I have an ambitious reading list for this summer. Just like my dedication of two hours to write a day (or ten hours per week), I’m challenging myself to read for ninety minutes a day on Monday thru Wednesday plus Friday, or six hour a week. I tend to read 40 pages in an hour, 50 when I’m really feeling it, so if we take my optimistic number and combine it with six hours that’s 300 pages per week. Starting this week through the end of August, that’s fifteen weeks or 4500 pages. …That seems like a lot. I may have to re-think this. In the meantime, let’s get a little ambitious this morning!
All of these are selections I’ve never read before, so I have a completely fresh slate of stories awaiting me. Here they are in no particular order:
Road Dogs by Elmore Leonard (fiction novel, 272 pages)
The Last Picture Show by Larry McMurtry (fiction novel, 288 pages) * Excelsior UMC Men’s Book Club selection
On the Road by Jack Kerouac (nonfiction novel, 307 pages) * Excelsior UMC Men’s Book Club selection
A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson (nonfiction novel, 274 pages) * Excelsior UMC Men’s Book Club selection
The View From the Seventh Layer by Kevin Brockemeier (short story collection, 288 pages)
Tin House #39 (short stories and poetry, 200 pages)
I’m Sorry You Feel That Way by Diana Joseph (nonfiction short story collection, 208 pages)
Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell (nonfiction, 320 pages)
Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein (fiction, 528 pages… I can’t find the abridged version, which the Ron Book Team has decided is just fine for our summer reading) * Ron Book Team selection
How to Think Theologically by Howard W. Stone & James O. Duke (textbook, 126 pages)
Best American Short Stories 2008 (short story collection, 384 pages)
The Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeier (fiction novel, 272 pages)
I also have the following to “read” on audio, all of which are re-reads for me:
On Writing by Stephen King (nonfiction novel)
Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman (short story collection)
Up in Honey’s Room by Elmore Leonard (fiction novel)
The Areas of My Expertise by John Hodgman (kinda-sorta-not-really nonfiction novel)
From a Buick 8 by Stephen King (fiction novel)
That’s only 2235 pages – a far cry from the 4500 pages I calculated above. I think I’m going to be reading a lot slower than at my 50-pages per hour clip. I’ll be reading short stories and each one of those deserves to be digested slowly like little meals unto themselves. Some of the novels are for Men’s Book Club and I want to slow down and annotate them so I can better lead discussion sessions. And others I hope are so good I’ll need to slow down and savor them (Road Dogs). I’ll keep you posted as I finish different stories.
Right now, Kelly and I are almost finished with the audio version of From a Buick 8 and I’m about forty pages into The Last Picture Show and really enjoying it. I hope to finish it before I go to camp and start on a new book by then, too (that’s June 13, for readers who aren’t in the know).
What are you reading this summer?