Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Venture Forth: 2020 Summer Reading Program

I am joining in on the Venture Forth 2020 Summer Reading Program described by Carl Anderson at Stainless Steel Droppings.

From Carl's post:
Do you recall Summer Reading programs that were assigned by your school for the Summer break, or were hosted by your local public library? Are these something in which you participated?
Memories of my past, related largely to books and reading, have been triggered during this time of physical distancing as I have communicated via technology with friends. Those memories are influencing my reading of late and even the music I have been listening to.
--- --- ---
So I created my own Summer Reading program: Venture Forth. The name is a play on the idea that we are being allowed to venture forth into certain businesses and venues once again, and that reading always allows everyone to Venture Forth on an adventure.
This isn’t a challenge or event like I’ve hosted in the past. It is simply something that I want to do and want to share with you. If you desire to recapture a bit of that childhood summer experience, please feel free to be a part of this, and feel free to use the gif.
There are no rules. No number of books to read. No prizes outside of the great pleasure of reading.
Carl listed about 20 prompts that fit his situation. I have borrowed some of his and created my own.

My prompts:

book with a Michael Whelan cover 
       [Dragonsdawn (1988) by Anne McCaffrey]
       [Dragonflight (1968) by Anne McCaffrey]

spy fiction written by a woman  [At Risk (2004) by Stella Rimington]

spy fiction written by a man  [The Last Tourist (2020) by Olen Steinhauer]

2020 book purchase

nonfiction book

novel that is part of a series

novel that I have read before

book recommended by another blogger

graphic novel

recommendation from my husband

historical fiction novel

science fiction novel  [The Consuming Fire (2018) by John Scalzi]

book set in Canada   [A Trick of the Light (2011) by Louise Penny]

book written by a Canadian author

book published in the 1940s

book published in the 1950s

NEW prompt added June 5th:
     Clarkesworld Anthology

The prompt for a "book with a Michael Whelan cover" was on Carl's list and I assumed I would switch that to an illustrator that I am more familiar with. But I was curious about Whelan so I looked him up. Amazingly I actually found a book I had with a cover by Michael Whelan. It is Foundation (Book One) by Isaac Asimov and it is on my Classics List. So I will be reading that for sure.


Cath said...

Glad you're going to join in the fun! I checked and I don't have any Michael Whelan covers apart from my Pern books. There're a few of those I haven't read so I might see if I fancy one of those. I really want to read Foundation and have it on my Nook but the cover it shows is not the MW. But I can still read that for another category.

I like your extra prompts. I've thought of a few of my own so will add those in another post.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I have heard good things about AMERICAN SPY by Lauren Wilkinson.

Rick Robinson said...

I made a chart of the prompts, and had to change a couple, then realized it would take me the rest of the year, maybe half of the next one, to read all those! I'm happy reading many of the things on the TBR and clearing some space there, so I'm going to aim at that instead.

In lieu of reading an issue of Clarkesworld, I could send you one of the earlier collections of the stories from it, which I think would satisfy the requirement nicely. Let me know.

Rick Robinson said...

Oh, I see that one isn't on your list. ??

TracyK said...

Cath, I am looking forward to reading some choices for these prompts. Some of them I could read two or three for and probably will. My son might have some books with Whelan covers and maybe even one of the Pern books. I would read a Pern book if I had one and maybe my son does. Can you read those out of order?

TracyK said...

Patti, I have also heard good things about AMERICAN SPY and I had forgotten about it. Thanks for reminding me.

TracyK said...

Rick, I had a list of 20 books I hoped to read for summer and some of them already fit the prompts. So I think I can read most of them and it will be fun trying.

I did take the Clarkesworld prompt off and the other two magazines. I have some old sci fi magazines but different ones and they are hiding somewhere. If you don't mind sending me a collection of Clarkesworld stories to read, I would add that to my list of prompts and it would be a good experience for me. And I can return it when I am done. So thanks for the kind offer.

Margot Kinberg said...

That's a really clever way to plan summer reading, Tracy. I especially like the flexibility of choosing your own categories (yours are great!). I look forward to seeing what you think of these books.

Carl V. Anderson said...

I'm so glad you are venturing forth into summer reading. I like the changes/additions you made to the prompts, especially the spy novel and decade-specific ones. Very cool. I think I will add a spy one to my list because I've been meaning to pick up where I left off with the Bond books and this would be just the prompt I need to move that up the pile.

I saw your conversation about Clarkesworld. Another option, if you are interested, here is the link to my SF Signal Best of 2013 post I put up when I was reviewing short stories for them that year. Stories were from Clarkesworld, Lightspeed, Asimov's and Almost all of the links still work, so if a specific story sounded interesting you could just do that:

TracyK said...

Margot, I like the flexibility too. I do have books in mind for most of them but this gives me the option to change my mind and go for another book in that category.

TracyK said...

Thanks, Carl. Spy fiction is one of my favorite genres, so I could not leave that off. I haven't finished reading the Bond books either. I stopped at On Her Majesty's Secret Service, so not too many books left after that one.

Thanks for the suggestion for other ways to read short stories from science fiction magazines. I will keep that in mind.

Carl V. Anderson said...

You are welcome. The one I'm needing to start with is Goldfinger. I've been aching to reread From Russia With Love, however, so I may do a reread of that first.

TracyK said...

From Russia With Love is my favorite, although I remember liking On Her Majesty's Secret Service a lot when I read it decades ago.

Cath said...

Tracy, the first three Pern books are best read in order, Dragonflight, Dragonquest and The White Dragon. After that it doesn't matter too much although I would still try to read them in order. A few of them go back historically and those it doesn't matter too much about.

TracyK said...

Cath, I had the feeling that order would be important. I will see if my son ever read the early Pern books, he hardly ever purges any books from his collection. If not, I will follow up elsewhere.

Rick Robinson said...

Okay, Tracy, here's the information on the Pern books, all of which I have several times each. I do not included the books co-authored with her son Todd, or those written by him.

There are two ways to read the series. One is the way McCaffrey herself suggests reading the books. While I like and approve of that order, I have a second order of my own, which my experience with the books makes me think is better. Here you go:

McCaffrey's Order:
1. Dragonflight
2. Dragonquest
3. Dragonsong
4. Dragonsinger
5. White Dragon (1st 2 chapters)
6. Dragondrums
7. White Dragon (chapter 3 to end)
8. “The Smallest Dragonboy” from Get Off the Unicorn
9. Moreta: Dragonlady of Pern
10. Nerilka’s Story
11. Dragonsdawn
12. Nerilka’s Story
13. Dragonseye
14. “The Girl Who Heard Dragons” from The Girl Who Heard Dragons
15. The Renegades of Pern
16. Masterharper of Pern
17. “Runner of Pern” from Legends
18. All the Weirs of Pern
19. Dolphins of Pern
20. Skies of Pern

the Robinson suggested order:

1. Dragonsdawn
2. Chronicles of Pern: First Fall
3. Dragonseye
4. Moreta: Dragonlady of Pern
5. Nerilka’s Story
6. Dragonflight
7. Dragonquest
8. White Dragon
9. Dragonsong
10. Dragonsinger
11. “The Smallest Dragonboy” from Get Off the Unicorn
12. Dragondrums
13. “The Girl Who Heard Dragons” from The Girl Who Heard Dragons
14. “Runner of Pern” from Legends
15. The Renegades of Pern
16. Masterharper of Pern
17. All the Weirs of Pern
18. Dolphins of Pern
19. Skies of Pern

Either way, enjoy the reading! These are some of my very favorites.

Rick Robinson said...

By the way, you see I do think the "historical" (as Cath calls them) matter, and that's why I have them first! If the short stories aren't available, they can be skipped with no ill effect.

TracyK said...

Rick, Thanks, that will be useful. I had my son check for the couple of books he has, and as I was writing this he brought me Dragonsdawn and a later book in the series. So, since it is at hand, I will try Dragonsdawn. AND it has a Michael Whelan cover.

Don't know how soon I will read it, as I have three books going now and others I am eager to read soon. But some time in June or July for sure.

Rick Robinson said...

The reason I like starting with that one is it explains the whole setting, and why, dragons or not, these books are science fiction.