Whatcha reading?

Summer is synonymous with reading at our house. We're year-round readers, but there's something about lazing away a summer day with a book that is really appealing. It ranks up there with reading on a rainy day. Or a snowy day. A sick day. A Sunday...

I remember my mom haranguing me as a child to close my book and help with the dishes. I would put up a finger and say, I'm almost done with this chapter. Let me finish this page. I only have three pages to go! Ten minutes later, she'd snatch the book out of my hands and I would protest with the same excuses.

Now that I'm a mother myself, I get it. I can hardly draw my 13-year-old daughter, Hannah, away from her reading. Today alone, she has finished two books with a total of 554 pages. She's flying though the pages of a third tome, as the clock ticks alarmingly close to her bedtime. But Mom, I'm almost done with this chapter!! Sigh.

My other 13-year-old, Grace, is trying to catch up with the classics. She's reading The Grapes of Wrath. It doesn't have the appeal of the Hunger Games, but she's slogging through it, and I'm proud of her. Oliver Twist is next on her list. Grace does great when she's into a book. If it doesn't spark her interest, I'll catch her watching re-runs of Ghost Whisperer. Sigh.

My soon-to-be-ten-year-old, Emma, is on a Lurlene McDaniel kick right now. Perhaps you're not familiar with Lurlene. I wasn't, so I glanced at a listing of Lurlene's work. She has written scores of books including: A Time To Die; Mother Help Me Live; Please Don't Die; Let Him Live; She Died Too Young; Too Young To Die; Baby Alicia Is Dying; Till Death Do Us Part. I am not making this stuff up. Lurlene is passing along a morbid fascination with dying to my 5th grader. Sigh.

My three-year-old, Audrey also gets on a kick. Today, she wanted four books about camels. Random, but that's fine. Some days I'll read Danny and the Dinosaur ten times. Sigh.

I am not a book buyer. I am a book borrower. Just today, the kids and I checked out 22 books from the library. I also paid a $9 late fee. I could get these books back to the library in a timely fashion, but I'm always waiting on my husband to finish the one book I check out for him. It takes him a month to read a book that I'd wipe out in a day, no problem. He has this pesky thing called a j-o-b that gets in the way of his reading. I'm not hindered by such restraints.

To give myself some credit, I only occasionally ignore my household duties just to cuddle with a book. I forgo sleep. I rarely watch TV (Survivor and Swamp People are the exceptions). Any free time I manage, I spend with a book.

When I scan articles suggesting books to read for the summer, the list is full of new releases. That's an issue for me. I don't want to spend the money on a new release, and the waiting list gets long at the library. I'll often go back to the classics. I'll look at lists invariably titled Books Everyone Should Read.

What I really want to know is"what are you reading? What books would make your own top-ten list? Share your suggestions here or join the conversation on our Facebook page here .

Take care~Sarah D.