Summer 2012 Reads

Ah, summer.  Hot.  Hazy.  Lazy.  Lounging under the shade of the trees in my back yard.  Love it.  As spring heats up and foreshadows the seemingly endless summer sunshine, I cannot help but think about what I want to read.

Summer is the time to do it.  I have to squeeze reading in between writing, preparing for the upcoming school year, being enchanted by the world with my three year old, and reconnecting with friends, family and my awesome husband.  It’s doable, right?

My summer 2012 reading list is modest in order to make it (hopefully) achievable:

Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Goodreads summary: In their youth, Florentino Ariza and Fermina Daza fall passionately in love. When Fermina eventually chooses to marry a wealthy, well-born doctor, Florentino is devastated, but he is a romantic. As he rises in his business career he whiles away the years in 622 affairs–yet he reserves his heart for Fermina. Her husband dies at last, and Florentino purposefully attends the funeral. Fifty years, nine months, and four days after he first declared his love for Fermina, he will do so again. (image courtesy of

I love, love, love Gabriel Garcia Marquez’ works.  And cannot wait to dig into this one.  Abandoned love that lasts fifty years, nine months and four days?  I’m in.  This one will work towards the Back to the Classics Challenge 2012.

Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys

Goodreads summary:  Wide Sargasso Sea is the story of Antoinette Cosway, a Creole heiress who grew up in the West Indies on a decaying plantation. When she comes of age she is married off to an Englishman, and he takes her away from the only place she has known […].  The novel is Rhys’s answer to Jane Eyre. Charlotte Brontë’s book had long haunted her, mostly for the story it did not tell– Antoinette is Rhys’s imagining of a locked-up woman and Wide Sargasso Sea follows her voyage into the dark, both from her point of view and Rochester’s. It is a voyage charged with soul-destroying lust. (image courtesy of

Caribbean heat?  A dark voyage?  Jane Eyre’s Mr. Rochester?  Sign me up!  This will also knock off another Back to the Classics Challenge 2012 books.

The Throne of Fire by Rick Riordan

 Goodreads summary: Ever since the gods of Ancient Egypt were unleashed in the modern world, Carter Kane and his sister Sadie have been in trouble. As descendants of the House of Life, the Kanes have some powers at their command, but the devious gods haven’t given them much time to master their skills at Brooklyn House, which has become a training ground for young magicians.  And now their most threatening enemy yet – the chaos snake Apophis – is rising. If they don’t prevent him from breaking free in a few days’ time, the world will come to an end. In other words, it’s a typical week for the Kane family. (image courtesy of

I read the first installment of the Kane Chronicles, The Red Pyramid, last summer.  It was such a fun, quick paced read…I see many of my students reading the series and other Riordan books.  Of course I’m continuing this series to connect to my students…not because I’m indulging the little girl in me in fantasies of magic and power…no, not at all.

Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James

 from Indigo:  When literature student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young  entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful,  brilliant, and intimidating. The unworldly, innocent Ana is  startled to realize she wants this man and, despite his enigmatic  reserve, finds she is desperate to get close to him. Unable to  resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits  he wants her, too-but on his own terms.      Shocked yet thrilled by Grey’s singular erotic tastes, Ana  hesitates. For all the trappings of success-his multinational  businesses, his vast wealth, his loving family-Grey is a man  tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the  couple embarks on a daring, passionately physical affair, Ana  discovers Christian Grey’s secrets and explores her own dark  desires. (image courtesy of

I have heard very mixed reviews of this best-selling trilogy.  From the very (blush) “holy shit this is like porn!”, to the very (eye-roll) “it’s so badly written, I don’t know why people are buying this.”  I want to see what all the fuss is about.  That’s the only reason I’m reading it…promise…remember I did say I  have an awesome husband (wink)…(blush)…

The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton

Goodreads summary: A foundling, an old book of dark fairy tales, a secret garden, an aristocratic family, a love denied, and a mystery. The Forgotten Garden is a captivating, atmospheric and compulsively readable story of the past, secrets, family and memory from the international best-selling author Kate Morton.  Cassandra is lost, alone and grieving. Her much loved grandmother, Nell, has just died and Cassandra, her life already shaken by a tragic accident ten years ago, feels like she has lost everything dear to her. But an unexpected and mysterious bequest from Nell turns Cassandra’s life upside down and ends up challenging everything she thought she knew about herself and her family. (image courtesy of

I don’t know anything about this book other than I found it in my “recommended” list on goodreads.  The summary sounds intriguing…a lot like a few other books I’ve reviewed, The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane and Wildflower Hill.  Looking forward to this one.

That’s it.  That’s the list.  A bit sparse I’m sure for those of you who read a book a day (I know you’re out there)…I’m trying to be realistic because there are a billion other things I want to do this summer and if I make this list too long, I won’t do it.  A book every two weeks seems to work for me, for now.  I might finish the trilogies if I like them…promise to keep you posted.

Any feedback on my list?  What will you be reading this summer?

22 thoughts on “Summer 2012 Reads

    1. Great! I can’t wait to get it started. I’m dragging my feet on my current reads, maybe knowing that better things await will give me the motivation I need to finish what I started so I can get on with Garcia Marquez. Thanks for reading!


      1. I have work all day so a few hours in the night is all i get… I am just finishing “At Home” by Bill Bryson after which I will pick “For Whom the Bell Tolls” by Hemmingway.


        1. Cool. It’s tough to find time to read when the day is spent at work. Getting any reading in is good…I think it helps me stay sane.


  1. I’ve been on the fence about Fifty Shades of Grey too. I’m slightly turned off because I heard it is based on a fan-fic of Twilight… but I DO kind of want to see what the fuss is about too.

    As far as Riordan books go, I haven’t read any of his, but he has created a series with a number of other authors called the 39 Clues. It sounds like it’s a pretty involved mystery….I’ve added the first book to my queue just to see what it is…and I’ll fully admit I’m indulging my inner kid 🙂


    1. Yeah, those “children’s” novels really are good, aren’t they? Thanks for the tip on the 39 clues…will look it up. I’m sure I just have to ask my students. I was weary about putting fifty shades in there…only one way to find out.


      1. Let me know if any of your students have read 30 Clues and how they like it. I don’t really know anyone who has read it, though I bet my 8 year old niece would enjoy them


  2. Oh good! I know I *should* have already read Love in the Time of Cholera (did my undergrad in comparative literature) but GGM intimidates me. I did read 100 Years of Solitude a long time ago and the whole thing kind of eluded me. If I read this I’m sure I’ll have lots of questions for you!
    Wide Sargasso Sea sounds amazing!! I will definitely look for this at the library/indigo.
    I’ll pass on Throne of Fire because, unlike you, I don’t have any students to connect with. 
    I have been hearing so much about Fifty Shades of Grey – it seems to be the must read right now. I will give this one a try but I have heard that the writing is ghastly (and that’s the first time I’ve ever used ‘ghastly’ in a sentence ). But I admit – I’m kind of interested (my turn to blush – and I too have an awesome husband – hee hee!)
    I’ve read the Forgotton Garden and I really liked it! It was a quick read with some good twists.
    Look forward to reading your take on all of these! I’ll try to follow along.


    1. Thanks for trying. I know it’s hard to find reading time with a family pulling you in every direction. I will have to re-read 100 Years of Solitude one day because I’m sure I didn’t grasp most of it either – but Garcia Marquez is such a beautiful writer…give Chronicle of a Death Foretold a try. Short, eloquent and will challenge you too. Thanks for reading!


  3. Just started The Murderer’s Daughters a few days ago. So far I really like it–it hooked me in the first couple pages. Met the author at Backspace last week–she was super nice (and funny).


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