Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Summer Reading List

Summer's here at the Spencer house! Today was the last day of school so we welcomed the kids with silly string and ice pops. They were very happy.

With summer comes the "Spencer Summer Reading Contest".  Every year for the past 6 years we have held this awesome reading contest. The rules are a bit crazy, but I'll share them with you anyway in case you'd like to try it or your own version of the contest. First off there are two different sets of rules for my kids, one for my 9 yr old and one for the 14 yr old. Basically it's Mom against each kid. For each 50 pages (100 for my 14 yr old)  my 9 yr old reads, $1 goes in the book contest fund. For each 50 pages (100 pages) Mom reads $1 goes in the book contest fund. At the end of the summer whoever reads more pages between Mom and each kid, they win 75% of the money. With their 75% winnings they can spend half on whatever they want and half on books. We then go out to dinner to celebrate and spend the evening at the book store. The loser (a.k.a. Mom) gets 25% of the winnings and can only spend it on books. It's a great motivator for the kids to read. My son read 8,500 pages last summer!

If you're looking for a few good summer reads, here is a list of some of my favorites.

The Girls: A Novel
A Fine Balance (Oprah's Book Club)
Olive Kitteridge

Shantaram: A Novel
To Dance With the White Dog
Breakfast with Buddha

Nobody's Fool
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
Bridge of Sighs
The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America
The 19th Wife: A Novel
In the Woods
Sing Them Home: A Novel
The Forgotten Garden: A Novel

I also have a bunch of books on my book shelf that I haven't had the chance to read yet. Has anyone read any of these? I need a bit of motivation, especially on a few of the classics.
The House of the Spirits: A Novel
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (P.S.)
New York: The Novel
The Lacuna: A Novel
The Brothers Karamazov (Bantam Classics)
Anna Karenina

Just finishing up a good, but disturbing book A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier.  The next book in line for me is Bossypants.  I figured I'd need the laugh!

What are some of your favorite books? Let me know. I'm always looking for new ideas.


cursivearts said...

Some fantastic books include: The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls; City of Dreams by beverly Swerling; The Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffeneger; Rebecca by Daphne Dumaurier.

For kids I recommend The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman; The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman; Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers; Inkheart by Cornelia Funke. all of these books I would also recommend for adults. (I'm a big fan of children's literature and think it's often overlooked).

stacie said...

Thanks so much Cursive Arts! Great recommendations. I too agree that there are some great Young Adult books, I forgot to include the Eragon Series by Christopher Paolini.

Renee @ where the grass is greener said...

I haven't read some of those books that you recommended...hmm. Start with a Tree grows in of my all time favs.