Friday, May 31, 2013

Summer Reading Plans

When I think of summer activities, there are many things that come to me: swimming, biking, writing, and most of all, reading. For as long as I can remember, I've done the summer reading program at my library every year, and if I can find others, I like to do those too. This year, however, I'm doing something I haven't done before: a summer reading list.

Most of the books on my list are ones I haven't read in a year or more and want to make sure I reread sometime relatively soon. There are some new titles on the list, however, and if anyone has suggestions of other books I should add to it, I'd be happy to hear them. I'm always on the lookout for new books to enjoy.

First on my list is The Door Within Trilogy by Wayne Thomas Batson. This was one of the first contemporary Christian fantasy series I read, and when I first started writing, it heavily influenced my stories. However, in the last year, I've been more focused on other Batson books, namely The Tide of Unmaking and his short stories. I'm very much looking forward to returning to the Realm this summer and joining Aidan, Antoinette, and Robby on their adventures once more!

Another trilogy on my list is The White Lion Chronicles by Christopher Hopper. When I first read Rise of the Dibor, I don't think I was really mature enough to appreciate these books, since they're longer and move at a slower pace than most books I was reading at the time. After they were rereleased, I gave them another try and really enjoyed them. However, until now, I never quite got around to rereading them. This is the only series on my list that I've already gotten started on rereading; I just reread Rise of the Dibor last week.

For a change from fantasy to dystopian, I'll be reading Sneak, the second book in the Swipe series by Evan Angler. Though Sneak was released some time ago, my library only recently obtained copies of it. I can hardly wait to read it and find out what in the world is going to happen to Logan, not to mention whether or not my theories about the Mark and such are true. Of course, since Storm just recently came out, and I'm pretty sure my library doesn't have it, I'll be back in the same boat again. Oh well. Such is life.
Back to fantasy! This time, however, the fantasy is a classic. It's a tradition of mine to make sure I read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings at least once every year. I used to try to do this in either November or May (near either my birthday or half-birthday), since the first time I read The Lord of the Rings was shortly after my birthday some years ago. More recently, however, I decided that summer was the best time to read these books, since I'll have more time to read and therefore I'll be able to enjoy them more. 

Another classic I'll be rereading is Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I first read this book in September of last year and promptly decided that it was my new favorite non-fantasy classic. I also hope to find another Austen book to read, though I'm not sure which one. I read Sense and Sensibility in January and, though it was fairly good, didn't enjoy it nearly as much as Pride and Prejudice. I'm leaning towards Emma for this summer, but if any fans of Jane Austen's books are reading this, suggestions are more than welcome!

Two weekends ago, I did the Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt, an online scavenger hunt hosted by thirty-two Christian fiction authors. To complete the scavenger hunt, you had to go from blog to blog and collect all the clues to put together a quote and be entered in a drawing for the prize. Along the way, I discovered a few authors I'd like to try, most notably R. J. Larson, author of Prophet and the rest of the Books of the Infinite series. Her books, which are fantasy set in a world similar to the Biblical time period, looked interesting, so I decided to give them a try. I can hardly wait to find out if they live up to my hopes.

By far the longest series on my reading list is the Redwall series by Brian Jacques. I've read these books several times each since first discovering them, but I've been too busy with other books to read them for some time. This summer, however, I intend to change that. It might take a miracle to get through all of them, however, unless I decide to listen to some of them on cd or such instead of actually reading them. There are, after all, twenty-two books in the series!

Taking second place for longest series on my list is John Flanagan's Ranger's Apprentice series, along with its companion series, The Brotherband Chronicles. I've actually read several of these semi-recently (within the last few months), but I decided to put them on my list anyway, since I've been thinking of rereading the two series for a few weeks now.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer is a newer book that I first noticed because two people recommending it in the same day: Jill Williamson in her ABC Reading Challenge and Emma, a friend of mine from WI. Cinder is a Cinderella remake set in a sci-fi/dystopian-type setting, which I thought sounded interesting. After asking both Emma and a lady at my church (who's recommended several other fairy-tale remakes to me) for more details, I decided to go ahead and add it to my reading list.

Another dystopian series on my list is The Cantral Chronicles by Amanda Davis. Like The White Lion Chronicles, I haven't quite gotten around to rereading the books in this series since around the time they first came out. In this case, however, that's mostly because I'd have to borrow the first book from a friend. I'm hoping she'll be ok with me borrowing it, since I remember really enjoying The Cantral Chronicles the first time I read them.

The last book or book series on my list? That's still a bit of a mystery. A friend of mine (who's pointed me towards many of my favorite authors and books) suggested that I try reading something by Shannon Hale. However, I'm not sure where to start. I know she wrote The Goose Girl, as well as the Princess Academy series and a whole lot of other books. (The library has twenty-two items by her, though some of those are books on cd, not actual paper-and-ink books.) Has anyone reading this read anything by Shannon Hale? If so, do you have any suggestions of which of her books I should read first, or any of her books I should avoid? Thank you in advance for your advice!

What about you? Do you have any summer reading plans?
Never alone!
- Sarah (Leilani Sunblade)


  1. Wow, you certainly are going to have a lot of excellent reading material. My summer reading plans mainly include finishing The Dragons of Starlight by Bryan Davis, and also The Codebearer series by the Miller Brothers.

    1. Yep. :) Your plans sound fun too. Bryan Davis is always good, though the Dragons of Starlight series isn't my favorite. I've never read the Codebearer series; is it good?

    2. I am actually really enjoying Dragons of Starlight. The first book felt a little slow, but the second and third are very good.

      To answer your question, I don't know if the Codebearer series is good or not, as I haven't started it yet. I got the first two books last year, but I have been so busy, I haven't had the time to read them yet. :)

    3. Really? Well, I'm glad you like them!

      Oh. Let me know what you think after you read them, please!

  2. I haven't read anything for ages…the last book I read was Isle of Swords, and that was more than a week ago. I need a reading list.

    To answer your question, no, this reader of this post has not read anything by Shannon Hale.

    1. And one more thing. I've considered adding the Blood of Kings trilogy to my list of books to get, and I was wondering. Is there anything to be wary of in those three? Any inappropriateness or mentioned inappropriateness?

    2. Sorry you haven't read in so long. I liked Isle of Swords, though. It was good.

      Thanks anyway. I got some recommendations from a friend on another site, so I think I know what book I'll be reading.

      On the Blood of Kings trilogy: there's one scene in the third book that some people would say is toeing the border. (Basically, one character sets the main character up with a prostitute without the main character really knowing what's going on, but when the main character figures it out, he refuses to have anything more to do with it and walks away.) Some characters are mentioned as having a mistress in all three books. At least one character was conceived by an unmarried couple. A character drinks a bit more than he should've. (None of these are portrayed as something to imitate, or are gone into in great detail.) Overall, however, it's a fairly clean series, and I'd definitely recommend it to older readers.

  3. I have read (or rather listened on CD) to the Goose Girl by Shannon hale, and it was pretty good. However, I would advise reading Well Witched, by Frances Hardinge. You may have heard of the book by another name as it is also sometimes called Verdigris Deep. The book is probably in the top ten of best books I have ever read, and I read John Flanagan's stuff, and Redwall!
    By the way, have you read the Rogue Crew? Last one of Brian Jacques's books before he passed away. I am ashamed to say that i have not yet finished it.

  4. Glad The Goose Girl is good, since I have it out from the library and it's one of the next two books I plan to read. Thanks for the recommendation! I'll definitely keep it in mind for after I finish my writing list.
    I have read The Rogue Crew! I got it out from the library as soon as I could after it came out. It's an excellent book- though, of course, I've never read a Redwall book that wasn't.

  5. Wow! What a great reading list, Sarah! I'm looking through your blog, an I'm thrilled to see how many beloved books we have in common! I've been meaning to come check out your blog, and you following mine (thank you!!!) was a perfect reminder!

    I love the looks of your blog, and it's so cool to see all the short stories you put up.

    As for summer recommendations, I have read 'The Goose Girl' and 'Princess Academy.' I liked both, though I did not love them. However, 'The Goose Girl' is the beginning of a series. Books 1, 2, and 3 were enjoyable, but I really liked 4, 'Forest Born'.

    Another series I think you would really enjoy (and one I absolutely adore), is the 'The Queen's Thief' series by Megan Whalen Turner. It can be a bit slow at times, but it is seriously awesome.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Hannah! I'm glad you think my reading list looks good, and that you like my blog!

      Thank for the recommendations! I read The Goose Girl and enjoyed it, and I plan to read the rest of the series soon.

      I feel like I've heard about that series somewhere. I'll definitely look into it. Thanks again!


I'd love to hear your thoughts! But remember: it pays to be polite to dragons.