Summer reading, had me a blast

Jessica  Rodrigo By Jessica Rodrigo

June 5, 2013 at 1:05 a.m.

Books may have become obsolete as readers move on to e-readers and digital versions of their favorite books, but summer reading will always live on. As students in grade school, there were always summer reading to be had. Whether it was part of class or purely recreational, these programs kept us reading throughout summertime, and for some of us, the tradition continues.

For Cindy Schnebly, an associate professor of English at the University of Houston-Victoria, summer reading is more than just a way for her to break away from her curriculum and reading papers written by her students.

"I think our minds are more open to it (reading) in the summer," she said. "Some people will do more lighter reading during the summer, too."

Last summer, Schnebly, 60, who is also the founder and moderator of the UHV book club, Saturday Morning Book Break, read through all five volumes of the "Game Of Thrones" series. While she said it wasn't something she would normally choose to read, she decided to read the volume after purchasing the first season of the popular HBO drama series.

"This fantasy set is perfect for summer reading," she said. "You can all watch the HBO series, but the complete world is carefully detailed in the books, which include maps as well as multiple family trees."

She recommends the series to anyone who enjoys the "seamy side of politics, King Arthur's Knights of the Round Table ... as well as more violence, sex and adventure."

She's a fan of mysteries, serious fictions and books turned into movies but will not limit herself to just reading those genres. She's even read trendy books, including the "Hunger Games" series, "Twilight" series and many more.

"I'm a reader like crazy," she said. "I probably read a wider variety of books than lots of folks do."

So whether you are into mystery, teen romance or fantasy books, there are a ton of books out there ready to be thumbed through or swiped at via your handy-dandy e-reader.

Teen romance

Seventeen-year-old Caitlin Ressman wasted no time after school ended as she paced the aisles and perused the bookshelves at Hastings for her favorite books. She's a huge fan of the teen romance genre and said she might go through at least 15 to 20 books this summer alone.

"I have a list of books I want to get through," she said.

Her recommendation for this summer was "As Long As We Both Shall Live" by Lurlene McDaniel. Ressman said the book is about a girl, diagnosed with cancer, who falls in love with young man who has cystic fibrosis.

"It's the one book that I cry every time from."

Science fiction

Schnebly shared a recommendation for "Snow Crash" by Neal Stephenson for those who enjoy a futuristic adventure.

"Imagine a pizza runner whose alternate identity is trying to save the information age from a deadly virus," she said.

She added that "Snow Crash" is set in the near future and is a fun read with hints of cyberpunk, wicked humor, satire and noir fiction.

Emotional thriller

Diane Williams, 50, sat in a comfortable chair in her favorite bookstore, Redbird Books, looking for the next novel she is going to read.

"I am all over the place," said Williams, 50, about the genre of books she typically reads. "But I really like historical fictions."

She said she visits the locally owned and operated bookstore to read her books in peace and quiet after work. This summer, she guessed that she might read about six books or more.

Her recommendation for those who enjoy reading thrillers is "Think Twice" by Lisa Scottoline.

"There are lots of twists and turns with a surprising ending."


Chloe spends almost all of her time at Redbird Books - only because she lives there. She's a feline book lover who spends her time sleeping on her dog-shaped cat bed in the corner of the bookstore.

Her recommendation for summer reading is "The Cat's Meow" by Emily Carmichael.

The book is about a cat named Nefertiti who is trying to help her owner, McKenna Wright, recover her memory after a car accident that is turning her life upside down.


Remember the movie "High Fidelity"? Well, the author of the book the film was based on, Nick Hornby, also wrote "A Long Way Down," a book published in 2005 that Schnebly describes as a great read.

"Hornby ... knows how to pull us into his characters' lives and make us root for them to find a way to stay in the world of the living," she said.

The story is funny, quirky and engaging, she added.



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