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Summer Reading List 2011

mfranti - June 21, 2011

Cross-posted at ourmotherskeeper.com

It’s officially summer! And the City of Salt is beaming its beauty into my front room; a slight breeze causes the curtains to dance, tree leaves reflect sunlight onto my face, and birds loudly proclaim their agenda for the day–obscuring the voices coming from kitchen radio. From my living-room window, the visible twin peaks of Mt. Olympus still wear a thick mantle of white, suggesting mid-winter, but the dense green canopy shading my neighborhood’s streets tell another story.

As does the blinding sun and the garden and weeds in the back yard that require my immediate attention. But before I tend to my chores, I just have to write this post (a familiar refrain to many bloggers).

As I type this, my bare feet are surrounded by at least 20 books. I’m sure y’all have this problem too. When I check them out I’m always hopeful that I’ll get around to all of them before they’re due back to the library. It never happens.

But if I had to pick two that I’ll finish reading by the end of the summer, I’d say the first is Wendell Berry’s, The Unsettling of America. From the first paragraph of the first chapter I was hooked. That man knows how to drive home a point. What’s the book about? I don’t know yet, I’m only a few pages in, but I can tell you it’s a critique of American agribusiness the American culture at large. Even though it was written in 1977, it feels every bit as relevant as if it were written in 2007. I’m excited to finish this book.

Second, I’m going to revisit Barbara Kingsolver’s, High Tide in Tucson. It’s a collection of previously published essays and nature writing at its finest (I highly recommend Small Wonder too if you’re into that sort of thing). She’s what I read when I want to relax and be inspired. Ms. Kingsolver makes me love writing and she’s done more to inspire me–a person that doesn’t enjoy or has any talent in the area of writing, to give it try. So far, it’s been painful.

A third choice is up in the air. Like I said, I have 20ish books at my feet and a library card that I’m not afraid to use. Maybe you’ll inspire me with your picks.

What’s on your summer reading list?


  1. The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson. A remarkable recounting of the “Great Migration” of African-Americans from the South to the North and the West during the period 1915-1975–with interesting insights into family and community history, the civil rights movement, and immigration.

    Comment by Mark B. — June 21, 2011 @ 2:04 pm

  2. Mark,

    That sounds fantastic. History and geography–sounds like my cuppa.

    Comment by mfranti — June 21, 2011 @ 2:21 pm

  3. No Rawls?

    Comment by JJ Rousseau — June 21, 2011 @ 4:05 pm

  4. Chris, you cannot hide from me.

    What are you reading?

    Comment by mfranti — June 21, 2011 @ 8:25 pm

  5. I am mostly reading freshman exams.

    Comment by Chris H. — June 22, 2011 @ 8:48 am

  6. I feel sorry for you.

    Comment by mfranti — June 22, 2011 @ 8:49 am

  7. It does pay the bills. :)

    Comment by Chris H. — June 22, 2011 @ 8:58 am

  8. Halfway through “The Jesus Wars” by Philip Jenkins, hope to finish Jules Verne’s “Mysterious Island” and maybe get started on either Neuromancer or Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep.

    That and an endless supply of board game rulebooks;)

    Comment by Bret — June 22, 2011 @ 7:48 pm

  9. Epitaph for a Peach: Four Seasons on My Family Farm by David Mas Masumoto is a great summer read for foodies and gardeners.

    Comment by Course Correction — June 23, 2011 @ 6:35 pm

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