I don't know about you, but I've never really thought about summer reading lists. I usually take novels one book at a time, never planning when or what I'll read next. In fact, I've lost track of the number of times I thought I would read one book, only to shove it back in the pile for something else. And as you can see from my "Currently Reading" section, I even have a small grouping of collected short stories that I occasionally pull off the shelf, either in between books or when I'm looking for something different at the moment.
My thoughts about reading lists will change for this summer, though, And that only because my list is short.
For the Summer of 2009, I've selected just one book, and because of work, family, and writing, I imagine it will take me the rest of the summer to read it. Starting today, I will crack open Stephen King's The Stand for the second time in my life.
My first attempt ended in failure. Looking back on it, I fault my youth. I was a junior in high school, and didn't have the temperament to focus my way through such a daunting novel. However, over twenty years have passed since then, and I believe I am now ready to try again. The path is no less intimidating, though. Since my first attempt, Stephen King has also released the complete and uncut edition, adding over four hundred pages of manuscript to the story. To be sure, this is not a new book, with any new characters. Rather, this is The Stand as it was originally written, prior to publishers telling Stephen King that he needed to trim it down. And clocking in at well over eleven hundred pages, the complete version promises to take me at least a couple of months to read.
On one hand, I am excited about the journey. On the other, I wonder if trying to tackle something so big at this point in my life will jeopardize my chances of finishing this time as well. As many of you probably will agree, when it comes between reading and writing, the writing must always take first priority. Still, I'll give it my best shot.
What about you? Do you believe in summer reading lists? If so, then what are your selections for 2009? If not, what are you reading right now? If you're reading nothing, then considering joining me on the journey through The Stand. WB Greta has already expressed interest. Maybe we can compare notes and learn together about various issues of writing from a Master Storyteller. For my part, I think reading a large novel like this will provide some good topics to discuss out here on Powder Burns and Bullets.
See you somewhere between the pages.