Spark Notes is the Devil (and My Summer Reading List)


It happens all the time, but it still confuses me when I meet people who don't read. Like, they haven't read a book. Ever.


How did you get through high school?!

Don't say Spark Notes.

Say it.

I know TV is more exciting and blah blah blah, but seriously. Books are where it's at, people! 

I guess I can't really convince you to read more if you aren't already in the habit. But if I could, I would help you out with the following summer reading list courtesy of my personal favorites and the recommendations I got from my shout-out to all my bookishly inclined friends on Facebook. (I stole this idea for a summer reading list from Melinda.)

On my to-read list: 

-The Divergent Series by Veronica Roth (I've heard they are similar to The Hunger Games)
-The House at Riverton by Kate Morton
-Snow Falling on Cedars by David Gutterson
-Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin (author of The Happiness Project)
-Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain
-The Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon
-Any Human Heart by William Boyd

My personal favorites (in no particular order): 

-The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
-Born to Run by Christopher McDougall
-The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien
-Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth
-A Song of Ice and Fire Series by George RR Martin
-11/22/63 by Stephen King
-Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
-The Scarlet Pimpernel by Emmuska Orczy
-Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
-A Voice in the Wind by Francine Rivers
-Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery (*my favorite of the favorites)

Other great reads:

-The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
-The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
-In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez
-Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

*You can find reviews of some of these books on this blog here. Find me on Goodreads here.

What's on your summer reading list?
Anything else I should add to mine?
Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness!!! Greg has read Snow Falling On Cedars... I keep avoiding it for some odd reason. HE ALSO just read Any Human Heart and LOVED it. This, too, I have yet to read. He'll be happy there's a list out there where he beats me on how many books he's read haha You have a great list here!

Kerry @ Till Then Smile Often said...

I love to read everyday! I read at least 2 books a week, though they are all over the map in taste and genre. I don't understand either how some people don't read!!

Unknown said...

1. I hate Spark Notes! People need to read, for the love of God.

2. The Divergent Series is on my Kindle, and I can't wait to read them!

3. Snow Falling on Cedars is great! It was part of my AP English summer reading (many moons ago, haha) and I loved it.

4. I'm currently reading Quiet, and it's amazing. Have you seen Susan Cain's TED talk? It's on youtube.

I have a ton on my summer reading list that I can't wait to get to!

Anonymous said...

I have always been a voracious reader, and never understood people who didn't like reading!

Ashley @TheCreamToMyCoffee said...

Thanks for sharing your reading list! I always like adding books to my (way too long) list. I've read the Outlander series (at least the first 4 - there are like a hundred) and that first book is awesome and... steamy. You'll like it :)

Oh and I will never understand people who don't read. EVER. Why watch the movie if there is a book??? The book is ALWAYS better. Always.

anna lizbeth said...

great list :) i am going to add a couple of those to mine! i just read forgotten garden also by morton and it was a great read!

Breenah said...

I LOVE reading, but right after I had Quinn I just couldn't focus enough to read (and she wanted held all the time) and it's so hard getting back into it.

Breenah said...

Also, I HATED The Night Circus. Just throwing that out there.
You should check out the Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld, they're my absolute favorite (and kind of same tone as Hunger Games).
AND last thing, do you have a Goodreads account?

17 Perth said...

I love reading!! And yes...summer is a great time to pick up a new book...or 3! Lol. Currently, I'm reading one serious, one funny and one in between. I never thought I would be a person who read more than one book a once--but I totally am! Lol. Definitely adding a few of these to my list! :)

Curious Runner said...

I love books! Especially at summer time! Totally going to read Born to Run, thanks for the recommendation. Have you read the Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hossini? They are great books!

Abbey said...

I just started The Happiness Project!! and I loved the Divergent series -- or the first two, I guess. I hope you do too!

Allison said...

I can't understand how people don't like to read. It is one of the things I am most enjoying about my summer so far. I am reading another Kate Morton book right now...The Distant Hours. Let me know what you think of The House at Riverton. I really enjoyed it, but it was my least favorite of her four books.

Erin said...

I don't get non-readers either. They are missing out on SO MUCH!!

Other than Anne of Green Gables, I have not ready a single book on your personal favorites list. I'm definitely pinning this and will try to read some of these this summer!!

Tiffani P said...

1) Most of my reading now comes in 20 minute increments when nursing the baby at 4am or rocking her to sleep for her naps. But that being said, I have read a TON of books in the last three months.
2) My brother used to hate reading (even though the rest of us love it) - but recently, at 35, he has discovered that there are books out there he might like. He read the first two of the Harry Dresden series (novels about a "professional wizard" which are pretty entertaining), and then decided to read the Hunger Games and read it in 2 days! So have grace with those "I don't read" people - they may change their stripes later.
3) a couple books I've discovered recently that I highly recommend:
a) "The Shadow of the Wind" by Zafon. Excellent - mysterious, exciting, and ends as well as it begins.
b) "Maisie Dobbs" by Winspear (and the subsequent books in the series). About a woman who is an "investigator and psychologist" in England following WWI. Great setting, terrific characters, thoughtful themes and exciting mysteries.
4) can you tell I love mysteries? I have since I was in 4th grade reading Encyclopedia Brown and Nancy Drew.
5) can you tell I love lists?
6) happy reading. Tiff

Steph G said...

I LOVED the Divergent books. Try to put those off a little because once you finish the second one, you'll be sad the third isn't out until October.

Robin Norgren, M.A, R-YT, Spiritual Director said...

I am adding "Quiet" to my list, "The Happiness Project was life changing for me 3 years ago, and what I am reading now is called "The Power of Starting Something Stupid"