Amanda's 2019 Summer Reading List
As you may have seen on Instagram, I'm going through a horror and graphic novel binge this summer. I would say it's just a phase, but the horror thing has been going on for a year now—I started listening to audiobooks last summer while commuting to Indianapolis. I tore through 15+ hours of audiobooks a week, so I started with American Gods by Neil Gaiman, The Shining by Stephen King, The Murder of Roger Ackeroyd by Agatha Christie, The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and IT by Stephen King.
I didn't listen to many audiobooks after I quit my job to start my web development course in earnest, because I wasn't in the car very often. But this spring, I downloaded several new books on Audible for our drive to Colorado.
After listening to Stephen King’s Carrie, I decided I wanted to read more horror and possibly give fiction writing a whack, so I downloaded a couple more books (I had A LOT of unused Audible credits.) These books included classic horror, suggestions from Ries (who has read a lot more than I have,) and a couple of my favorite pieces of fiction to study how the writers I admire wrote fiction—because despite being a creative writing major, I never took a fiction class. I’m going to blame that on Nic Pizzolatto for leaving DePauw to write True Detective for HBO before I could get into his class.
The Coddling of the American Mind by Jonathan Haidt (Ries and I were interested in this one)
(CURRENTLY READING) On Writing by Stephen King (A book I started years ago, but never finished)
The View from the Cheap Seats by Neil Gaiman (I’ve wanted to read this for years)
The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson (A nonfiction recommendation from Ries)
The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff (I’ve had this forever and have always been intrigued)*
Odds and Ends I Wanted to Read
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness (Popular, but I don’t know much about it)
The Yiddish Policeman's Union by Michael Chabon (A recommendation from Ries)
Circe by Madeline Miller (I heard good things)
(READ, 3 August) If This Isn’t Nice, What Is?: Advice for the Young by Kurt Vonnegut (I didn’t know this was Vonnegut, but I love him, so why not?)
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (It was on sale and I’ve never finished reading it.)
Autobiography of Red by Anne Carson (Technically this is poetry/prose, but whatever.)*
Revisiting Old Favorites
(READ) Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf (My favorite book.)
(READ) Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut (Another favorite.)
(READ, 2 August) Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut (Another favorite.)
(READ) Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury (One of my favorites to read in the summer.)*
Horror / True Crime / Thrillers
(READ) Carrie by Stephen King (The next King book I wanted to read)
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde (I’m an Oscar Wilde fan, but haven’t read this before)
Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn (I loved this HBO mini-series)*
Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice (Another recommendation from Ries)
I also plan to read or check these books out from the library—the Bloomington Library has a great audiobook collection, so I try to spend my Audible credits wisely. Give me all dat güd, güd (mostly) Victorian horror:
In addition to all of those, here are the graphic novels I’ve read or am reading this summer:
(READ) This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki*
(READ) Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol*
(CURRENTLY READING) Tomie by Junji Ito
(READ, 31 July) Fables by Bill Willingham (I loved The Wolf Among Us game based on this comic and if you have Amazon Prime, you can get this for free!)*
Fun Home by Alison Bechdel (Just bought this book today, and I’m excited!)*
The Walking Dead, Volume 1 by Robert Kirkman (If you have Amazon Prime, you can get this for free!)
Saga by Brian K. Vaughn (Ries has read books 1-4, so I have to catch up. If you have Amazon Prime, you can get the first book for free!)*
(* denotes hard copy books I own or brought to Colorado—the rest are on Kindle or Audible.)
I’ve also been keeping up with all my favorite Webtoons (these are my favorites—did I mention they are free?)
And I plan to read all of the 2019 Eisner Award Webcomic nominees: I’ve read Let’s Play by Mongie and Lore Olympus by Rachel Smythe (those are two of my favorites on Webtoon) and read The Contradictions, by Sophie Yanow last night, but I have yet to read Tiger, Tiger by Petra Erika Nordlund and Lavender Jack by Dan Schkade.
Yeah, yeah, so this is definitely too long of a list to read in one summer, but I am very happy because I have so many options of great things to read, which is not a feeling I often felt before last summer. I have a hard time reading, so it’s kind of a big deal that I’m exciting about reading. I’ll definitely keep you posted on what I read this year. And if you want to see the full list on Amazon, I think I figured out how to do that, so click here.
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