This is not my usual Monday blog post, but I thought I would take a break from writing tips to share my summer reading plans. I am being a bit ambitious this summer, especially with my editing plans and full time job; however, I hope to finish most of these books, even though I have a total of 15-21 book goal. I have enough books on my reading this this summer that I decided to categorize them into writing research and classic/literary fiction. Ready?
My writing research centers around the question, “What does good Christian fantasy look like and how do I write it?” Pretty simple. So I am reading a good number of essays on Christian fiction in general and also on Christian fantasy. I am also reading two authors that I want to draw from for my own writing: Flannery O’Connor and George MacDonald. Finally, I am reading some Christian fantasy that has been published within the last two years by one of the publishing companies that I hope to query this fall.
- C. S. Lewis: On Stories and Other Essays on Literature
- Dorothy L. Sayers: The Mind of the Maker
- Flannery O’Connor: Mystery and Manners and various short stories
- George MacDonald: Phantastes
- Ralph C. Wood: The Gospel According to Tolkien
- Jill Williamson: King’s Blood
- Ronie Kendig: Embers
- Joan Campbell: Chains of Gwyndorr
- Chawna Schroeder: Beast
- Various Contemporary Authors: Reality and the Vision
- Madeleine L’Engle: Walking on Water
- C. S. Lewis: Of Other Worlds and The Dark Tower and Other Stories
Technically, I have already finished two of these books: Phantastes and King’s Blood, but I listed them here anyways since they were part of my early summer reading. Both were phantastic in different ways; I would recommend MacDonald to any reader who loves fairy stories and wants some beautiful and mature themes, and Jill Williamson’s series, Kinsman Chronicles, is the model of Christian epic fantasy for the college age group. The second part of this lists are books that I would love to get to but are lower priorities than the others.
The purpose of my second reading list is to spark conversation and explore some classics. My next door neighbor and I will be reading through these together, and so I hope to have some great conversations with her. Since she has great handwriting, I’ll use her note and put links below.
- Fyodor Dostoevsky: The Brothers Karamazov
- Chinua Achebe: Things Fall Apart
- Shusaku Endo: Silence
- George MacDonald: The Princess and the Goblin
- John Steinbeck: East of Eden
- Shakespeare: Cymbeline
I may see if I can talk her out of A Tale of Two Cities and A Midsummer’s Night Dream— not because I don’t think they will be good (I actually have some limited experience with both and still hope to read them fully someday)– but because I want to prioritize some of my writing reading, and I may add a book on modern Israel.
So I am extremely excited about reading all these good books (even despite the fact that I have to barrow many of them from the library), but what are you guys planning on reading this summer? Have you read any of these books before? What did you think of them?
Note: As of next Monday, I not have access to internet for about two weeks. I will still have scheduled posts on Monday (and maybe a guest post– we will see), but I will not be posting Open Pen Critique or be able to reply to comments until I return. When I do return, stay tuned for a special post about a topic that is very important to me but I have yet to write about on this blog 🙂