Monday, June 6, 2011

Summer reading program

More ice cream this weekend. This was 3 ingredients: 1 can of coconut milk (water drained), 2 tbsp maple syrup, and about 1/4 cup of blueberries. Soooo good. And Mike made a version on Sunday with 1 cup heavy cream, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, 1 tbsp maple syrup, and about 1/4 cup almond flour. It tasted like cookie dough ice cream, particularly when I topped it with bittersweet chocolate chips. Mike said it tasted like vanilla ice cream with shortcake crumbled in it.

Oh, and the coconut ice cream pop? Awesome. The texture was just like the old pudding pops. I made two more with the leftover blueberry stuff and I'll have them sometime this week. But I think we'll try to hold off on making any more ice cream till this weekend. It's easy to get carried away.

Summer reading

I grew up as a book nerd. I used to love reading, but especially in the summer. I joined summer reading programs at the library and read competitively. I filled my canvas bag to the brim with books in eager anticipation of two weeks at the beach to read, read, read.

But I don't read books that much anymore. I've lost my zest for it. I never seem to finish anything. I still read a ton, just usually blogs and other stuff on the internet. Unfortunately, this leads more to information overload and reduced attention span than to the satisfaction of enjoying a good story or getting an in-depth look at a new subject.

This summer took forever to get here, with a couple false alarms, but it was hot all weekend and I do think it's finally here. So now that it's summer, I'm going to reclaim my love of summer reading. But I need to set some rules:
  1. No more than 2 books going at a time. I need to be firm on this, otherwise I'll just keep starting things and not finishing them. I'd go with just one, but it's more practical to have one on my Kindle (because I always have it with me) and one hard copy (because I have a huge shelf full of books that I've already paid for).
  2. Be accountable. I'll let you know what I'm reading. I'm posting a spreadsheet with my summer reading info on it. There is a link in the sidebar under DATA/TOOLS if you'd like to follow along.
  3. Set aside time each day to read. Even if it's only 20 minutes. I have plenty of time to read, I just watch too much TV. Don't get me wrong, I love TV. But it is not fulfilling, it simply allows me to tune out. I would like to be more fulfilled, so I need less TV and more books.
  4. I will not be picky. I'll read crap if it's fun. Even my imposing, uber-literary 9th grade English teacher, Mr. Sheaffer, said it was okay to read crap in the summertime. I'll read fiction and nonfiction. I'll read contemporary stuff and classics. I'll read stuff I've already read, maybe. The point is to recapture my love of books, not to meet some intellectual agenda.
My current reading:

Hard copy: On Writing by Stephen King
E-book: American Idol Exposed by Aaron Bale and Justin Buckles

Happy summer! What are you reading?


Julie Petro said...

The Summertime Crap Reading Chronicles? Catchy. I've got Kim Harrison's Every Which Way but Dead on the night table and John Vanderpoel's The Human Figure for times I'm feeling more brainy and awake. I'm listening to Jim Butcher's Death Mask in my car. I have a thing for darkly comedic fantasies and scifi like the Harrison and Butcher books.

I should note that I think it's completely adorable you are making a spreadsheet for your summer reading list.

Also, bluberries: frozen or fresh?

Jane said...

How about Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver - have you read that? I also liked Water for Elephants - Jay and Tom recommended that.

Amy said...

Julie - I make a spreadsheet for everything. Well, almost everything. I used frozen blueberries and microwaved them for a minute first. I had fresh but didn't want to waste them. Hmm, maybe I should make an ice cream spreadsheet.

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