The myth of relaxing on a towel at a beach, sunglasses and sunscreen on, reading a book may not exist for most of us in Iowa. The beach nearest us has been closed in recent seasons because of the risk of exposure to microcystin and E. coli bacteria, both harmful to human health.
Nevertheless, reading is an important part of summer activities, and essential for people engaged in society. Our home owners association has a monthly meeting at the public library where staff politely boots us out in June and July because it falls on the same night as the summer reading program. Summer reading is one of the most important programs at a public library.
When I write “reading,” I mean books. A lot of our time is spent reading news articles which, while important, does not involve the kind of commitment as reading a book cover-to-cover. I started the Goodreads Reading Challenge last year and it helped me stay focused on reading. I’ve read 16 books this year and you can see which ones on my Reading List page.
Here, in no particular order, is a list of ten books on my bedside table for reading this summer:
Where the Light Enters: Building a Family, Discovering Myself by Jill Biden.
The Tallgrass Prairie: An Introduction by Cindy Crosby.
The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women by Kate Moore.
The Overstory by Richard Powers.
Pacific by Simon Winchester.
Milkman by Anna Burns.
The Wizard and the Prophet: Two Remarkable Scientists and Their Dueling Visions to Shape Tomorrow’s World by Charles C. Mann.
The Uninhabitable Earth: Life after Warming by David Wallace-Wells.
Janesville: An American Story by Amy Goldstein.
Energy: A Human Story by Richard Rhodes.
While beaches may be closed due to environmental pollution, I plan to find a shady spot on our property or a comfortable chair inside to crack open a book from time to time this summer. Please do leave a comment with what you are reading this summer below.
Happy summer reading!