My Summer TBR List

I’m one of those people who feed off of sunshine, so spring and summer are my favorite seasons. I especially love to read in the summer. Back when I was in school summer was pretty much the only time I could read for fun, and now the longer days make me more productive so I have more time to read. So since yesterday was the first official day of summer I thought I’d share what’s on my Summer To Be Read (TBR) List.

  • The Shadow Children Series by Margaret Peterson Haddix
    I read the first book of this series, Among the Hidden, in May for my Favorite Book Feature, so of course I now have to go read the whole series again. These books were some of my favorites back in middle school/early high school. Haddix was my favorite author at the time, and her books made me want to write too.
The Shadow Children series by Margaret Peterson Haddix and the Skinjacker Trilogy by Neal Shusterman
  • The Skinjacker Trilogy by Neal Shusterman
    I also read the first book of this series, Everlost, for a Favorite Book Feature, and I now want to read the other two books as well. Shusterman is one of my current favorite authors because of his incredible writing style. His voice is so distinct, and he is one of the best storytellers I’ve ever read. Look for my post on Everlost next Friday for June’s Favorite Book Feature.
  • Legend by Marie Lu
    I was hooked on this series as soon as I read the book jacket and saw that it is a dystopia inspired by Les Misérables. I’ll be writing about this amazing book for July’s Favorite Book Feature.
  • Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis
    August’s Favorite Book Feature is going to be this eerie dystopia about a water shortage.
Summer TBR 2
Legend by Marie Lu and Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis
  • The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee
    I’ve been meaning to get to this on for a while. Set in future Manhattan in a skyscraper that’s a thousand stories tall, this book sounds so glamorous and thrilling.
  • The Reader by Traci Chee
    This book is about a world without reading, which I find really interesting. It’s a fantasy, which I don’t tend to enjoy very often, so I’m not sure I’ll like it. But I think it will help inspire me and my current project.
  • Metaltown by Kristen Simmons
    I won the audiobook version of Metaltown a while back from a giveaway by the author, and I’m finally getting around to listening to it. This one is another dystopia inspired by Les Misérables, so I was hooked as soon as I heard Simmons describe it at a signing I went to.
I won an audiobook of Metaltown from a giveaway Kristen Simmons had on Instagram. I got these awesome Press Back buttons from her signing I went to.
  • The Selection Series by Kiera Cass
    I think this will be the forth time I’ve read the original trilogy, but I like these books more each time I read them. I want to go through them again to help me as I work on a similar book.
The Selection series by Kiera Cass
  • The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
    While these are some of my favorite movies, I haven’t actually read the books except for the first one when it was a new book nine years ago. I also think this series will help me with my current project, so I finally want to read them.

Of course, all but two of these books I already own, so my library stack that’s already as tall as me isn’t getting any shorter any time soon. But I still can’t wait to get to read all of these stories this summer.

Kristen Simmons, Natalie D. Richards, and Mindee Arnett at Books & Co

Last night I got to see three authors at Books & Co in Dayton: Kristen Simmons, Natalie D. Richards, and Mindee Arnett. Simmons and Richards were there to talk about their new books, Metaltown and One Was Lost respectively, and Arnett led the panel. She asked them lots of questions, from what two sticks inspired their stories (like the two sticks necessary to build a fire) to what labels they think their characters would have.

I was interested in reading Metaltown ever since I saw its cover a few weeks ago, but after hearing Simmons describe how Les Miserables was one of her inspirations, I am so excited to read it. Richards’s book sounded interesting and creepy as well, about a group of campers who wake up with words on their arms.

Bookmarks, Buttons, and a Tattoo!

I asked them if they had any advice for authors about to publish their first book, and they gave me lots of great guidance:

  • It’s easy to get discouraged, but don’t give up—keep writing.
  • The reality of publishing is never as good as the dream, so remember why you are doing this in the first place. Only your story is going to come close to the dream.
  • Publishing is brutal and hard, like becoming a parent. But you have to let it roll off you and get back up again.

I love going to these author events, and Books & Co has so many of them. There’s even three groups of YA authors this week alone, with Lorie Langdon and Carey Corp last Saturday and Laurie Halse Anderson this Friday. My favorite part of last night was listening to the panel and all of their fellow local authors in the audience talk before the event started, and getting to go up and have a conversation with the panel afterwards. Dayton has such a friendly and supportive local author community, and I know I am in the right city to kick off my writing career.