Betts’ 2010 Summer Reading
by Tara Betts
Ever since I was kid, I looked forward to the summer reading program at my local library. My fifth grade teacher made caterpillars out of all the books that we read. Each green circle had the title and author of the book and we wrote a couple of sentences about the book too. My caterpillar started near the ceiling and ended nearly eye-level with most of us still-short people.
Now, I’ve upgraded from construction paper caterpillars to Shelfari and GoodReads. My fiancé and I debate the value of getting a Kindle or a Nook and whether or not books we typically buy will be available for these devices. Yet, the craving to surround myself with my summer reading is timeless. I come back to this feeling every year because everything slows down, and it is not a frantic deadline time.
Since I have been on a school schedule for most of my life, I’ve looked forward to spending summers saturating myself in books. Ideally, if I could read one book a day, I would, but there are the matters of eating, exercising, talking to friends and family, and writing.
Some people envision the summer as a time for weighty beach novels or even the scandalous books that many people won’t admit that they read (Someone is buying Jackie Collins and Zane). So, I just wanted to kick off my May 2010 Basin blog entries with some choices that I plan to enjoy this summer.
Insides She Swallowed by Sasha Pimentel Chacón
Long Distance by Steven Cordova
Marine Life by Karen S. Williams
Middle Ear by Forrest Hamer
The Butterfly’s Burden by Mahmoud Darwish (translated by Fady Joudah)
The T-Bone Series by Quincy Scott Jones
Seismosis by John Keene and Christopher Stackhouse
The Heart’s Traffic by Ching-In Chen
The Strange House Testifies by Ruth Irupé Sanabria
This Side of Skin by Deborah Parédez
Thunder in Her Voice by Lita Hooper
Voices Cast Out to Talk Us In by Ed Roberson
PROSE (FICTION & NONFICTION)
Big Machine by Victor LaValle
Book of Night Women by Marlon James
Incubation: A Space for Monsters by Bhanu Khapil Rider
Something Like Beautiful by asha bandele
Sugar by Berniece McFadden
Wench by Dolen Perkins-Valdez
Wrapped in Rainbows by Valerie Boyd
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
From the Fishouse edited by Camille Dungy, Matt O’Donnell & Jeffrey Thomson
Grape Leaves: A Century of Arab-American Poetry edited by Gregory Orfalea & Sharif Elmusa
Indivisible: An Anthology of Contemporary South Asian Poetry edited by Neelanjana Bannerjee, Summi Kaipa, & Pireeni Sundaralingam
Our Caribbean: A Gathering of Lesbian and Gay Writing from the Antilles edited by Thomas Glave
After Tupac and D Foster by Jacqueline Woodson