Summer 2013 Reading List

by Marinka on June 29, 2013

Disclosure: This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. So please click on them and buy a car or a space shuttle.

I have big plans to read this summer. Big Plans! To Read! This Summer!

I have a Kindle, and it’s linked to my credit card, so all I have to do is basically press a button and voila!

And even though there are still some unread books on my Kindle from the 2013 Reading List, I feel that they should rest a while longer so that I can indulge in some summer reading.

So here is my list! Please let me know what’s on yours in the comments. Or via telepathy.

The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls by Anton DiSclafani.

From Amazon: It is 1930, the midst of the Great Depression. After her mysterious role in a family tragedy, passionate, strong-willed Thea Atwell, age fifteen, has been cast out of her Florida home, exiled to an equestrienne boarding school for Southern debutantes. High in the Blue Ridge Mountains, with its complex social strata ordered by money, beauty, and girls’ friendships, the Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls is a far remove from the free-roaming, dreamlike childhood Thea shared with her twin brother on their family’s citrus farm—a world now partially shattered. As Thea grapples with her responsibility for the events of the past year that led her here, she finds herself enmeshed in a new order, one that will change her sense of what is possible for herself, her family, her country.

Sisterland by Curtis Sittenfeld

From Amazon: From an early age, Kate and her identical twin sister, Violet, knew that they were unlike everyone else. Kate and Vi were born with peculiar “senses”—innate psychic abilities concerning future events and other people’s secrets. Though Vi embraced her visions, Kate did her best to hide them.

Now, years later, their different paths have led them both back to their hometown of St. Louis. Vi has pursued an eccentric career as a psychic medium, while Kate, a devoted wife and mother, has settled down in the suburbs to raise her two young children. But when a minor earthquake hits in the middle of the night, the normal life Kate has always wished for begins to shift. After Vi goes on television to share a premonition that another, more devastating earthquake will soon hit the St. Louis area, Kate is mortified. Equally troubling, however, is her fear that Vi may be right. As the date of the predicted earthquake quickly approaches, Kate is forced to reconcile her fraught relationship with her sister and to face truths about herself she’s long tried to deny.

The Engagements by J. Courtney Sullivan

From Amazon: From the New York Times best-selling author of Commencement and Maine comes a gorgeous, sprawling novel about marriage—about those who marry in a white heat of passion, those who marry for partnership and comfort, and those who live together, love each other, and have absolutely no intention of ruining it all with a wedding.

Evelyn has been married to her husband for forty years—forty years since he slipped off her first wedding ring and put his own in its place. Delphine has seen both sides of love—the ecstatic, glorious highs of seduction, and the bitter, spiteful fury that descends when it’s over. James, a paramedic who works the night shift, knows his wife’s family thinks she could have done better; while Kate, partnered with Dan for a decade, has seen every kind of wedding—beach weddings, backyard weddings, castle weddings—and has vowed never, ever, to have one of her own.

As these lives and marriages unfold in surprising ways, we meet Frances Gerety, a young advertising copywriter in 1947. Frances is working on the De Beers campaign and she needs a signature line, so, one night before bed, she scribbles a phrase on a scrap of paper: “A Diamond Is Forever.” And that line changes everything.

A rich, layered, exhilarating novel spanning nearly a hundred years, The Engagements captures four wholly unique marriages, while tracing the story of diamonds in America, and the way—for better or for worse—these glittering stones have come to symbolize our deepest hopes for everlasting love.

Tampa by Alissa Nutting

From Amazon: In Alissa Nutting’s novel Tampa, Celeste Price, a smoldering 26-year-old middle-school teacher in Florida, unrepentantly recounts her elaborate and sociopathically determined seduction of a 14-year-old student.

Celeste has chosen and lured the charmingly modest Jack Patrick into her web. Jack is enthralled and in awe of his eighth-grade teacher, and, most importantly, willing to accept Celeste’s terms for a secret relationship—car rides after dark, rendezvous at Jack’s house while his single father works the late shift, and body-slamming erotic encounters in Celeste’s empty classroom. In slaking her sexual thirst, Celeste Price is remorseless and deviously free of hesitation, a monstress of pure motivation. She deceives everyone, is close to no one, and cares little for anything but her pleasure.

Tampa is a sexually explicit, virtuosically satirical, American Psycho–esque rendering of a monstrously misplaced but undeterrable desire. Laced with black humor and crackling sexualized prose, Alissa Nutting’s Tampa is a grand, seriocomic examination of the want behind student / teacher affairs and a scorching literary debut.

Stoner by John Williams

From Amazon: William Stoner is born at the end of the nineteenth century into a dirt-poor Missouri farming family. Sent to the state university to study agronomy, he instead falls in love with English literature and embraces a scholar’s life, so different from the hardscrabble existence he has known. And yet as the years pass, Stoner encounters a succession of disappointments: marriage into a “proper” family estranges him from his parents; his career is stymied; his wife and daughter turn coldly away from him; a transforming experience of new love ends under threat of scandal. Driven ever deeper within himself, Stoner rediscovers the stoic silence of his forebears and confronts an essential solitude.

John Williams’s luminous and deeply moving novel is a work of quiet perfection. William Stoner emerges from it not only as an archetypal American, but as an unlikely existential hero, standing, like a figure in a painting by Edward Hopper, in stark relief against an unforgiving world.

Disclaimer: This makes me want to fall into a deep coma but a friend recommended it, so I’m going to give it a try. It’s entirely possible that friendship probation 2.0 is in her future.

The Vault by Ruth Rendell.

I can never resist a Ruth Rendell mystery.

One year ago ...

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Gdot June 29, 2013 at 7:21 pm

My list includes reading the instructions for Belle Colour #60 hair dye , the white wine section in the liquor store and the instructions on a box of KD. But that’s just how we roll in Canada


Susan Weinstein June 29, 2013 at 8:48 pm

Nice list. Funny coincidence. I just
The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls at


June 30, 2013 at 12:19 pm

I just finished Kate Atkinson’s “Life After Life” and started “Crazy Rich Asians.” Can’t wait for Ruth Rendell’s newest.


Phoenix Rising
July 4, 2013 at 8:00 pm

I just read “And the Mountains Echoed” by Khaled Hosseini and am now in the middle of Carl Hiaasen’s “Bad Monkey.” I never thought I’d laugh so loud at a murder mystery!! Carl’s snarky!!


Heather July 5, 2013 at 2:04 pm

I just finished “The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells” (Andrew Sean Greer) and I’m now reading “The Eye of God” (James Rollins).
The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls is on my TBR list.


Karen July 22, 2013 at 10:28 pm

Okay so I have now read Tampa (yikes) and The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls (very good). Currently reading The Engagements and I like it a lot so far. Really cracked me up at the very beginning when we find out that Frances and her parents lived in Snootyvile AKA Media, PA! I also have Sisterland on deck…..but since I just re-watched most of “The Nanny Diaries” on LMN today, I think I want to re-read the original novel and the sequel next. The movie sucked, but both books were good reads IMO.


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