I love the concept of Summer Reading. It often seems that non-academic reading is a pleasure that needs to be put off during the semester. If one does indulge the non-academic reading habit it needs to be kept secret, like watching Smash. Despite my responsibilities both as a student and as teaching assistant this summer, I plan to use the extra hours of daylight to dip into some juicy beach reads.
In order to manage my ever-growing list of books I want to read, I use a service called Goodreads. Goodreads is a social network exclusively devoted to sharing book suggestions, share what you are currently reading, and give ratings and reviews to those books. I have an active Goodreads community that is dangerous to look at because I end up adding their recently read books to my To-Be-Read pile. It also has a smartphone app so if I find myself at the library or bookstore, I can consult my list when I need it. Most recently I picked up Wolf Hall, by Hilary Mantel. The sequel to this book was highlight in the New York Times “Books for Basking” and a friend had reviewed it on Goodreads, so I went for it. I’ve been reading it in the backyard as my kids play in the sandbox and loving every minute.
This summer on June 7th, a social media campaign is under way for all ages to share Summer Reading picks. We are all encouraged to head over to Twitter with our book titles and tag them with #summerreading. For more information, see this blog post from the New York Times Learning Network.
Finally, I plan to do a little psuedo-academic reading. I have devoted time to working my way through everything that B.F. Skinner wrote for what I’ve dubbed “The Summer of Skinner.” Although this is tangentially related to my research interests and doctoral work, it’s a stretch. Feel free to join me in my Skinner box, too.
What are your summer reading plans? Any good book suggestions? Be sure to share them in the comments!
[Image by Flickr user Rsms and used under the Creative Commons license]
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Why pursue creative writing during grad school? Because playing with alternate genres can help your research: bit.ly/1WWvkw0