Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Summer Reading Challenge

"If you aren't reading, you shouldn't be writing." 

I say this to my students all the time. Well, I just glanced at the piles of books by my desk, by my bed, by the sofa, and by the stove (yes, really) and realized that everything I'm reading is research for my writing projects or possible assignments for my fall classes. That's reading material, but it's not really reading. Falling in love with books (once again) is something else altogether.

Well, my fellow Pacific Northwest writer Oliver de la Paz has launched a summer reading challenge. I've decided to join it. Some of my students are joining. You should join, too! You can read the Summer Reading Challenge rules over at his blog.

In addition to Oliver's rules, I've set a few for myself: This doesn't include books that I'm specifically reading in support of my writing projects (there are many and they are mostly not that fun to read), nor books that I'm reading to support my teaching (ditto and ditto). Also, I'm going to allow myself to switch out books as I go, as I am an enormously fickle reader.

You can follow my progress and thoughts on the books here, at my Goodreads page.

Wendy's Summer Reading List ~

Fiction ~

 Africa 39: New Writing from Africa South of the Sahara, edited by Ellah Wakatama Allfrey

Cristina Henríquez's The Book of Unknown Americans 

Luis Alberto Urrea's Hummingbird's Daughter

Nonfiction ~

72 Migrantes, by a collective of Mexican journalists (introduction by Alma Guillermoprieto)

Gioconda Belli's El país bajo mi piel (available in English as The Country Under my Skin)

The Charles Bowden Reader (may he rest in peace)

Eduardo Galeano's (QDEP, también) Children of the Days: A Calendar of Human History, translated by Mark Fried 

David Harrison's When Languages Die: The Extinction of the World's Languages and the Erosion of Human Knowledge 

Best American Essays 2014, edited by John Jeremiah Sullivan

Elissa Washuta's My Body is a Book of Rules

Poetry & Poetics & Criticism ~

View from the reading dock, Ross Lake, North Cascades,
Summer 2013 • WLC

In Translation: Translators on Their Work and What it Means, edited by Esther Allen and Susan Bernofsky

N. Katherine Hayles's  Electronic Literature: New Horizons for the Literary

Reginald Shepherd's (may he rest in peace) Martian Muse: Further Essays on Identity, Politics, and the Freedom of Poetry

Luis Alberto Urrea's Fever of Being

Emily Warn's Shadow Architect

Here's to my front porch and sittin' logs by the hiking trail and picnic blankets -- and on those days that it's unbearably hot, my neighborhood library.  

Let the reading begin!