10 Books of Summer 2021

Summer, conceptually, is nearly upon us (just ask the weather), which means time to start thinking about summer reading. Whatever that means.

For me, it’s always been more about the concept of long periods of time for reading–in which anything, fun or uncomfortable, breezy or difficult, intellectual or mind-numbing might be read. Even now, well past the years of long days of summer freedom, I still think of summer as the time for more reading–if for no other reason than it’s often too hot to do anything else.

Which makes it great fun to think about summer reading and to join in Cathy’s 20 (or 15 or 10) Books of Summer Challenge.

Top to Bottom:

  • Three Exemplary Novels (Cervantes)
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Shakespeare)
  • Mansfield Park (Austen)
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Twain)
  • Wives and Daughters (Gaskell)
  • Britt-Marie Was Here (Backman)
  • The Farm (Bromfield)
  • Enter Jeeves (Wodehouse)
  • The Trumpet of the Swan (White)
  • Under a White Sky (Kolbert)

I wish I were one of those people who could confidently predict the twenty books they’d read over the coming summer months. That is, I wish I could confidently predict reading that many books over the swift summer. But I know myself too well–my interests are too varied (and time-consuming) and my books sometimes too thick–I am lucky to read 10 in a three month time frame, much less 20. As I’m currently in a realistic (I think ) mindset, I’m only setting my sights on 10. (Though…the challenge beckons…)

Nor can I guarantee that it will be these 10 books. For the first time in a while, I actually don’t have any specific inclination to a particular book or reading plan as ‘up next,’ so while all are books I would like to read sometime, I’m not sure if that ‘sometime’ is ‘now.’ As the whim carries me.

Though A Midsummer Night’s Dream is highly likely; a local theater group will be performing it outdoors (on the beautiful grounds of a landscaped 1920s era estate). I’ve wanted to see an outdoor performance of Midsummer since I last (first?) read it a few years back and I may have to reread for the occasion.

I may start with The Farm. The poor book–I’ve been ‘planning’ to read it for years–if books had sentience it would be developing a complex–but after reading a biography of the author back in January I’m more interested in ever.

But everything else is subject to change (yes, even the library book–I’m fickle). I haven’t read any mysteries for some months, so it may be time for another. And one never knows what readalongs or random library books one may stumble upon. But half the fun of a challenge is always in the planning, no?

10 thoughts on “10 Books of Summer 2021”

  1. Wow! Your list is very varied and excellent. I looked up the three I didn’t recognize and ordered two of them from the library. I hope you get to your 10, but you sound like me and if you do it will be a miracle. Happy summer reading, Amanda!

    1. Thanks, Cleo! It’s fun to put together, although I’m already thinking of other books I want to read, too…but which to sub out? Impossible decisions. I’m curious – which ones didn’t you recognize/order? I’m semi-optimistic I can get to 10 since some of them are quite short/will be quick reads. We’ll see… Happy summer reading to you as well!

      1. Britt-Marie Was Here (Backman), The Farm (Bromfield) and Under a White Sky (Kolbert) were the ones I didn’t recognize. I found all but The Farm at my library so I’ve ordered them. I can’t imagine I’ll have time to read them but it will be nice to peruse them and put them on my list to read at a later date.

        1. I’m not really familiar with the Backman either, but it was one of several books my aunt lent me (that I really need to get read already!) with a “I think you’ll like these”. I’m not surprised you couldn’t find The Farm, as Bromfield has largely been forgotten, and might be out of print (other than e-editions).

    1. Thank you Cathy! I first read A Midsummer Night’s Dream in the summer, and I agree, the perfect time of year. Thanks for hosting!

  2. I haven’t heard of The Farm so must investigate, I love your relaxed list! I read Wives and Daughters last year and it became an immediate favourite, I hope you enjoy it as much!

    1. Jane, I don’t think too many people will have head of The Farm anymore. The author, Louis Bromfield was very popular in the 1920s and 30s (and even won a Pulitzer), but lost favor with the critics and has faded into obscurity. I only know about him because he’s from my home state and I’ve been working off and on on a local authors project.

      I’m looking forward to Wives and Daughters–I’ve really liked all the Gaskell I’ve read and I’ve heard such good things about her final novel.

    1. Thanks, Jean! I tried for summer. 🙂 There seems to be a lot of curiosity about The Farm. I don’t know a lot about it, but I understand it’s supposed to be a fictionalization of his family history and their farm in the Mansfield, Ohio area, from the early settling of Ohio (early 1800s) through the early 1900s. Unfortunately, I think it’s hard to get a hold of (although there may be a digital edition; I don’t usually read ebooks) as the small press that was still printing his books is no longer in business.

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