Top Ten Books on My Summer TBR Pile

With just two weeks left in the spring academic semester, I’ve been thinking ahead to the reading I would like to do this summer. I thought I would harken back to the good ol’ days of blogging, when the Top Ten Tuesday feature was a regular staple, and share my list of “Top Ten Books on my Summer TBR Pile.” (Note: Top Ten Tuesday is still around. It is now hosted at That Artsy Reader Girl.)

These are books I already own and literally have sitting in a pile (or a few piles). I’ve chosen some for my TBR Pile Challenge and some for my Classics Club Challenge, as well as a few that I just want to read while I have a little more free time (so that I can immerse myself better). Here we go!

  1. The White Album by Joan Didion for 2018 TBR Pile Challenge
  2. Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi for 2018 TBR Pile Challenge
  3. A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy by William Irvine for 2018 TBR Pile Challenge.
  4. Paradise Lost by John Milton for The Classics Club Challenge
  5. A Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft for The Classics Club Challenge
  6. At Swim, Two Boys by Jamie O’Neill for The Classics Club Challenge
  7. Thank You for Arguing: What Aristotle, Lincoln, and Homer Simpson Can Teach Us About the Art of Persuasion by Jay Heinrichs
  8. The Grammar of God A Journey into the Words and Worlds of the Bible by Aviya Kushner
  9. Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
  10. Timequake by Kurt Vonnegut

If I’m being realistic, I will probably end up reading about half of these, and veering off in a bunch of other directions randomly (there’s a new Stephen King coming out soon, for example, that I’ll probably get my hands on and read right away).

What are your summer reading plans? Anything I should add to my list?

23 Comments on “Top Ten Books on My Summer TBR Pile

  1. I loved Homegoing. I haven’t really started thinking about summer reading yet, but Middlemarch by George Eliot has been on my mind as one I’d like to read soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve been putting together my summer TBR as well. Think I’m gonna wade in spiritual waters for the most part, which I haven’t done in my “free time” reading in a long time: Mere Christianity, The Hiding Place, a couple of food memoir/hospitality reads and some Christian fiction I’ve neglected for a long time.
    Are you planning an Austen in August this year?


    • I keep going back-and-forth on Austen. I was planning to do it again, but part of me really wants to focus on some other things this summer.


  3. Ditto on loving Homegoing – such a beautiful book. Lincoln in the Bardo was a little too out there for me, but it goes quickly (lots of white space on the pages).

    I haven’t thought much about my summer reading plans yet, but I have a lot of classics on my current TBR pile. I particularly want to get back to Trollope’s Barchester series, so that will be on the summer agenda for sure.


    • I have read the Barchester series; it is one of my favorites. I wish I had the pleasure of reading it again for the first time.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I have read “Vindication” by Mary Wollstonecraft and highly recommend it. “Complicated rules to adjust behavior are a weak substitute for simple principles.” (one of my favorite quotes.)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You should read Tigerman by Nick Harkaway, so you can work up to Gnomon, which I don’t recommend as an introduction to his novels.
    I loved Lincoln in the Bardo and found it a very fast read, although it’s sad.
    Homegoing helped me understand some of what I was seeing at the African-American History Museum in Washington, D.C. I found it a difficult book to like, but it is worth reading.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. That is some list! I may sound weird, but I think I am one of the few people who loved Milton. despite his joyless ways and Paradise Lost is brilliant! I thought Vindication was also out of this world and what us in a way, both a credit to the author and a shame on how our society evolved, Ms. Wollstonecraft said 200 years back, still holds true! Anyway, here’s wishing a wonderful Summer!!


    • Thanks! My edition of Milton is the one illustrated by William Blake, so I’m really looking forward to it. I’ve read parts of it before, but I’ve never managed to do the whole thing, start to finish. I’ve read the Wollstonecraft before, too, so this is a re-read. I’ll probably go back and re-read “Woman in the Nineteenth Century” sometime soon, too.


  7. Lincoln on the Bardo and Mary Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication are also my summer reading ideas… They’re staring at me from my bookshelves, wistfully…

    Liked by 1 person

  8. There is something special about summer reading! I absolutely loved Homegoing, so make sure you get to that early 🙂 I still want to read Lincoln in the Bardo, but I know I must be in the right frame of mind to appreciate it. I would love read read Paradise Lost myself–I finally ended up listening to The Inferno as I couldn’t make myself commit to it any other way, so I might try that approach for PL.

    Helena Kelly’s Jane Austen: The Secret Radical talks a lot about Vindication of Rights of Women a lot, particularly in the S&S chapter, which was fascinating.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I thoroughly enjoyed rereading Paradise Lost recently. The fact that it’s in rhymes added a lot for me. And right after I read paradise Regained, very short , I encourage you to read it too

    Liked by 1 person

  10. At Swim, Two Boys is sitting right here looking at me and Paradise Lost, but not ’til September and I note WordsAndPeace advice for Paradise Regained – will do!

    Liked by 1 person

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