Summer Reading Time

1 Jul

My favorite advice columnist, Amy Dickinson, recently posted the question on her Facebook page, “Do you have a favorite summer read? Want to recommend one?” But of course I do! This librarian by any other name can always offer up advice on a good book or two. Here are a few on my summer reading list:


I actually just finished “W” yesterday. I have read Sue Grafton’s, Kinsey Millhone’s alphabet series from A to W, and will surely make it to Z (and then have a good, long cry once I finish it and think about the series ending). I love these books – the characters, the settings, the mysteries. Perhaps what I like most about them, though, is that Kinsey came to life in “A is for Alibi,” all the way back in 1982. While we’ve aged to 2015, Grafton chose to let Kinsey age at the speed of the stories. In other words, Kinsey is still in the 80s, still doing private detective work using index cards, a typewriter, and pay phones – AND the occasional microfilm/microfiche and reference librarian. I love it! “X” is coming out in August. My summer reading will be bookended by Kinsey, thanks to Sue Grafton!

penguinAlong with a good murder mystery, I’ve also been reading Yochai Benkler’s, The Penguin and the Leviathan. This title was referenced in an article that I was reading about team science and Clinical Translational Science Centers. It’s thesis, that cooperation between competing parties leads to better results than self-interest, intrigued me and just a few chapters into it, my interest has been met. I’m enjoying it.


I also recently came across a reference to Maryanne Wolf’s, Proust and the Squid. Anyone who’s read my blog and the books that I mention on it knows of my fascination with neuroscience, the effects of today’s technology and media on our brains, and the habit of reading. How could I not read this? It’s up next, after I finish the penguin tale.

rebanksI began James Rebanks’ memoir, The Shepherd’s Life, just last night. I’ll be finished with it before the weekend. It is beautiful! Beautiful writing, beautiful landscape, beautiful living. A bonus, if you enjoy his tales of life with the sheep, you can follow Rebanks on Twitter, @herdyshepherd1.


I just came across Tanner Christensen’s, The Creativity Challenge, this morning. I can’t resist books like this, i.e. ones that offer up new information about creativity along with a daily activity to spur on my personal quest to be more creative. No doubt, this book will be in my possession within days.

Jacket Board - Analytics Press

Finally, the 2nd edition of Stephen Few’s, Show Me the Numbers has lived on my work desk since June. It’s a summer companion. Few is the founder of Perceptual Edge, a consulting firm dedicated to information design, knowledge management, and visual communication. He has authored seminal papers and books on the subjects, this particular book being among them. It’s a terrific reference for me and the work that I do, and I imagine of interest and help to more than a few of my readers, too.

That’s it for my reading this summer. What are you picking up? Feel free to share in the comments section.

12 Responses to “Summer Reading Time”

  1. Michelle July 1, 2015 at 1:36 pm #

    I feel like a summer reading list loser 😉 My books are pure brain candy unless you count the books I am reading for a leadership cohort but I don’t because they are assigned and IMHO summer reading lists aren’t assigned.

    Here are mine: Dead Ice by Laurel K. Hamilton, Blood of Tyrants by Naomi Novik, The Death Cure by James Dashner, Robogenesis by Daniel H Wilson.

    • salgore July 1, 2015 at 1:44 pm #

      I didn’t confess to reading People magazine this summer, too. 😉

  2. salgore July 1, 2015 at 1:47 pm #

    P.S. My friend and colleague, Brandy King from the Gold Foundation, shares this post with me: 2015 Summer Reading for Compassionate Clinicians (

  3. Dina McKelvy July 1, 2015 at 1:47 pm #

    I am reading The Sparrow (1996)
    by Mary Doria Russell which is about interstellar space travel, choices we make and why things happen the way they do. It was mentioned by Mae Jemison in her talk at MLA. Enjoying it very much!

  4. nclairoux July 1, 2015 at 2:36 pm #

    Hi Sally, I am a big fan of Kinsey Milhone stories too! I haven’t decided what to read this summer yet, but one of my favorite recent reads was “Yes Please”, by Amy Poehler. It was full of relevant advice, and I wish my daughters read it too!

    • salgore July 1, 2015 at 2:43 pm #

      OH!!! I forgot to mention that one is on my list. Thanks for the reminder, Natalie!! 🙂

  5. salgore July 1, 2015 at 2:44 pm #

    Heidi Senior, a Reference/Instruction Librarian at Clark Library, University of Portland (OR), recommends:

    Oh, I love reading recommendations! Thanks. Just ordered The Creativity Challenge and Show Me the Numbers for my library. Stephen Few’s book Now You See It is on my shelf because it supposedly refers to Tableau data viz software which I’m interested in, but I haven’t gotten to it yet. My summer reading so far: Replay by Ken Grimwood, an oldie (1986) about reincarnation, and Shirley Jackson’s memoirs of parenthood Life Among the Savages and Raising Demons.

    Thanks, Heidi!

  6. Regina Raboin July 1, 2015 at 9:31 pm #

    Great List Sally! I’ve read Proust & the Squid. An excellent book, which really gets one thinking about reading and technology. I happen to know the author from through my previous position, and we did do a little data management together 😊
    My Summer Reading list is probably a bit ambitious but here goes: I Should
    Have Stayed Home: The Worst Trips of Great Writers, Roger Rapoport (Ed.); Grayson, Lynne Cox; Frog Zmudic, Emma Donoghue; Ten Thousand Saints, Eleanor Henderson; Swamplandia, Karen Russel; A Conspiracy of Paper, David Liss. Plus a TON of articles about trends & change in HS libraries. And to try & catch up with my New Yorkers.

    • salgore July 2, 2015 at 11:26 am #

      Thanks, Regina! And “I Should Have Stayed Home” sounds terrific. I look forward to hearing your review. 🙂

      • Regina Raboin July 23, 2015 at 11:58 am #

        “I Should Have Stayed Home: The Worst Trips of Great Writers” was a good read, easy to put down and then pick up a day or two later. I certainly laughed-out-loud while reading some of the essays, and as I recall, one or two were sad as well.

  7. Eleanor July 6, 2015 at 12:21 pm #

    I’m reading Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace, but really it’s not a book you merely read. It’s more of a cross between a graduate level seminar, an AA meeting, and that guy on your transatlantic flight who won’t stop talking to you… It’s good, but all-consuming.

  8. Barbara LeTarte July 15, 2015 at 12:38 pm #

    Better leave some time for Marsh’s book, Do No Harm.

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