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What’s on YOUR summer reading list?

Lolly has designed a beautiful PDF of our annual summer reading list–please download and distribute as you will. I hasten to add that this is the good kind of s.r.l., one designed for pleasure reading, not to Improve you.

I’m currently shuttling between (among?) Anna Karenina, William Langewiesche’s The Outlaw Sea, and Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl (on audio). They’re all great and each a relief from the others. Gone Girl is driving me slightly crazy because it involves a fictional children’s book series that was allegedly wildly popular, but descriptions of and quotes from the “Amazing Amy” series make it sound like it would have been out of touch forty years ago, much less today. Maybe this will be explained in the end, because Flynn is an awfully cunning writer and otherwise sharply observant. What are YOU reading?

Roger Sutton About Roger Sutton

Roger Sutton has been the editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc, since 1996. He was previously editor of The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books and a children's and young adult librarian. He received his M.A. in library science from the University of Chicago in 1982 and a B.A. from Pitzer College in 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @RogerReads.



  1. Done with GONE GIRL and now near the end of BRINGING UP THE BODIES (audio). Considering Michael Frayn’s SKIOS next based on reviews or maybe I’ll give MIDDLEMARCH another stab. (Last time I gave up when the politics seemed to be taking over.)

  2. Amazing Amy felt to me like a bad mash-up of Betsy-Tacy and PRNaylor’s Alice, with a Berenstain/Dick & Jane cherry on top.

  3. Just started Jonathan Auxier’s Peter Nimble and his Fantastic Eyes and about halfway through Fault in Our Stars, and slowly making my way through some children’s lit theory before the fall, currently I’m on Morag Styles and Martin Salisbury’s “Children’s Picturebooks” which is really great! Oh and listening to Pam Munoz Ryan’s The Dreamer. Thanks for the summer reading list!

  4. I just finished To Kill A Mockingbird, started Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s Leaf Storm and Wonder by R.J. Palacio is next on my list!

  5. I just read Ellen Klages’ The Green Glass Sea and its sequel, White Sands, Red Menace. I realize I am several years behind. The Green Glass Sea was truly an extraordinary book and its minutiae of history absolutely compelling. The sequel. while not quite so riveting, was very emotionally satisfying.

  6. Just read BREAKING STALIN’S NOSE. Loved it. I had checked it out from the library. Today I bought a copy to keep.

  7. Currently reading The Presidents Club: Inside the World’s Most Exclusive Fraternity by Nancy Gibbs. Wasn’t sure if I would enjoy it–I like presidential history, but this seemed to have a very narrow focus (it looks at the relationships between presidents and their successors/predecessors). It’s fantastic–very compelling. After that, it’s Code Name Verity and the new history of Superman by Larry Tye.

  8. Katie Bircher Katie Bircher says:

    I’m looking forward to Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer by Novella Carpenter:
    Of course, I have to finish my Guide reviews first!

  9. It’s been my experience that people who are otherwise intelligent and sharply observant can be extremely clueless about the current state of children’s literature.

    Summer reading! Traveling right now in Tokyo: reading a battered 1980s copy of Shogun I bought in a used bookstore at home in the U.S. and a brand new copy of Heart of a Samurai that I bought at Kinokuniya here in in Japan. (The salesclerks wrap paperbacks in a brown paper dust cover!) When I get home, I plan to read the Vorkosigan saga by Lois McMaster Bujold. I read Cordelia’s Honor earlier this year, and decided that it was a series MADE for summer reading.

    I am super excited to read Liar & Spy in August. Oh, and I highly recommend reading all four of Megan Whalen Turner’s Thief books, in a row; that was my summer reading last year and it was GREAT.

  10. I have an admission. I’m reading Esperanza Rising, beautifully written by Pam Munoz. Even though the book belongs to my child, I’m savoring my “summer” book…along with others.

  11. Lynn Van Auken says:

    For my MCBA reading so far, I listened to and thoroughly enjoyed Frances O’Roark Dowell’s Falling In, but couldn’t get past the first two recorded chapters of The Sixty-Eight Rooms. I joined a book club after a 25 year hiatus and reread A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (was Johnny Nolan gay?) and am now about half way through The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker. So far, so good, but I could do without the “If we’d only known . . . ” reflective bits that end so many chapters.

  12. I’m most of the way through the somewhat trashy and entirely entertaining The American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin (“If you like Downton Abbey…”). Said heiress is named Cora, and so far she’s run into a Lady Sybil and a footman named Thomas (no relation to the Crawleys 🙂

  13. I’m also reading Gone Girl and thought the same about Amazing Amy. Also finished reading Kill You Twice by Chelsea Cain. I tend to read a lot of murder mysteries during the summer.

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