Confession right up front: I am the worst at creating those “summer beach read” lists. I’m usually woefully behind on whatever the hot new book du jour is, and anyway, I don’t generally differentiate between the kinds of books I read in the fall or winter and those I read in spring or summer. If it’s good, I’ll read it…and re-read and re-read and re-read it, period.
So when my friends at Scribd asked me to put together a list of summer reads available via their book subscription service (think of it kind of like Netflix for books – you pay a monthly fee and then have access to hundreds of thousands of books for free, immediate streaming or download) my list was pretty predictable – some old favorites, a title or two I’d like to check out for the first time, and of course, a children’s book since that is some of my favorite kind of reading.
Some of these are books I already own in a physical copy, so I don’t necessarily want to purchase a digital copy too…but I’d love to be able to read at the beach or pool on Scribd without having to pay for a download! Others are books I’ve wanted to check out for a while, but I’m a little wary of committing the full purchase price. The great thing about Scribd is that it gives me a chance to check out books I’m unsure about, and if it turns out I love it enough that I want to own it, I can always purchase a hard copy for my shelf later.
So, here’s my #ScribdSummer reading list!
I’ve read this book at least a dozen times, but I make a point of re-reading every couple of years or so since I first read it at the age of 11. Told through the point of view of young Francie Nolan, it follows the story of the Nolan family in early 20th century Brooklyn as they struggle with poverty, alcoholism and loss. But at its heart, it’s a hopeful book, about tenacity and rising above and making the most of what you have. A Tree Grows In Brooklyn is one of my absolute favorites and I can’t wait to re-visit it on Scribd this summer!
So many books I read seem to disappear immediately from my conscious to the point where I can’t remember the main characters, plot points or anything else about them. But this book about faith, justice and destiny revolving around the life of a small, special boy, which I first read about fifteen years ago, has stayed with me. I’d like to read it again now that I’m a bit older and see if it leaves the same impression…especially now that I have an Owen of my own.
My husband has been all over me to read The Colorado Kid because it’s the basis for the sci-fi TV show Haven, which we devoured last year (and are now eagerly waiting for the next season.) It’s a mystery/crime novel, and, Jon promises me, a quick, easy read. I figure it’ll be a good way to ease back into Stephen King books as I haven’t been able to pick one up since reading The Stand over a decade ago.
Oh, how I love the Betsy-Tacy series following the innocent adventures of best friends around the turn of the 20th century! The books follow the life of Betsy Ray from the time she is five years old through college, with the reading level getting progressively more advanced as the characters age. We own a few of the books in hard copy, which I am trying to keep pristine for Clara when she gets older. I’ve never found the books in digital form before, so was very excited to see this collection of the first four on Scribd! They’ll be perfect for reading aloud to Clara out in the backyard (or indulging in all by myself.)
A few years ago I devoured – pun totally intended – all of Anthony Bourdain’s travel/food books in less than a month. I was bummed when I came to the “end of the line” but then discovered this collection of 38 essays from travel and food writers (including Bourdain.) It’s exactly the kind of book I’d be intrigued by in the store but worried about paying for since I’m not familiar with all the authors. I can’t wait to dig in for free on Scribd to find out more about “mutton in Mongolia to couscous in Morocco to tacos in Tijuana.”
I’d love to hear if you’ve read any of these books, or plan to – and what’s on your summer reading list.
top photo: Simon Cocks, via Flickr Creative Commons