I’m sure I’m not the only one that had fond memories of summer reading contests at my local library. I remember racing down the street, much to my mothers chagrin, tearing through the doors and then slowing to a speed walk at the stern looks of the librarians inside. But nothing beat the moment of excitement when the smiling librarian handed me my list of summer reading scavenger hunt tasks. It’d have easy to complete tasks on it that were book focused such as:
- Read a book and make a paper book cover for it.
- Choose a character in a book and make a bookmark with them on it.
- Find 10 character names in (Book Title).
- Design a book bag to carry all of your library books in.
- Bring in your favorite book.
There were only 10 to 15 tasks but you’d get a little prize for each one you completed (like candy, bookmarks or little toys) and a larger prize if you finished them all (a trip to the latest loud and trendy kid restaurant like Chuck E. Cheese or a book bag). Though I rarely managed to make it through all of the tasks I was thrilled to try. It occurs to me that this could be an excellent incentive for kids to read at home even without the libraries help, parents could supply the books and prizes. In the spirit of this childhood wonder I’ve decided to post the books I’m looking forward to reading this summer (keep in mind I haven’t read them yet-Let me know if you like them!).
I’m cheating a little with my first choice, Smitten Kitchen Cookbook as it comes out on Oct. 30th, but I couldn’t help it. I’ve had this book in my Amazon shopping cart since the listing appeared months ago. For those of you unfamiliar with the Smitten Kitchen blog, you really should check it out. I especially recommend the Homemade Poptarts and Whole-Wheat Goldfish. Yummmm. And the great news is you don’t have to wait until the cookbook is out to give those recipes a try!
The Green Shore is a brand new book (released June 6th) by author Natalie Bakopoulos. It’s set in both Athens, Greece and Paris, France in the late 1960’s. While Greece struggles with a military dictatorship, we follow the story of one family as they look for love and fulfillment. I’m sure that I will be particularly interested in the stories of the two daughters: Sophie, who joins the dictatorship’s resistance with her well-off boyfriend; and Anna who, while quiet at first, will become a student activist herself. The book has already been recommended by the New York Times Magazine and featured in Oprah Magazine, so it promises to be a good read!
**UPDATED July 31st 2012** I can no longer recommend this novel (Imagine) as a promising summer read in light of the recent discovery that Jonah Lehrer fabricated quotes within its pages. The print book has since been recalled from stores and Lehrer has resigned from his position at the New Yorker. It is an unfortunate and costly mistake that tarnishes an otherwise promising novel.
Now for the graphic novel choice. Design superstar Chip Kidd and illustrator extraordinaire Dave Taylor have just released Batman: Death by Design. Gotham City is under construction when disaster strikes all over town as one catastrophe after another strikes construction sites. A classic mystery with richly developed drawings. Though it’s not the same action packed Batman we’ve become accustomed to, I’m certainly looking forward to perusing its pages.