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Summer reading

April 7, 2010

As usual, I’m writing ahead of the seasons. My editor at the Ledger just sent me a glorious pile of YA fiction to read, to create a summer reading list that goes against the grain of the typical assigned high school books.

I’ve always been an avid reader. A fairly eclectic reader, too, even in high school. But I remember there was something about assigned summer reading that chafed my spirit. I loved to read of course. I was at the library twice a week for stacks of fiction (science fiction and fantasy, especially in high school.) Traditional fiction and YA fiction, too.

But… some of the assigned books were so awful. I remember kicking myself very hard for accidentally reading the wrong Hemingway, and then having to go read another. (Still not a fan.) I remember that my Uncle Ron, who taught high school English,  read Far From the Madding Crowd in tandem with me. That made it sort of better. I had someone to growl to about the things I disliked. I remember that Member of the Wedding gave me a nightmarish, claustrophobic feeling. Which might have been the point. Wide Sargasso Sea was spooky too– but, because so much about it was tropical, it made for all right summer reading I think.

Which brings me to my two lovely boxes of YA novels that I get to read and write about and recommend to teenagers who are probably suffering the same books I remember. I’m glad it was hot and summery weather today. Puts me in the right frame of mind.

I feel like a happy bookish teenager myself.

Or– the cool, slightly nerdy younger aunt to all of New Jersey’s teen population. Thus far… no contenders for the Stephenie Meyer award for sparkly vampire insipidity.

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