Tuesday, I signed the boys up for the summer reading program at the library. I have always loved summer reading, even, and especially when I was going to be tested on the books at the beginning of the next school year. I always read more than I needed to from the list, and my non-nerd reason was so that I could answer the easier questions. But I love to read, and I love lists. So, a summer reading list is pretty much the best thing ever. I can remember turning a summer reading list into the library with so many books on it, that I was sure I would win a prize, even though I had been repeatedly assured that there was no prize and I should get off the couch and go outside for the LOVE OF GOD. There was no prize, not even a “Hey, that’s a lot of books, great job.”
Luke has always had a one track mind when it comes to books. Right now he is reading the 39 Clues series, and he has zero interest in anything else. Last summer it was Harry Potter, before that, Percy Jackson. When we started going to the library, he would only pick out Curious George books. For at least two years, he never picked a non-Curious George book. And it may have gone on longer, but I eventually just stopped taking him to the library for a couple years when he would correct me for saying “an” instead of “the” in the middle of 60 pages of Curious George goes to the Hospital. So, fine, he likes to stick to one thing. Well, we got the sheets for keeping track of your summer reading, and Luke got the next 39 Clues book, and Jack started making his stack of books, and I could see the wheels turning in Luke’s head. Jack was going to have a lot more books to write down on that list. And then Luke did something I have never seen before. He chose a bunch of different books. At first I almost teased him for picking shorter books with lots of pictures and then I realized, this is what I have been hoping for all along. Branching out! Reading different things! Thanks summer reading program!
And what am I going to read this summer? I started Nanjing Requiem, by Ha Jin. I didn’t know much about the history of that particular horrible atrocity, and I really enjoyed War Trash, but hated Waiting. So I figured, I would try to read Nanjing Requiem. It didn’t go well. I guess I don’t know what to hope for when reading about something horrible. I supposed I expected to be drawn into the story and to care about the characters, which would have made it a more difficult and emotional read. But it seemed very choppy, and as far as I got into the atrocities, which wasn’t very far, it read like a factual account. So I just read the Wikipedia article about it and returned the book. Not summer reading. Ever since IQ84, I have been getting really liberal with my “not finishing a book” policy. I also read one page of The Visible Man, and rolled my eyes and returned that too. I am currently enjoying The Old Reliable, and I am open to suggestions for my summer reading list.
**In the picture above, Jack is writing the first book of the summer on his list. I was pretty impressed that he copied the letters off the cover of the book, even if it does looks like he is using laser vision.