The last few days I’ve had a number of people ask me for reading suggestions while they travel. so I thought I’d put together a list of great summer reads.
What do I consider a good summer read? (just my definition so you may pick totally differently than me but it’s my blog!)
A great summer book is light, witty, easy to relate too and little to no fantasy worlds to digest. No dystopias or vampires or warewolfs. Those can be enjoyed (or not enjoyed) more in the winter where you can cozy up to a fire and an adventure.
Summer books should make you feel good and be something you could read in spurts and not feel bad. There are so many distractions in the summer which makes this last aspect key.
So here’s my list: (in no particular order)
1. A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle
2. Undomestic Goddess by Sophi Kinsella (mild language warning)
3. Red China Blues by Jan Wong
4. All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriott
5. Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows
6. I Feel Bad About My Neck by Nora Ephron
7. Cheaper by the Dozen by Frank Bunker Gilbreth, Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey
8. Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson
9. The Prizewinner of Defiance Ohio by Terry Ryan
10. Gift from the Sea by Anne Marrow Lindbergh
11. From Mama’s Bank Account by Kathryn Forbes
12. My Life in France by Julia Child
13. Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery
14. Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
15. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
16. A Girl Named Zippy by Haven Kimmel
17. The Egg and I by Betty McDonald
18. Summer at Tiffany by Marjorie Hart
19. Portuguese Irregular Verbs by Alexander McCall Smith (actually any AMS book would be great)
20. Jane Austen books- I know classics to some aren’t light but I literally read them every summer so they have to go on the list!
There are many more I could pick and if you have particular interests or are going some place unique let me know and I will give some recommendations. Enjoy your travel and your reading!
What do you like to read in the summer? I’d love to hear your lists
11 thoughts on “Summer Reading”
The Egg and I! My goodness, I’d no idea that anybody else on earth besides my mother, my sister and me still read that one.
It’s a real charmer and very authentic. I wish it was available on audiobook because it would be great for book club. I have several in the club who are audiobook readers only which cuts out a few.
What else do you like to read in the summer?
Hmm…. If I’m in the mood to read something, I read it, regardless of the season. That said, I do have a couple of memories from my youth, of reading during the summer. Almost 50 years ago, there was the August when I was laid low for a couple of weeks by a horrible head cold, from which misery I escaped by reading the Little House books. And then, about 40 years ago, I went through a couple of midsummer weeks of getting up to watch the sun rise, after which I’d leaf slowly through a coffee table book of my mother’s, that was called “The Book of the Outdoors,” published by Sports Illustrated. I was disappointed when Ma gave it to her brother, so when I found a copy in a used book store a few years ago, I snapped it up.
Your book club friends can make their own audiobooks with the free Balabolka text-to-speech converter. It can open and read aloud text in AZW, AZW3, CHM, DjVu (DjVu+OCR), DOC, DOCX, EPUB, FB2, HTML, LIT, MOBI, ODT, PDF, PRC or RTF formats, and it can save it as in WAV, MP3, MP4, OGG or WMA format. There will probably be some mispronounced words, but when encountered while listening, the playback can be stopped and errors can be patched up by a global find-and-replace function. This is a handy way to listen to public domain classics, which haven’t been republished as audiobooks, from sites like Project Gutenberg.
That’s a good suggestion for the one’s that are downloadable.
Little House is a great summer read. I love them and they oddly enough are also not available on audiobook.They were favorites of mine as a little girl, along with Little Women.
It just seems like I have more time in the winter for long, detailed books because I don’t have the lake to distract me! 🙂
Ah, but as I wrote in my blog post, “To Everything There Is A Season…,” a long, detailed book, like one that you and I have both read (nod, nod, wink, wink), is helpful to bring along to batten down a beach towel against a breeze! 🙂
I think part of it is I’m just happier in the summer so I am more drawn to happier books.
Well…The Egg and I isn’t a particularly happy book, although it has some hilarious characterizations (my sister decided, after she became a grandmother, that she wanted to be addressed as “Gammy”). You can tell it was one of the rough patches in her life that caused her marriage to fail, because her efforts to put a good face on it are not always successful. And it was kind of helpful when I did the chicken thing, too. I started with 100 Leghorn and Rhode Island Red peeps, expecting a high rate of, shall we say, “attrition,” and they fulfilled my expectations. “Camilla,” the only Leghorn to survive, developed into an accomplished escape artist, but for the most part, there are few things on this planet that are dumber than chickens.
That’s true. Several of these books have darker elements but I’d say the tone is still lighter. Prizewinner of Defiance Ohio and Girl Named Zippy are also books that have very sad events but the overall tone still manages to be carefully controlled, and you leave feeling uplifted and encouraged.
For the Egg and we know there are serious issues in their marriage but it does not feel drab. She writes about with a humor that makes it work for the summer for me. Could be just me.
And what about your own novels? Especially your second one, the body-swapping fantasy. I’m still hoping to answer your call for Beta readers, for that one. Any plans to polish it up, perhaps during Camp NaNoWriMo, next month? I’ve registered a private cabin, and you’re welcome to make that your base, between virtual laps in the Camp’s virtual lake, of course! 🙂
Thanks for asking about my writing. I need to get back into working on both of them. Once I get settled in my new job I’ll create a plan.