My friend Sue who blogs at Book By Book is hosting her seventh annual Big Book Summer Challenge and I am on it this year! You can read the challenge details here (note that she has a Goodreads group for those of you who don’t blog), but, in short, the goal is to read books over 400 pages between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
I have a few on my list that I plan to read this summer:
The Odyssey by Homer (8th Century B.C.) The new translation by Emily Wilson (2018). The text of this beautiful new edition from W.W. Norton is 525 pages. I’ve read The Odyssey twice before. Once in high school and again in college. In college, we used the Lattimore edition. The big deal about Wilson’s new translation is its the first time a translation of The Odyssey has been published by a woman and not just any woman, but one who is a thoughtful, careful translator. Here’s an interesting interview Wilson to get you started if you want to learn more.
Little Women by Louise May Alcott (1868). I’ll be re-reading this classic for the Book Cougars read-along in June. In fact, we’re hosting a whole Summer of Little Women that you can learn more about here. Unlike many of my contemporaries, I didn’t grow up reading Little Women. In fact, I was one of those know-it-alls who felt that she knew what the book was about from having seen adaptations and reading about the novel. I didn’t read it until I was in my 30s and really enjoyed it.
Middlemarch by George Eliot (1871-2). I’ve only read one novel by Eliot, Adam Bede, which I liked despite having read it in a class with a professor who was as boring as dust. That was way back in college and I’ve wanted to read what many consider her masterpiece since then. I own an Oxford World’s Classic mass market paperback that is 682 pages long but will soon be seeking out a trade paper edition with a larger font. Suggestions welcome!
One of Ours by Willa Cather (1922). I’ll be reading the 459-page first edition of this Pulitzer Prize-winning World War I novel. This will be a re-read for me for the July meeting of the Willa Cather Book Group at the Book Club Bookstore & More in South Windsor, CT on July 19th at 2pm. All are welcome to join. I adore this novel.
Free Food for Millionaires by Min Jin Lee (2007). I’ll be reading a beautiful new and more compact paperback edition of this novel that’s coming out June 5, 2018 from Grand Central Publishing. It weighs in at 624 pages. I was curious about this novel when it first came out but never got around to it. I read and fell in love with Pachinko early last year before all the (well-warranted) hype hit. I’m really looking forward to reading what is Lee’s first novel in her trilogy about the Korean diaspora.
What are your reading plans this summer?