There’s always a good deal of attention given to the concept of the summer-read. But what makes a book a good one for the sunshiny months? For me, it’s something set by a beach, because for me, beach IS summer, and I especially enjoy books set sometime in the past for my summer reads. I like them to dig juicily into character and story. I want to get lost in my summer read.
I know last week marked the first day of summer, but I am still hard at work on my very strict reading schedule, so my summer reads will have to wait a bit longer. Right now I am working through Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier and Some Luck by Jane Smiley. Charles Frazier is not only a great storyteller, he’s also an amazing nature writer. I keep finding myself completely immersed in his descriptions of a tree, a flock of birds, the curve of a mountain trail. I usually have to read those passages twice because they are so startlingly gorgeous. Some Luck is the first part of a trilogy and I adore long stories. Jane Smiley writes these sweeping, deep novels about family and agrarian life. I’ll have these two wrapped up before we leave for our beach vacation, but in many ways they are hitting the summer read mark for me.
Here’s what I’ve gathered so far for vacation reading:
I have a couple more on hold from the library and I just downloaded Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal to my Kindle. I heard him on NPR and I can never resist writers and books that get talked about on NPR, as it is one of my dearest wishes to get talked about on NPR. Or interviewed on NPR. Mentioned in passing. Any reference whatsoever. I’m not greedy.
So what’s so great about summer reading? I think it begins with our natural inclination to slow down during the warm months—the long days and warm breezes, taking time away from work, being outside more (at least for those of us who get buried in snow for the other part of the year). Somehow we appreciate time a little more during summer. And lazing around with a fat novel feels good and indulgent. My family hits the beach every year for our vacation and I love getting up early to a quiet, cool cottage with a book and tea. I love digging my feet in the sand with a book in my hands. Those are my favorite times to read on vacation. I always bring along at least 6 books, because in spite of the assured knowledge I possess that I will never have the time to read 6 books while on vacation, I am an optimist! Also, it’s good to have choices.
So, tell me, what are you reading this summer? My novel, Talking Underwater would be an excellent choice! And wait! What’s this about a summer book sale I mentioned in the blog title in all caps?
SUMMER BOOK SALE!!! (Here it is again!)
Well, let me tell you! I have in my possession a big old box of copies of Talking Underwater and I’m thinking a summer reading sale is in order! For the whopping deal of $9.99 (+$3.00 s&h, media mail), I will send a signed copy directly to your mailbox! Simply visit my order page and we can make this happen. And all new subscribers to my newsletter will be entered to WIN a signed copy chosen by a handy randomizer! All new subscribers who sign up between June 29 and July 15 will be eligible! And I won’t even ask you for the shipping costs! What?! I know. Awesome.
Find my novels, THE MOSQUITO HOURS and TALKING UNDERWATER, online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. And don’t forget your local independent bookstore! I’m curious about something: would you like to stay up-to-date on news about my books as well as have my latest blog posts conveniently delivered to your inbox? Then subscribe to my newsletter! Click on that little box right over there on the right. See how easy I made that for you? (You’re welcome.)