Seems appropriate to post about the books I’ve stockpiled for me and the kids to read this summer (Dan is still working his way through Justin Cronin’s The Passage) on this rainy day when all I want to do is lay in bed and listen to the thunder with a book balanced on my chest.  That would make me happy.  But this makes me happy too:

It’s Peter’s pile.  Mostly Magic Tree House, even though Jack and Annie dialog makes me want to drink.  Even though we’ve read the first 10 so far this year.  There are like three hundred left.  But they teach history and they make a small reader feel really big.  And for that I’ll always feel tenderness toward Mary Pope Osborn.  Some Littles and Dinosaur Cove thrown in for variety.  Because, you know, it’s the spice of life.
Grant’s pile.  It’s bigger.  Bigger books, bigger pile.  If he reads them all I’ll eat my shorts.  It’s a safe bet to make.  He’s a great, but reluctant reader.  There is a series called The Island by Gorden Korman, another of the My Weird School books by Dan Gutman, Cressida Cresswell’s (tell me that’s a penname) How to Train Your Dragon, one of the Phineas L. MacGuire series…are you sensing a pattern?  It’s intentional.  Get him hooked on the first one and the rest will be like dangling a carrot in front of a donkey.  I hope.  Al Capone Does my Shirts and Sounder.  
Our read-aloud pile.  Can’t wait for Hatchet.  Started it last summer, but the beginning talks about divorce and I just didn’t know if we were ready for it.  Now, with a year of public school under our belts, we’re totally ready.  Tessie and I are going to finish our visit with Laura then we’ll do Pippi with everyone.  The Indian Captive is thrown in just in case we get finished with the rest.  Lois Lenski…I lurve her.  Am collecting all her books.  Most are out of print, but that’s ok, because I want the old library bound books that remind me of summer mornings spent at Herrick Public Library building a stack of hardcover books to dive into.  Best part of summer.
Reading Love Wins (isn’t everyone?) and Christ Alone with my prayer group.  Then we’ll chat about it on the beach, because what else is the beach for if not sand between your toes and discussions about hell?  Left Neglected by Lisa Genova.  If you haven’t read her first book, Still Alice, get it.  Get it now.  Geraldine Brooks just released her new book, Caleb’s Crossing.  She’s one of my favs.  Might name something after her.  Like a chicken or a scar, or my friend’s walker.  Geraldine.  Makes me smile.  Sandra Dallas is the wild card as I’ve never read anything by her, but this book is supposed to be similar to These is My Words, which is maybe one of my top ten of all time.  There is One Thousand Gifts, for when I forget that I have a lot to be thankful for.  Like when my bra is filled with sweat and the kids are all fighting.  Then I’ll pull it out and let Ann Voskamp remind me.  And thank you, Edward Rutherfurd for writing another epic.  I don’t even care much about Russia, the country, not the book, but I love epics.  If you do too, then you should read nearly anything by Rutherfurd or James Michener.  Like Chesapeake or The Source or anything.
Like last summer, I take no responsibility for wether any of these are good books or not.  Except for Laura.  I can totally vouch for her.  I just picked what looked good to me and had pretty covers.  The rest is just trial and error.  If you read any, leave me a comment and let me know.  And if you have any brilliant reads that must be shared, please do so.  Comment and let us all know so we can share in the joy of a great book.
Most importantly, I’m committing to getting myself out of bed before the kids so I can spend some time in the BOOK.  And with my father.  Only way to start a day.  Best way to end it too.
This is me being real.  Eager to get summer going already.

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