Lost in Translation Preview: Subversive Summer Reading

Schoolz out 4 Summer, Bookwyrms! Time to let out my inner 13-year-old and rejoice in the next 90 days of freedom (from the long grip of winter, anyway).

It’s time for street food, outdoor markets, wild mermaiding, skateboard marathons, and…the most epically rebellious summer reading list ever! Prepare to be delightfully scandalized by the third-wave feminist, myth-defying, proudly non-academic, radical DIY neo-90s of it all!

GIF image of four cartoon girls high-fiving and shouting Scandalous!

I may or may not count this toward my local library’s actual Summer Reading Program.

Anyhoo, because I had so much fun with it last time, I’m going to give y’all another Google Translate preview of my potential upcoming posts (see the original Lost In Translation rules here). This time, each translation will correspond with a different book.

And because I’m a merciful mischief-maker, I’ll even give you a visual hint of the answers! (though parts of the image may or may not be red herrings because 😈 ).

GIF image of Inigo Montoya from The Princess Bride, saying "You keep using that word.  I do not think it means what you think it means."


Chest Trunk

English –> Lithuanian –> Sinhala –> Samoan –> English


Eats Black Water

English –> Odia (Oriya) –> Pashto –> Mongolian –> English


Death or Frost

English –> Chichewa –> Dutch –> Hawaiian –> English

A photo of me chilling on the back porch, facing the lake on a sunny day.  You only see my legs and feet stretched out onto a chair.  I'm wearing sparkly rainbow sandals and holding a Lonely Planet guide to Rarotonga, Samoa, and Tonga.

On a small table next to me is a pile of books and such.  You can just make out fragments of titles like BU??, BLACK WATE SIST, SONIC CHIHUAHUA, PAPERBACK CRUSH, a few Sweet Valley Kids books, and WALK TWO MOONS.

As always, feel free to share your guesses in the Comments! And tell me about your summer reading plans! Do you have an official list, a few looking-forward-to titles, or are you totally playing it by ear (eye? mind)? What’s the most subversive/rebellious thing you read when you were a teen?


Scandalous GIF from tumblr.

Princess Bride GIF from gifer.


  1. I couldn’t find a way to make reading subversive because my parents carefully never commented on what I read, even though one friend lent me books that I saw my dad not comment on!

  2. Hmm… I don’t read enough to make this work, but I’ll do what I can.
    1. Chest Trunk – Buried Treasure… Treasure Island?
    2. Eats Black Water – Black Fish?
    3. Death or Frost – Jack Frost?

    Summer reading plan?
    My current reading plan is to read the Demon Slayer manga, since I started the show and it hasn’t caught up to the rest of the story. I just don’t have the patience to wait a few years to finish it. Also, this probably won’t take all summer, since it’s only 21 books. (21 books with pictures, because it’s manga) Also, I’m starting on book 6 since the library didn’t have book 4 and 6 looked closer to where the show left off. Gotta love libraries taking care of those book needs! (not sarcastic, though I realized after reading it again that it may have sounded sarcastic.)

    Rebellious books?
    I never really did that. Read books to rebel, I mean. It took a long time just to get me to read and to do it outside of school. Even then, I suppose I did have a parent who didn’t like spending money on books that were ‘below my reading level’. Well, I’m sorry, but if I want to read about a cat that has 9 lives and is going on an ocean-side adventure, then I’ll just find an adult who will let me get that short 20 page picture book! Same went for the whale book too, though that one came with an adorable orca plushie. Is it rebellious if a different adult gets you the book you want? And they encourage you to read what you like? Anyway, that’s the closest I got to being rebellious with books.

    • Good guesses! One of the books in the photo is about buried treasure, so… 😉

      And Right freaking ON with the value of books that are “below age level”! That’s been my favorite kind of literary rebellion since I was in middle school and willfully checked out a book about Brownie Scouts from the school library. 😈

    • Ummm I’m not sure what your titles are, but please know that I’ve now added Black Water Sister to my TBR list because it sounds AWESOME!!

      ALSO: count ANY and ALL reading this summer for your local library summer reading program! This summer if we meet our community goal, an anonymous donor is going to feed all of the animals in the local shelter for a WHOLE MONTH. Read read read! And make sure you record your time 🙂

      As for rebellious books– my parents never really told me what I could and couldn’t read. There was one time when my parents took the 4th Harry Potter book away from me because it was so scary that I wouldn’t put it down and sleep AND when I did I had nightmares… they had to hide it on top of the fridge because I couldn’t reach, so I found a chair and climbed ON TOP OF the fridge to get it. Does that count? Lol

      Another great post. Can’t wait to see what you’ll review next 🙂

      • WOO! New TBR level unlocked! 🥳

        Is it possible to estimate hours read retroactively? Because I…kind of keep forgetting to check my start and end times. 😅 At least audiobooks are easy, because they tell you the total time in advance.

        Your parents sound super cool, and even though their reasons for hiding the book seem fair enough, your devious perseverence is totally rad. You absolutely belong in Dumbledore’s Army. 👏😁

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