Perhaps one of the things I am most grateful for in my daily life is the presence of good books.  I grew up reading captioning on the television because my parents were both profoundly deaf and as a result, I am an incredibly fast reader.  Thanks to my Kindle app, I read about 8-10 books a week.

This love didn’t just spring out of nowhere.  When I was a child, my grandmother would take me to the local library once a week (more in the summer) and we’d take out all kinds of books.  From a very young age, she fostered a great love of literature, and encouraged me to read anything and everything I could get my hands on.  As I have gotten older, books have been many things for me– learning experiences, idea generators, sparkers of great imaginary adventures, and even solace.  It is not coincidental that the person who provided me with a safe haven as a child showed me that books could be the same.  Reading is one of the great joys of my life.

So, I want to share some of the books I was grateful for as a child and give you a little peek at my own summer reading list.

For the kids:

james and the giant peach

James and the Giant Peach

This was the very first chapter book I read on my own and I have reread it several times since.  This sparked my love affair with Roald Dahl’s children’s books.  This book sparked great imaginary adventures where I, too, set up camp in the pit of a giant peach and flew through the air to rescue my parents from the stomach of a wild rhino while accompanied by talking insects (no spiders, though– couldn’t bring myself to imagine a giant talking spider).

anne

Anne of Green Gables

This book is a classic and it is at times alternately hilarious and incredibly poignant. It was the chapter book I read on my own and sparked many of my own adventures.  To this day, it is on my bucket list to visit Prince Edward Island, the setting for this book about a fanciful young orphan girl who “accidentally” ends up with a middle-aged brother and sister, who were trying to adopt a young boy to help them on their farm.

Mandy

Mandy

I seem to have read many books about orphans, and this one was one of my all time favorites.  I had the book on tape and the paperback, which eventually became faded and creased from repeated readings.  Written by that Julie Andrews, this was another book that sparked my imagination and sense of adventure.

from the mixed up files

From the Mixed up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler:

>A young girl, bored of living in suburbia, takes her younger brother and runs away to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which she believes is sophisticated and beautiful.  This was my fantasy– to go beyond the ropes of a museum and step into living history.

island of hte blue dolphins

Island of the Blue Dolphins, Scott O’Dell:  A book of incredible survival by a young girl  that I only learned later was based on a true story, this book inspired many an afternoon of survivor games in the woods behind my childhood home.

On Tap for this Summer:

thanks

Thanks!: How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier

Written by the founding editor-in-chief of the journal of Positive psychology, and Director of the Center for Greater Good at UC Berkeley, this book explores the power of positive thinking, and gratitude, specifically, on our well-being.

 
all the light
I borrowed this book from my aunt, another lover of great books.  This one is a winner of the Pulitzer Prize and I’m excited to dive in!
the girl on the train
I think I’m the only person who has not yet read this book.  It seems like it has a bit of everything!
girl you left behind
Jojo Moyes is my go-to beach reading that is actually good writing (except for Me Before You– that book should not be read in public unless you like to cry in front of strangers.   I learned this the hard way on the subway).
modern romanc
Why would I read this?  Because when a comedian and a sociologist pair up to decode the dating scene, how could that be anything short of highly entertaining?
We’d love to know what you’re reading these days! You can let us know here in the comments, facebook message us, or tweet us.  Happy reading!