Thursday, June 25, 2015

Summer Reading with Pam Fisher, RRVWP Co-Director

Ah, summer! As a teacher, one of the things I like best about summer is the increased amount of time I can dedicate to reading. In a summer schedule packed with professional development and family get-togethers and weddings, I have to figure out how much reading can I squeeze in. And with the abundance of material available, what should I read?

As I belong to two book clubs, the Grand Forks Central Book Club and the Red River Valley Writing Project Book Club, some of my summer reading is "required." Beyond that, I am free to choose what and how much I'll read. This summer, I have set myself an ambitious goal of reading 21 books from a variety of genres.

My favorite, go-to leisure reading genre is murder mysteries, so I try to limit how many of these I read and then challenge myself to undertake different genres. I'll make it a point to read some non-fiction; this summer's selection is a memoir. I want to read some youth literature to keep abreast of award-winners and stay in step with what students may be reading; continue on or finish book series; and read professional literature, both about teaching and learning in general and about content specific to what I teach, Spanish.

As a writer, I am trying to improve my poetry, so I need to read at least one book of poems during the summer. I always have a quantity of books hanging around that I have started but not finished, and this summer is no exception, so I have tasked myself to finish one previously-begun book, particularly as this book is on loan from a friend. And, of course, there are novels that have been recommended to me by friends, bloggers, and some algorithm at, books whose colorful shiny spines entice me to include them on the list.

Here, then, are the book club selections, pleasure reads, and texts I have assigned myself to read (which I hope will be pleasurable as well) for this summer:

Book Club Reads: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy, The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, My Life in France by Julia Child, El Deafo (not pictured)

Memoir: Every Day in Tuscany by Frances Mayes

Mysteries and Thrillers: Little Black Lies by Sharon Bolton, Agent 6 by Tom Robb Smith

Novels: The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton, Instructions for a Heatwave by Maggie O'Farrell, The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant

Poetry: The Trouble with Poetry by Billy Collins

Professional Books (Education and Literacy): Mindset by Carol Dweck and Write Like This by Kelly Gallagher.

Professional Books (Spanish-related): Mi mundo adorado by Sonia Sotomayor, In the Time of Butterflies by Julia Alvarez

Started and Need to Finish/Borrowed Book: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Youth Literature: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, P.S. Be Eleven by Rita Williams Garcia, Matched by Ally Condie, Flora & Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo