My summer reading list: Bonita Hele


Bonita Hele
Creative nonfiction, 1st year

Summer is my favorite time to read (because it feels too hot to do much else), and I try to get through a few more than five books, but here are the top titles on my to-read list.

Death by Living: Life is Meant to be Spent, by N. D. Wilson — It’s the only of Wilson’s published books I have not read. And a writer who can make me cry over the fate of a snake in a work of juvenile fantasy (Last of the Lost Boys, from the Outlaws of Time series) deserves to have every one of his books read. By everyone.

A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again, by David Foster Wallace — Because Fresno State Creative Writing nonfiction reading list.

After Montaigne: Contemporary Essayists Cover the Essays, edited by David Lazar and Patrick Madden — Same reason as above.

Crafting the Personal Essay: A Guide for Writing and Publishing Creative Nonfiction, by Dinty W. Moore — I read his book Dear Mister Essay Writer Guy in a single evening. I’m also thrilled this author will be teaching at CSU Summer Arts 2018, as part of The Normal School’s Creative Nonfiction Workshop and Publishing Institute. What an impressive author lineup.

And every summer, to make up for homework binges and evening classes and “Go to bed on time because you have to get up for school tomorrow morning” during the regular semester, I try to read with my kids every evening. Of course, as is the tendency of little people (and big people too), they hold varied literary tastes. So reading with the kids means reading three different books at three different times with three individual individuals. And the books are:

The Story Peddler, by Lindsay A. Franklin — Her debut fantasy novel.

On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness, by Andrew Peterson — Another fantasy novel, first in a four-book series called The Wingfeather Saga.

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, by C. S. Lewis — Because in introducing The Chronicles of Narnia to my children, I hope they’ll find as much joy in the stories as I do with every read.

Bonita is pictured reading with her daughter Jessica.

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