Reading Lists: June and July

by Kim on July 5, 2011 · 31 comments

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For the last several months I’ve been putting together a list of books I’m hoping to read during that month. Some months have been more successful than others, but it’s still fun to think about books, make the list, and have it around for a guide if I get stuck trying to decide what to read.

I had a list of eight books I wanted to finished in June. I ended up reading nine books, but only four of them were from the original list (those in bold below):

  1. Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind by Ellen F. Brown and John Riley
  2. Unfinished Business by Lee Kravitz
  3. The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth by Alexandra Robbins
  4. Election by Tom Perotta
  5. Tolstoy and the Purple Chair by Nina Sankovitch
  6. The Housekeeper and the Professor Yoko Ogawa
  7. The Center of Everything Laura Moriarty
  8. Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann
  9. The Secret Ingredient by Laura Schaefer
All great books, but really, June was not my most successful month following “the list.” I blame Tolstoy and the Purple Chair, which sent me off on a fiction binge that knocked all sorts of good nonfiction off my radar. However, July is another month. Here’s what I’d like to get to:

  1. Haiti: After the Earthquake, by Paul Farmer, which I’m reviewing for our local newspaper.
  2. The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir for the Year of Feminist Classics project. I even bought a copy of the new translation… so I better actually read this!
  3. PAGE ONE: Inside the New York Times, a review copy from Public Affairs that I am So. Excited. About.
  4. Sex at Dawn by Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jethá, a review copy I received sometime last year that’s coming out in paperback this month.
  5. The Kitchen Daughter by Jael McHenry for BookClubSandwich (July 25! Join us!).
  6. The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet for my Madison-area book club.
  7. Something Inside of Me by Chitoka Webb, a review copy from BEA that I’d like to get to.
  8. One Day I Will Write About This Place by Binyavanga Wainaina, a new book coming out from Graywolf Press that I picked up at BEA.

I also really want to finish Unnatural Selection by Mara Hvistendahl, which I started last month but put aside during Fiction-Palooza, June 13 to 30, 2010. The book was really good, but a little much for my pre-vacation, summer brain to handle.

What books are you most excited to read in July?

Photo Credit: Rob Warde via Flickr

{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

bermudaonion (Kathy) July 5, 2011 at 6:52 pm

I don’t plan ahead unless I’ve agreed to read a book by a certain date. I’m sure I would fail completely if I made lists like that. The Kitchen Daughter is so good!

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Kim July 6, 2011 at 5:47 pm

Some of the books on the list are books for a certain date, others are ones that are coming out this month that I’d like to read. I do a decent job with the lists — I think I have more fun making them than following them!

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Misha July 5, 2011 at 7:57 pm

I don’t read much non-fiction, but I’ve heard so much about Tolstoy and the Purple Chair by Nina Sankovitch that I really want to read it.

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Kim July 6, 2011 at 5:47 pm

I really enjoyed Tolstoy and the Purple Chair — its definitely a book for people who loves reading.

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Cass July 5, 2011 at 8:07 pm

How do you plan like this?? I don’t even know what I’m going to read next, let alone during the entire month!

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Kim July 6, 2011 at 5:48 pm

It’s a mix — some are books for obligations (book club, reviews for a certain date), others are just books I have that are coming out this month, and others are ones I’m just excited to read. I like having a smaller list to choose from when I pick my next book.

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Jean Lewis July 6, 2011 at 5:54 am

GONE WITH THE WIND is one of my all time favs.

Very ambitious list for July!

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Kim July 6, 2011 at 5:49 pm

I liked that one too — and this book about the book was great. I hope you get a chance to read it!

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Amy July 6, 2011 at 6:10 am

Oohhh congrats on your June reading and what a great list for July. I’m slightly jealous by your new translation of de Beauvoir! I am also hoping to read Farmer, and JUST picked up Sex at Dawn on audio! Too funny :)

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Kim July 6, 2011 at 5:49 pm

I splurged on the de Beauvoir book, so I better read it. And wow, you and I are like the same reading person :)

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nomadreader (Carrie) July 6, 2011 at 9:13 am

You’ve got a busy reading July planned too! I will eagerly await your thoughts on Page One. I think I would love it, but I’m always hesitant with non-fiction (I know, I know). I’m hoping to squeeze in The Kitchen Daughter in time for discussion, as Jael is a local-ish writer. Happy reading!

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Kim July 6, 2011 at 5:50 pm

Yes, July will be really busy! I hope I can read a lot of books, since so many of them seem like fun. I hope you’ll be able to join us for The Kitchen Daughter!

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Meghan July 6, 2011 at 12:01 pm

I always try to do this – plan out what I might read next month – but somehow it never works out for me! My excitement for the chosen books doesn’t diminish, they somehow just get pushed out of the way for other books. Your July list looks very good though, I hope you manage to get to them so I can read your reviews. :)

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Kim July 6, 2011 at 5:51 pm

It doesn’t always work for me, but I like making the list :) I hope I get to all of them (and make times to write reviews!).

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Maphead July 6, 2011 at 8:35 pm

Man oh man. I’ve spent the last two days trying to compile a short list of what I’d like to read this month and it’s been really hard. So far my “short list’ looks like this:
1. Case for God by Karen Armstrong
2. Breaking the Spell by Daniel Dennett
3. The Faith Instinct by Nicholas Wade
4. Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi
5. Spying on the Bomb: American Nuclear Intelligence from Nazi Germany to Iran and North Korea by Jeffrey Richelson

And if I can somehow get a copy of The Social Animal by David Brooks I’ll be a very happy camper.

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Kim July 9, 2011 at 12:27 pm

Putting together the list can be hard. I really hope you get to Reading Lolita in Tehran — that one of my favorites. I’m also curious about The Social Animal.

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Maphead July 10, 2011 at 11:52 am

Good news-Yesterday afternoon while visiting my neighborhood library I found a copy of The Social Animal. Score !
I started reading it this morning at the coffee shop. As soon as I’m finished with it I’ll post a review.

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Kim July 12, 2011 at 7:00 pm

Nice! I can’t wait to hear what you think and whether I should make a point to read it too.

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Kailana July 6, 2011 at 11:01 pm

I am trying to not make many plans at all because June was a depressing reading month…

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Kim July 9, 2011 at 12:27 pm

I hope July is a better reading month :)

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Care July 7, 2011 at 9:03 am

Wait. You made a WHOLE new list rather than moving the ones you missed in June?! Oh, I do want you to read the Housekeeper and the Professor!!!!!

:)

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Kim July 9, 2011 at 12:27 pm

It does seem silly when you put it that way :) And I did read The Housekeeper and the Professor — I really liked it!

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David Abrams July 8, 2011 at 12:35 pm

This month, I’m hoping to finally get around to reading Siobhan Fallon’s short story collection “You Know When the Men Are Gone.” It’s been sitting on my To-Be-Read Pile (aka Mount Neverest) for months.

“The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet,” by the way, is fantastic.

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Kim July 9, 2011 at 12:28 pm

Sound like geat books — good luck. And yay, glad The Thousand Autumns… is great!

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Colleen July 9, 2011 at 5:01 pm

I thought of you when I heard about Page One – it does sound fascinating. I have a lot of books of my list for July and hope I can get through them all. I definitely plan to join for the Kitchen Daughter.

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Kim July 12, 2011 at 7:01 pm

I skimmed the essays in Page One and some of them seem a little basic (well, for me, since I did my master’s in journalism), but overall I’m looking forward to reading that one.

And yay for The Kitchen Daughter — I really need to get started with that one!

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Christy (A Good Stopping Point) July 9, 2011 at 7:19 pm

I read an article about Unnatural Selection, and I’ll be really interested to hear what you think about it after you finish. It’s a complex topic to delve into and I hope the book does it justice.

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Kim July 12, 2011 at 7:02 pm

So far the book is doing a great job, especially not making the issues as black and white as I imagine some people would hope it would. It’s a complex, emotional topic, for sure.

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Judy July 15, 2011 at 7:30 pm

One Day I will Write About this Place is on my list, too. I’m glad you mentioned it because I don’t think many people are aware of it. Looks to be an interesting read.

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Kim July 17, 2011 at 6:59 am

It’s a small press book, so I think sometimes people miss those. I’m hoping its great and I can convince some people to give it a try :)

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