How to pick a summer read?
Something light, fluffy, perfect for a lazy summer afternoon?
That thick doorstop you’ve been meaning to get to and now might finally have time for when it’s too hot to do anything else?
Off the top of the tottering tower of to-be-reads threatening to topple over?
The library book you STILL haven’t read even though the library’s been digital-only for over two months? (Uh…is that just me?)
A children’s classic full of its own lazy summer afternoons?
The possibilities–and interpretations–are endless. And it can be impossible to predict: what seems like a “good summer read” in June may be the last thing you want to read come August. But this is one of the joys of summer – more relaxation and fewer rules.
Even since I saw the first posts popping up for 20 Books of Summer hosted by Cathy at 746 Books, I’ve been thinking about what I hope–or expect to read–this summer. Twenty books in a three month period is, unfortunately, a bit of a stretch for me. Well, maybe if I switched to all kid’s lit or Golden Age Detective Fiction. But then I saw Cleo’s clever twist: select a list of 20 books, from which to read 10. Well, I can do that! Um…maybe? (Reference: unread library books.)
So I started going through my shelves. First, I pulled the library books. Because, well…(I have no excuses, really.) Then the books I already wanted to read. Throw in a couple children’s classics that I’ve been hankering to reread. Add a readalong title, a few books that are family loans that have been around longer than the library books (I’m the worst at reading borrowed books, apparently), and leave a space for an Agatha Christie that will have to come from the library, and we have a book stack.
From the bottom:
- The Wind in the Willows – after Cleo posted recently, I decided I needed to reread, probably in August
- 67 Shots – (Non-fiction). I had intended to read this in time to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Kent State shootings, but didn’t even open it.
- Beowulf – possible reread; I’m in a bit of Medieval mode at the moment (current read: The Nibelungenlied)
- The Trumpet of the Swan – another possible August reread. And I need to go birding; there’s area wetlands that have Trumpeter Swans (and Bald Eagles – so exciting to see!)
- The Sound and the Fury – I keep pulling it off the shelves to read and getting distracted. This year, really! (Even if not this summer.)
- Call Down the Hawk – I pre-ordered this when it came out, so of course I haven’t touched it. At least that means I’m not anxiously awaiting the sequel…
- Britt-Marie Was Here
- My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry
- Loving Frank – These last three are books that one of my aunts loaned to me thinking I’d like them. I couldn’t say as they’ve been gathering dust ever since. Ahem. At least one of the three better get read this summer!
- wheesht – A collection of essays on creativity and making. I’ve read a few, but want to start over and really give them their proper due.
- The Adventures of Tom Sawyer – this feels like it should be a summer read. Anyone want to whitewash a fence?
- The Mysteries of Udolpho – A readalong with Cleo and Jean, it starts June 1. I broke my book-buying ban (see: tottering tower of tomes) since – gasp – the library doesn’t have a copy, even if they were open! Of course, I’ll probably want to reread Northanger Abbey afterwards, and it didn’t make the list…
- One Hundred Years of Solitude – I was supposed to reread this for a readalong with Silvia and Ruth but the timing ended up right when I hit a reading slump. But I think I’m ready to pick it up now.
- The Odyssey – Yep, another library book, another reread. I still intend to read it.
- The Fellowship of the Ring
- The Two Towers
- The Return of the King
- The Hobbit – This is the big plan for the summer – with everything going on, it feels like the right time to reread these. And they go well with The Nibelungenlied. Maybe less violent…
- Seaward – I’m not sure my brother actually knows I have this…time to get it read and return
- Unpictured: The Secret of Chimneys – next in my Agatha Christie chronological reading. It may end up a digital read, depending on the library.
So, you might notice the problem: while I may not have time to read 20 books, it would appear that I’m planning to do so. And then there’s the books that didn’t make the cut but that might sneak in anyways. Good thing we can change our list! And that there’s a summer staycation coming up…