser (author of Fast Food Nation) and Charles Wilson. I'm looking for a reader's guide or lesson plans to share with my school districts; or I will be working on developing something this summer. I haven't visited my summer reading list, but I'm including some young adult novels so I can see what they are reading. Any suggestions?

I am finishing up my masters so am still doing some reading about my research topic--vocabulary. I've discovered a lot of new words and ideas in the process.However, I did sneak in a couple of books last week just to say I did. I want to read some young adult stuff as well as the new CJ Box book. I too enjoy Patricia Cornwell's books. I have several from my classroom library that I'd like to read this summer. Pleasure reading is the thing I've missed the most during my masters program.

Sick of feeling pressured to teach to the tests?
Must reads:
Elaine Garan: Resisiting Reading Mandates
& her newest book- In defense of our children.

My daughters (ages 19 and 26) really enjoy young adult books. They've both raved about the Traveling Pants series, and the younger one loves Megan McCafferty's books - Sloppy Firsts, Second Helpings, etc. I haven't ready any of these yet, but I probably will this summer, since I usually find that I like what they recommend. I know it's a far-cry from young adult literature, but if you haven't read the Junie B. Jones books (by Barbara Park), I highly recommend them. Much of the humor is really intended for the adults who usually read these books to children. Reading them to my first graders was as much fun for me as it was for them.

I plan on reading some stuff for teaching and classics, but I really want to read Marley and Me. A friend highly recommended it.
I read for pleasure all year long, tho, because I get books on tape or CD from the library and listen as I drive to school. One of my favorites are the Elizabeth Peters series of the character Amelia Peabody. Amelia is an Egyptologist (which Elizabeth has extensive knowlege and includes in the story.) Ms Peters is wordy in her descriptive passages but definitely entertaining especially when read by Barbara Rosenblat. Barbara is an incredible reader -- using different voices and accents so that she easily moves from male to female characters from many different countries in a very credible manner.

My list this summer is varied, and I hope to get through most of it.

Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts and other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms (re-read--preparing a class)
Chronicles of Narnia (how did I miss out on this as a child???)
Body Clutter
The Kite Runner
The Attack (I'm listening to this one on my iPod)
The Scarlet Letter
1776
The World is Flat (iPod audiobook also)
Night

That should keep me busy for a bit. The audiobooks are great to listen to during drive time and while out gardening.

Enjoy!

John Updike's Rabbit Angstrom tetralogy (Rabbit, Run; Rabbit Redux; Rabbit is Rich; Rabbit at Rest)

I have just begun "All Grown Up and No Place to Go" by David Elkind. This very wise man continues to make enormous practical sense to this educator. This work continues the message articulated in "The Hurried Child" and "Mis-Education" -- we are stressing our young people out, and from a very early age. The damage comes home to roost in full force when these hurried children reach their teens. As a high school teacher, my heart breaks at the ways in which parents and teachers allow teens to be rushed into the most complex adult life situations with no support or guidance.

Just for fun, I am reading "Suite Francaise," which even in translation is an elegant read. Aa an elixir to the soul, I am slowly absorbing Eckhart Tolle's "The Power of Now." Good stuff.

I have just begun "All Grown Up and No Place to Go" by David Elkind. This very wise man continues to make enormous practical sense to this educator. This work continues the message articulated in "The Hurried Child" and "Mis-Education" -- we are stressing our young people out, and from a very early age. The damage comes home to roost in full force when these hurried children reach their teens. As a high school teacher, my heart breaks at the ways in which parents and teachers allow teens to be rushed into the most complex adult life situations with no support or guidance.

Just for fun, I am reading "Suite Francaise," which even in translation is an elegant read. As an elixir to the soul, I am slowly absorbing Eckhart Tolle's "The Power of Now." Good stuff.

This spring, I read the graphic novel PERSEPOLIS: THE STORY OF A CHILDHOOD by Marjane Satrapi, a "memoir of growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution." I loved it--heartbreaking and ironically funny. I can't wait to work it into my grade 12 English syllabus in the future. This summer I will read PERSEPOLIS 2: THE STORY OF A RETURN.

I love to catch up on my pleasure reading in the summer. Read Night several years ago and actually had copies for my 8th graders, but it was too intense for them, now I use The Devil's Arithmetic to teach the holocaust. I just read Wifey by Judy Blume, ( helping the librarian pre screen some of the new books) NOT at all a book for students, I was amazed at the almost pornographic content, Not like this auther at all. I have a couple more to screen for our librarian.

I've already worked my way through several young adult novels. I am rereading Cabinet of Curiosities (Preston and Child), while waiting for their new book to be released this month. Also working on Making the Most of Summer (Johns Hopkins Uiversity). Plans to read Janet Allen's On the Same Page, several comprehension strategies books, and a large handful of young adult novels off my classroom bookshelf. A busy and enjoyably fruitful literary summer!

Loved The Kite Runner.
Now I am reading Teacher Man by Frank McCourt & it is excellent!
I can relate to his common sense ways to relate to his students & his stories of his classroom mistakes & victories are humor & touching.Every teacher should read this book.Welcome to the World by Fannie Flagg is hilarious & good.Anyone know of any other well written and funny books?The Bee book by Sue Monk was ridulous/I grew up in the deep south & her story of a black teen boy & white teen girl liking ea. other would never have never happened unnoticed in the 60s & she is Southern!...another ex. of ANY book making it to the best seller list!
Remember to visit the public library,save $ and see stories prominently displayed for their writing,not to market them for a quick sale.

I have enjoyed everyone's comments.
Some books that I have recently finished are:
Real Boys by William Pollock, The Color of Water:A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother by James McBride (This one was worth reading twice). There's A Boy In Here by Judy Barron and Sean Barron (living with autism)
The books that are next on my list are:
A Book Without Words by Avi
A Tribe Apart by Patricia Hersch(Am. adolescents)
The Shame of the Nation and Amazing Grace by Jonathan Kozol
Also, I'm learning to make changes in my metabolism with The Midlife Miracle Diet by Adele Puhn. I recommend the latter to anyone who has had weight issues, fatigue, and declining brain power. We are what we eat.I feel much, much better.

I am reading and absolutely enjoying Mockingbird, by Charles J. Shields. It's a biography of Harper Lee. I can't put it down! Excellent background for teaching To Kill a Mockingbird! I devoured The History of Love by Nicole Krauss while at the beach--well written and very different. I'd be interested in getting other opinions about this book......
In preparation for another year of teaching writing, I'm reading Nancie Atwell's In the Middle and Tom Romano's Writing with Passion. Any other suggestions?

Jodi Picoult tops my reading list with three of her books: "Plain Truth", "The Pact" and "My Sister's Keeper." Sharon Draper's "Copper Sun", Richter's "Facing East from Indian Country", and D. Brown's "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee" support my classroom background reading. Just in case time permits, "Light on Snow" and "True Believer" are hopefuls. Reading is a gift yopu give to yourself. Enjoy!

I just finished reading the novel "The Secret Life of Bees" by Sue Monk Kidd and highly recommend it for teachers. My next book is "Civility" by Stephen L. Carter.

Thanks to the person who included ideas for teenagers. I am desperate to get a fun list together for my 13 year old daughter.
Currently I am reading, "Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life," by Jon Kabat-Zinn, and "Becoming Myself: Reflections on Growing Up Female," by Willa Shalit. Each is organized in sections of a few pages each. I like that I am able to pick these up and put them down and always feel that I have gotten something out of it. The meditation book is an easy, practical read, and I need to remind myself of these essentials from time to time. The book by Willa Shallit is a collection of autobiographical essays by many well known women. It is so good, I want to tell all my women friends to buy it, or I want to buy it for them!

Finally, I need to find some good, quick novel reads for the summer. Someone suggest I read a J.D. Robb paperback or two, so I'll start there. Any other thoughts?

First, I plan to whittle down the 14" stack of half-read New Yorkers (it usually takes me half the summer). Then, Paul Auster's novel with Brooklyn in the title (Brooklyn Follies?) because I'm behind on his recent books. In between, the folder-full of essays and articles plus books I've been saving on documentary films, which also has the added film-viewing time component. I'm going to give Francine Prose's Caravaggio another try and return to Charles Nicholl's 2004 biography of Leonardo before going to my art-writing workshop in July. This list is already totally unrealistic, right? But June is always the month of fantasizing about all the additional reading time summer brings.

some great books, some newer, some older, that i've read lately and would recommend are: "in the time of the butterflies" by julia alvarez (1994)-- it's about a family in Dominican Republic living under the brutal dictatorship of Trujillo; i loved "reading lolita in tehran" (2000?)by Nafisi (last name) about an underground reading club in Iran during the brutal Khomeini era...as awful as they sound, they're not -- they're lovely, inspirational, and fast reads!

oh, and how could i forget...The Dewbreaker by edwidge danticat, about a haitian american family living in brooklyn...beautifully written! she also wrote Krik Krak which made oprah's list but i haven't read it yet.

For those of you who read and liked A Million Little Pieces despite the controversy, My Friend Leonard by James Frey was a quick and exciting read. Night is heart breaking, but true and important to remember. The Secret Girl is my next about a local family in Delaware and her memories of a sister she did not know about or meet until later in life. Being a teacher in spec ed I love anything about special lives and real people.

If I break my yearly rythmn of 2 books a month, then I feel at a loss. Vacation time is mroe dedicated to activities I cannot do during the year, especially outdoors activities. But I never watch TV so the evenings are full of reading. For the summer I plan to read John Updike, The terrorist; Ann Tyler, Digging to America; Wendy Wasserstein, Elements of Style; and then some fun history that will go well with the Advanced Literature Class I created this Spring: Sex with Kings , and the newest Sex with the Queen, both by Eleanor Herman. I also intend to re-read Dangerous Liaisons by Choderlos de Laclos for a follow-up class to create in the Fall, I am currently savouring Vassili Axionov "Une saga moscovite' which I guess should be translated in English maybe as "A Moscow Saga, or A Saga from Moscow". Now this is almost 2,000 pages but I cannot put it down and my evenings stretch into night, I read until I cannot read anymore, and it is sometimes 2;00 am when I force myself to put the book down!

I am presently reading "The Narrows" by Micahel Connely. Interesting crime novel by an excellent writer. Also reading "Crisis of Islam" by Bernard Lewis. It provides an excellent insight on the relationship between The Middle East and the Western world. Should be required reading for all pliticos involved in foreign relations. I just picked up the book "The Professors" by David Horowitz. It's about the influence of politics on higher education.

I am presently reading "The Narrows" by Michael Connely. Interesting crime novel by an excellent writer. Also reading "Crisis of Islam" by Bernard Lewis. It provides an excellent insight on the relationship between The Middle East and the Western world. Should be required reading for all politicos involved in foreign relations. I just picked up the book "The Professors" by David Horowitz. It's about the influence of politics on higher education. Sorry about he resubmit. I sent it along without proofing for typos.

I'm slogging through Hoot by Hiaasan. Unsure how it got all the accolades and a movie, but I know my middle school boys might like it.
Dew Breaker by Danticat gets a million stars. Loved the genre. Intriguing how she weaved the short stories together to create a tapestry.
Ten Thousand Charms by Allison Pittman, a Christian author who has graciously befriended me. I fell in love with the characters in her first published novel.
I have a stack of professional lit. on the floor in my study. Georgia Heard, J. Angellilo, Atwell to revisit, etc.

I read a lot the year round. The summer is a good opportunity to do more. This summer:
1. John Adams by David McCullough
2. Alibi by Sandra Brown
3. Bringing Out the Best in People
4. Thinking for a Change by John Maxwell.
5. Godless by Anne Coulter

These are five, but my goal is 10 books in summer and 10 during school year.

I read a lot the year round. The summer is a good opportunity to do more. This summer:
1. John Adams by David McCullough
2. Alibi by Sandra Brown
3. Bringing Out the Best in People
4. Thinking for a Change by John Maxwell.
5. Godless by Anne Coulter

These are five, but my goal is 10 books in summer and 10 during school year.

I read all year long. I always read when my students read. It's makes for a good model for them.

If you haven't read "THe World Is Flat" by Thomas Friedman, it is so interesting.

"Iron Lace" and the second one, These are some of the best written books that I have read for awhile. The story was so interwoven.

Enjoyed reading what everyone else reads. Thanks!

I am reading a series by Margaret Coel focusing on the modern day Arapahos who live on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming. Although fiction, they are a wonderful look at a culture about which I have known very little and am growing to appreciate more and more. They are mysteries, with an interesting twist of romance. The first title in the series is The Eagle Catcher. I also like the Julia Spencer-Fleming mysteries that feature the Rev. Clare Fergusson, a young Episcopal priest who has been an Army helicopter pilot! Like the Coel mysteries, these feature romance and look at issues facing churches, both national and local. The first title in this series is In the Bleak Mid-Winter. I highly recommend both of these series. If you like mysteries, I also recommend Diane Mott Davidson and (for cat lovers) Lillian Jackson Braun (The Cat Who...) and and Rita Mae Brown's Mrs. Murphy Mysteries. Can you tell I like mysteries???

Anything by Luanne Rice is a must read...I just finished reading Cloud Nine, sad, but very well written...Nora Roberts is also a good choice...I read pretty much anything...For teens...try The Outsiders by Avi, Speak (I can't believe I forgot the author's name. It is an excellent book for teenage girls to read. It sends a powerful message to all). That's all I have for now...Enjoy your reading...I love to read...

I like to re-read some of my favorite classics in the summer-- This year it's A Tale of Two Cities and To Kill a Mockingbird. I am also reading the series The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith. For my middle school ESL students, I have recently read Thunder From the Sea by Joan Hiatt Harlow, who is a new author for me. It takes place in Newfoundland in 1929, and I enjoyed it very much. I will use it with my intermediate-level ESL students in the fall.

Now that I've finally finished my PhD, I hope to read some of the books on my "To Read" piles, including Secret Life of Bees, Life of Pi, Kite Runner, Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress, Teacher Man and lots of professional books related to teacher leadership. But, to start out the summer, I am reading The Devil Wears Prada--couldn't resist after seeing a preview for the movie which looks like it will be hilarious.

For all the teachers who want to inspire themselves and later their students read Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman. This is a great story filled with humor and great eye opening lessons.

I plan on reading a giant Beatles biography, recommended to me by my educational hip-hop friend Emcee Escher (http://www.flocabulary.com), as well as Wanderlust by Rebecca Solnit, a San Franciscan who likes walking.

I have had the opportunity to get a sneak peak at a great book coming out from Warner Books this July 2007, it's called FOREVER MY LADY by first-time novelist, Jeff Rivera. (http://www.ForeverMyLady.com) I know a ton of teachers have recommended it as part of their reading program for their teens but it's also a great book for adults too.

I also recommend a fun chick lit book, it's kind of old but it's called The First Assistant, if you're a fan of The Devil Wears Prada you'll love that book.

And of course the upcoming Harry Potter book looks good to. It's the last one in the series (so they say although I wouldn't be surprised years later if she comes out with just one more or a spin-off from one of the other characters)

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