Summer Reads

Summer daisy

Just like summer calls for a certain kind of music (for example driving around with the windows rolled down blasting the Allman Brothers is just not done in November or March), it seems to call for a certain kind of book as well. Here are some summer reads I like:

Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov. Unusual subject matter, sure, but this is also a book about campgrounds, car trips and bathing suits. It has a definite sweaty summer vibe.

Light, by Eva Figes. Set during a single day, Figes does her own kind of painting with delicate depictions of the scenes and lives in the Monet household in Giverny, France.

The "Little House" books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I think my interest in this charming series and my interest in living history museums are somehow linked. Such simple and open explanations of 19th century Americana, I feel like I could live there myself and make my own cheese and calico dresses.

The "Anne of Green Gables" books by L.M. Montgomery. Another series: I guess I like summer books that can keep going and going. I plowed through these one teenaged August and now always associate August with a tender girlhood I never spent on PEI.

The "Swallows and Amazons" series by Arthur Ransome. This is hardcore summer stuff—a bunch of English kids into sailing, living outside in the Lake District, and keeping away from parents whenever possible. Delicious with lots of British-isms, published in attractive paperbacks by David R. Godine. These books definitely influenced my vacation habits for many years, and led to a fascination with secret codes, including semaphore.

Side note: David R. Godine called me "peaches" once. I was working the counter at a tiny independent bookstore and he came through on a sales call. I can't remember the complete sentence he said to me (could have been "could you hand me that phone book..."), but it ended with "peaches" and I have forever treasured the moment as my amusing brush with a literary light.

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