Good morning, all! The title of the post pretty much says it all. This is the time of year where everyone and their dog comes out with a summer reading list. Most aren’t fit for much more than lining the bird cage with. A few, like the list I’ll be linking to, can at least spark a good discussion. Oh, and I have a new book out. 😉
This particular summer reading list comes via The Passive Voice. My first clue there might be problems with the list came from the fact it came from NPR. Let’s face it, NPR probably isn’t going to recommend light reading or escapist fiction where you can soar through the stars or get lost in a trashy romance. My second clue came when I started looking at who made the recommendations used to build the list. There were a number of poet laureates, college deans, the PIO for Arizona’s secretary of state. Hmmmm. . . what are the chances their choices will be of interest to me.
This list is a bit different from so many others in that the contributors to the list are supposed “to recommend quintessential reads that illuminate where they live.”
Ooops, I’m beginning to worry that we’ll be hit with way too many literary reads and not summer escapist fun. (Don’t get me wrong. Literary can be fun and we should all
suffer read literary works when we feel like it. But the average reader doesn’t want to slog through a book for enjoyment and too many so-called literary works can be just that–a slog.
But maybe I’m wrong. Let’s take a look at my home state of Texas. The books were nominated by Athena N. Jackson, University of Houston Libraries dean. The books include Larry McMurtry’s The Last Picture Show and Friday Night Lights by H. G. Bissinger. Both books I can completely agree with. They are representative of Texas, or at least parts of it. But what about the other to books? One deals with the history of Juneteenth here in the state. That could be interesting but I’m not sure it’s what I would call “summer reading”.
Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe the list is okay. But let’s keep looking.
I decided to check to see what they have listed for Oklahoma. The list, if you can call one book a list, was suggested by the state’s poet laureate and he came up with one book. ONE BOOK.
Tears of Sorrow, Tears of Joy by Granvil L. Hays: Subtitiled “a woman struggles for independence in the Oklahoma Territory,” the book is a well-researched historical novel that has much to say about the pioneering characters of those who contributed to the building of our state.
What about Grapes of Wrath (I can’t stand the book, but how can you not include it?), or Where the Red Fern Grows, or True Grit or The Outsiders? And those are just a few I can think of off the top of my head.
That brings me to The Passive Guy’s comments about the list:
PG won’t be the only person who thinks some of those called upon to name books for their state missed the most truly representative books.
He’ll pick one state – California. East of Eden, The Joy Luck Club, The Big Sleep, The Lincoln Lawyer, A Heartbreaking Work Of Staggering Genius,and The Maltese Falcon all popped into PG’s mind and he hasn’t lived in California for a very long time.
What do you think about the list? Are there books you’d have added to a state’s recommended books?
Now for a bit of promo. Jaguar Bound (Nocturnal Awakenings 2) is now available on Amazon and coming soon to all other major outlets.
Twenty years ago, the world first learned of the existence of shapeshifters and other paranormals. It hasn’t always been easy but now Normals and Paras live in relative peace. Mackenzie Santos played a large role in making that happen. Mac has spent most of her adult life enforcing the law. Once she started turning furry, that law included Shifter law. Because of her and those like her, the world is a safer place.
Or is it?
A new threat appears on the horizon, one that puts both Paras and Normals in danger. Will Mac be able to meet and defeat this new challenge or will it turn into her greatest fear: war between Paras and Normals?