Friday, May 29, 2009

Self-Indulgent Summer Reading

Aaaahhh....Summer.....I have really been looking forward to summer break this year and perhaps enjoying a bit of self-indulgence during the sweltering heat.

Aside from schlepping Curly Girl and Car Guy to and from swim practice and their other activities, I plan to exercise, write, and read.

I'm most excited about engaging in more reading time this summer and what better time is there to read than when lounging by the pool?? Car Guy is finally swimming well enough that I can actually sit in a chair by the pool, instead of having to be in the water with him- yea!!!!! Don't laugh; he spent the entire summer when he was three decorating the pool deck with a paintbrush dipped in water. You don't know how thrilled I am that he can finally swim a lap with a legal stroke.

Everyone in our family loves to read, but to add a bit more excitement this summer, our crew is embarking on our Family Summer Reading Contest. (Thank you very much for the idea, Melanie.) The rules are simple: You get one point for each book you complete during June, July, and August. Whoever has the most points at the end of August gets a $20 gift card to a store/ restaurant of their choice. (I tossed in "restaurant" just in case I can weasel an evening at The Melting Pot out of this.)

Assigning one point per completed book seems to be the fairest thing for everyone involved. Car Guy has just started reading chapter books on his own and will probably focus on Magic Tree House books this summer. Even though his books are shorter, it takes him longer to read them. Curly Girl reads voraciously, but tends to stop and start books without always finishing them. Having a stack of half-read books lying around drives me absolutely crazy, so I am hoping that assigning points for books finished, not pages read, will light a fire under Curly Girl to complete what she begins.

My guess is that one of the kids will win the contest, but I'm at least going to try to beat them. I'm currently compiling my list of books in which I want to indulge. It includes classics I've never read (Cervantes's Don Quixote), rereading favorites from long ago (James Joyce's Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man), some non-fiction selections (Mortenson's Three Cups of Tea), popular books that I just haven't taken the time to read (Gregory's The Other Boleyn Girl), and some chick lit and maybe a trashy romance or two for some super-fluffy summer reading.

So here are my questions: If you had to recommend just one book for someone to read, what would it be? Also, what books are on your summer reading list?

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