Hack Your Summer: Part One

Welcome to part one of Hack Your Summer! This is our mini series in which Hack Library School writers share with you some of our tips and tricks for having summer fun and preparing for the upcoming academic year. As always, we welcome comments and tweets, so feel free to share your own tried and true methods with the HLS community.

Question 1:

What are you reading this summer?


Now that I have graduated from library school, I finally have the time to catch up on my to-read list. I joined a newly formed Jane Austen book club this summer. We read Sense and Sensibility last month and our next meeting will focus on Pride and Prejudice. I’m a productivity and time management nerd and two of my favorite authors, Gretchen Rubin and Laura Vanderkam, recently released new books: Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives and I Know How She Does It: How Successful Women Make the Most of Their Time, respectively. I love a good thriller. The audiobook of The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins was excellent and I’m currently reading A Dark Lure by Loreth Anne White.


Similar to Courtney, I’m slowly trying to catch up on my Goodreads yearly reading challenge now that I’ve graduated. During the school year I read a lot of non-fiction because I can drop in and out more easily, so it’s been great to curl up with some good literary finds this summer. Some of the most notable: My first summer read was Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch, which has been on my to-read list since before it even came out, and it was so worth the wait. I recently finished Celeste Ng’s Everything I Never Told You which left me speechless. I’ve also been taking advantage of my free time to catch up on libraryrelated articles I’ve stockpiled to read later.


I just started reading Hard-Boiled Wonderland at the End of the World, one of the few Murakami books I haven’t read yet. Some of my other recent favorites include Wild by Cheryl Strayed and Misery by Stephen King. My reading has been all over the place this summer! I’d also like to second what Liz said about The Goldfinch. It’s amazing and you should definitely read it.


Not too much time for reading this summer I’m afraid. I’m in my final semester of library school, and it’s a compressed semester at that. There have been/will be a few squeezed in though.  Just before this semester started I read Hilary Mantel’s A Place of Greater Safety, a French revolution narrative that just knocks the socks off Le Mis (they don’t take place at the same time but the dig at Hugo stands). I also got about halfway through A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson, and am dipping into it when I have the time. More recently I tore through a few advanced copies while I was at ALA, and I can say with authority that mystery and sci-fi fans will be well served with the July 2015 releases. Once school is over I think I’ll finally dig into the mystery series J.K. Rowling has been writing under the name Richard Galbraith, and maybe re-read Italo Calvino’s Cosmicomics.


I’m looking forward to reading some very different things this summer. I’m one of those readers who usually juggles a couple different genres of books simultaneously, so here’s a few things I plan to read in no particular order. The Silence of Our Friends, a graphic novel by Mark Long, Jim Demonakos, and Nate Powell, looks like an excellent book on a 1960s Houston civil rights case. It’s been too long since I’ve been in San Francisco, and following along with the ALA on Twitter this past weekend has made me miss it even more. So while I hadn’t planned on it, I’m thinking I’ll re-read Maxine Hong Kingston’s Tripmaster Monkey. Without a doubt, I’m going to finally read Eduardo Bonilla-Silva’s Racism without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in the United States. Of course, since I’m looking for more on how librarians develop their approaches, I’ll also read Critical Journeys: How 14 Librarians Came to Embrace Critical Practice, edited by Robert Schroeder. If I get through all that, I’ll also figure out where to start with reading Ursula K. Le Guin. Anyone want to let me know if if I should start at the beginning of the Hainish Cycle or just jump straight to The Left Hand of Darkness?


I just finished Being Mortal by Atul Gawande, and I’m still in a daze over it. Gawande is a surgeon and a regular New Yorker contributor who writes about medicine with great empathy and attunement to the human experience. A book on end-of-life care is out of the ordinary for my reading list, but it manages to tackle questions that will resonate for librarians too. Next on my list is from one of my favorite artists, Miranda July’s first novel The First Bad Man. I got half way through the ARC from Edelweiss, on pre-release. And I’m starting over with the hardcover. It’s the kind of novel that will take you away, if you let let. Not in a typical beach read way, but in a Miranda July way.


I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts….I think I’m like 3 years behind the world and recently finished the awesome History of Rome. As a result, I’m on a huge European History kick…..in addition to catching up on my Sci Fi and Pop Sci stuff Right now I’m reading The Inheritance of Rome by Chris Wickham, a new look at the “Dark Ages” between 400 and 1000 A.D, as well as The Violinist’s Thumb: And Other Lost Tales of Love, War, and Genius, as Written by Our Genetic Code by Sam Kean (one of my favorite Pop Science writers after the awesome Mary Roach). I just picked up The Library at Night by Albert Manguel….whose A History of Reading was incredible as an overview. (I’m getting way into the history of reading, but as you can see I’m way into a lot of things)

Categories: Reading, To Read

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