Summer Reading 2012

by Gabriela Pereira
published in Reading

When I was a kid, my local library did a summer reading challenge. You had to keep track of your books in a reading log, move your name tag across a giant game board with each book you read, and if you got to 25 books you’d win a T-Shirt. In middle school,  I won the challenge two years in a row (I think my parents still have those T-shirts saved away somewhere), but more importantly I won a love of reading that has lasted until today.

Since middle school, summer for me has always been synonymous with summer reading. Even now when my summer schedule is really no different from that of the school year, I always seem to find more time for reading during the summer months. This year I read six books (almost finished with the seventh) which is a far cry from the 25 I used to read as a kid, but is still many more than what I’m able to manage during the rest of the year.

For me, reading always tends to revolve around a theme, and this year the topics have been: creativity and entrepreneurship. This makes sense, of course, since these topics have been on my mind a lot (especially with the DIY MFA re-branding and web design update that’s coming this fall).

When I was in middle school, I’d get into this mode where I’d have to read ALL the books from one author or series because I simply couldn’t get enough. These days, instead of author or series it’s all about the topic. When I get locked in on a subject or an idea, I have to read I have to read every different perspective on that same concept. Right now creativity and entrepreneurship are the flavor of choice so if you’ve read books on those topics I’d love to hear your recommendations.

After all, summer’s not quite over yet.


In case you’re curious, here’s my Summer Reading Log for 2012:

You Are a Writer by Jeff Goins
It Takes an Egg Timer
by Joanne Tombrakos
The Accidental Creative: How to Be Brilliant at a Moment’s Notice
by Todd Henry
Turning Pro
by Steven Pressfield
We Are Not Alone
by Kristen Lamb
Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation
by Parker J. Palmer
Unleashing the Ideavirus
by Seth Godin (currently reading)


Of these books, I’d say The Accidental Creative was my favorite because of the straight-forward, actionable lessons I learned from it. I read it on my Kindle–which is my preferred format for breezing through a book– but now I think I might have to get a hard copy so that I can use it as a reference and look things up or review concepts as needed.

What books have YOU read this summer? What was your favorite?

  • Gabriela, I’m excited to see Jeff Goins on your list! I read the Kindle version of “You Are a Writer” this past summer as well, and follow his blog. Great stuff! I also read On Writing Well by William Zinsser, which is the best book I’ve read so far on nonfiction. I’ll be sure to check out The Accidental Creative. Thanks for sharing!

    • Gabriela

      On Writing Well is now in the queue! Thanks for the recommendation! And wasn’t “You Are a Writer” such a lovely book? It’s the warmest book I’ve read that tackles the subject platform and author-branding. Kudos to Jeff for taking such a cold (and often intimidating) topic and making it friendly and inviting to writers.

  • Audrey

    I want to let you know how much I love your posts and blogs! I think I’ve learned more from reading your posts than I have in any class. Thank you for inspiring me to keep writing!

  • I’m currently taking a course that I am not enjoying so, to give me some pleasure, I signed up for a coursera course. The entire MOOC experience has been interesting, to say the least. I am pleased with some aspects of the course itself but frustrated with how the course has been designed for the internet. Still, it’s been fun reading Lewis Carroll, Grimm Bros., Bram Stoker, Mary Shelley, and now Poe and Hawthorne. Next onto Burroughs and Gilman and eventually even Bradbury and LeGuin and Doctorow.

    Other than that, I’m so far behind on writing my book reviews that I think I’ve slowed down my pleasure reading to give myself time to catch up.

  • I just finished Start Something That Matters by Blake Mycoskie. It was motivational and sincere in a “I can hardly believe it really happened” kind of way. Something writers often experience or hope to. I will check out The Accidental Creative. Thanks!

    • Gabriela

      Quinn Oooh, I totally have to check that one out. Putting it on my list right now! Thanks for the suggestion. 🙂

  • Gabriela

    Audrey: Thank you so much for your kind words! It makes my day to know that DIY MFA is useful and helpful! Keep writing!

    Satia: I hear you about online courses. I’ve taken a couple myself and have had a good experience every time, but I can definitely see the potential pitfalls. I’m currently designing some self-guided mini-courses so this is a topic that definitely is on my mind. Any suggestions on how to avoid some internet-course pitfalls?

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