My Summer Rereading Program

I teach a class during the school year called Modern Fiction, and it’s basically an independent reading class for upperclassmen.  They get to read virtually whatever they want, but they do have to read each and every day.  If you’re thinking that’s awesome, you’re right.  Furthermore, as any good teacher should, I model expected behavior by reading right along their side.  With two small children at home, this fortunately allows me the opportunity to fulfill my love of reading during the day.

I’ll admit, though, by the end of the school year, I’m a little burned out.  I always struggle to find things I want to read in the summer because I’m both fatigued and also saving books for when the year starts back up.

So, I came up with the perfect solution.  I’ve always told myself that I should reread certain books for different reasons.  Well, this is the perfect time to do so!

In no particular, here are the books that comprise my summer rereading program!


Let me know what you’re reading this summer in the comments.  I’m always on the lookout for a good book!

New Neil Gaiman Novel In June

I just learned that Neil Gaiman has a new novel due out on June 18th, and this excites me.  Gaiman won me over for life with his Sandman comic book series, and some of his books such as American Gods are splendid.

Amazon has only this to describe the book: “This bewitching and harrowing tale of mystery and survival, and memory and magic, makes the impossible all too real…”

I’m sure we’ll learn more in the coming months, but you can already count me in!

Stardust by Neil Gaiman – A Book Review

I like Neil Gaiman. I really do. I liked Neverwhere, and I loved American Gods, both Gaiman novels.

Stardust, however, is a completely different story. No pun intended.

I can’t believe this book is by the same author that I’ve read in the past. It seems so inadequate compared to his other works. It’s supposed to be in the spirit of fairy tales, but it came up woefully short.

Major issues I have with Stardust include the facts that it wasn’t consistent. I was a fourth of the way through the novel before I even had the main characters figured out. The plot was convoluted and didn’t become apparent until over halfway through. There was no sense of urgency, I didn’t care about anyone in the novel, and furthermore, it took every ounce of strength I had just to finish the dang thing. There are few novels that I had to work at finishing.

So, again, I like Neil Gaiman. I think he’s a brilliant writer, and the other novels I’ve read by him are fantastic. Stardust, in my opinion, simply did not deliver.

On a positive note, however, I will say that the last forty pages were much better than the previous ones.

Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman – A Book Review

Living under the shadow of Sandman and American Gods, Gaiman has difficulty impressing me with other works because those two are so utterly superb. 

Anansi Boys is an unfortunate example of just such a case. 

It tells the story of Fat Charlie, the son of the trickster god Anansi.  Early on in the story his father dies, and Fat Charlie finds himself more relieved than anything.  Fat Charlie’s life continues on with the dull routine most of us suffer, until his long-lost brother appears at his doorstep.  From that moment on, Fat Charlie’s fiancée, job, sanity, and freedom are put in jeopardy.

Anansi Boys begins rather slowly and takes its time establishing the main characters’ traits-perhaps too much time.  However, once the book gets rolling about three-quarters of the way through, it moves very quickly and becomes a bit of a nail-biter.

I wouldn’t consider Anansi Boys one of Gaiman’s must-reads, but it also isn’t something I’d say you should avoid.