Now that summer is nigh, I’m thinking about what I’d like to read over the next few months. I have not yet decided. But at least now I can choose for myself.
At my college prep school, we were assigned summer reading. To enter eighth grade, we were assigned The Ox Bow Incident and Pride and Prejudice. This went for boys and girls. I’m so glad, because I never would have read The Ox Bow Incident if not required, and no doubt the boys never would have considered Jane Austen. Oh, and we had to read two more books, but I don’t remember them. Whoops. And yes, there were tests.
But I do remember that over the years we had to read East of Eden, Moby Dick, and Les Miserables, among others. Les Miz, weighing in at about 1,500 pages, was assigned to those of us entering 9th grade. When I told my teacher I would have been less miserable if I hadn’t had to read it, she was not amused. Oh, and we had to read three other books that summer, too. And yes, there were tests.
I did read Gone with the Wind, 1,200 pages, on my own, though. In seventh and then in eighth grade. Twice. So I developed a love for very, very long books, such as And the Ladies of the Club by Helen Hooven Santmyer, and The Wheel of Fortune by Susan Howatch. I literally had dreams about Susan’s characters.
I don’t suppose many of these qualify as traditional summer reads, but I’ll never forget them.
How do you define summer reading?
What is your favorite book you’ve read over a summer?
Name an unforgettable book you have read.
What do you plan to read this summer?