Saturday, May 23, 2009

Summer Reading

by Danielle

There’s something about Summer, not sure what it is exactly, that brings on an onslaught of reading. I’ve always found Summer Reading to be a funny concept—libraries and day camps (the artsy kind hahaha) will have reading programs, to which many of the kids in my neighborhood that I used to babysit were like “wait what? School’s OVER.” Then you have the designated “beach reads”—if you ever go on vacation with my family, you’ll find out that there’s rarely time to read pretty quick, with all the relative visiting and site seeing (and if we’re at the beach? Forget it!)!

Nevertheless, I find myself during the long days, especially when there’s a nice breeze, venturing out in my parents’ gazebo and plopping myself down for a leisurely day of reading (something I fully intend to make Z do with me many a time this season [and yes funny ladies, that’s all you’re going to get about that]). I have some old stand-bys and a few new books I plan on jumping into this year:

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien—very much a favorite of mine, and a perennial read. When I’m feeling particularly geeky I also read The Silmarillion, The Hobbit and The Unfinished Tales (of which some new ones have been found!). Additionally, there’s usually at least one Saturday or Sunday (preferably a rainy one) where I watch all 3 EXTENDED versions of the movies. It’s truly an epic marathon!

The Born In Trilogy by Nora Roberts—ah yes, the reigning queen of romance! Up until last summer I had yet to read anything by dear Nora (other than the saucy bits I’d sneak when I was younger) and my mother FORCED me to read this one first (good woman). I have a feeling these three will be ones I revisit each year.

Anything (and everything) by JD Salinger—we all know him for The Catcher in the Rye, but I prefer his short stories that often revolved around The Glass Family: Franny and Zooey (a book I’m an evangelist for); Nine Stories; Raise High the Roofbeam, Carpenters and Seymour: an Introduction. Most of these stories were published in The New Yorker throughout the 50s and 60s. Funny to think that Mr. Salinger is still alive, living as a recluse in New Hampshire. I wonder if he still writes?

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen—I try to rotate through Austen, and this year it’s time for her Gothic Novel! Can you really deny reading the author who gave birth to the romantic comedy?

New this year:

Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri—I loved both her Pulizter Prize winning Interpreter of Maladies and the equally as good The Namesake. I bought this when it came out, and now it’s being released in paperback! Where has the time gone? But I think she’s a great writer, totally gorgeous, and I have a strange obsession with India that was rekindled after seeing Slumdog Millionaire.

The Chesapeake Bay Saga by Nora Roberts—this time I’m being forced by a good friend who loves these brothers more than the Concannon sisters of Born In. I don’t know, but I willing to give them a go (There are four I think, right?)!

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith—I couldn't contain myself! How funny and bizarre!! And I've read a bit already; it's scary how seamless zombies fit in to P&P. I wonder what Jane would say or do? I like to think she'd have a good laugh.

OH and I also have these ARCs laying around from this group of authors… I don’t know if you’ve heard of them, but many of them call themselves the Casa Babes. Anyway, I hear they’re a pretty eclectic group of writers with a lot of talent and stuff.

In all seriousness, I could easily spend a full day a week reading your books at work… because well, it is part of my job to be familiar with the books I’m publicizing right?

So you probably figured this out by now, but get out there and start telling everybody that your books are fun and awesome beach reads—even when the only time you might have to read is on the plane ride home! And get excited for Fall 2009, some of you are getting some early feedback, and many of you will start soon!

What are some of your favorite Summer reads, or new books you’re interested in reading this year?



  1. I tried reading on the beach once. Rented a chair and umbrella and thought I'd just relax and enjoy the day. About every half hour, one of my guys would come and ask me if I was done yet, and could we go do something else?
    Haven't tried it since.
    I read Mary Margret's new book a few days ago, and while I was reading, Sam asked me if I'd like to watch a movie with him. I said no, I was reading. His response was, "Well, could you do them both at the same time?"

  2. Summer reading... I'm all about that!

    My favorite spot: A Muskoka chair (my American cousins would call that an Adirondack chair) in the shade under the maple, cup of tea (Yes, hot tea) and three cookies on a plate at my side and the cats stretched out lolling by the rose bushes. Civilized and refreshing!

    Unfortunately, with a busy life I can only manage about a half hour at a time, but I make it count!

    Just finished in that manner: Joan Hess's Mummy Dearest, a comedic murder mystery.

  3. Reading for fun??? I'm reading To Tempt the Wolf (final edits) due May 29, and reading Seduction of the Wolf (work in progress) due in August and will probably be reading Legend of the White Wolf for edits soon again. LOL So I'm buried in hunky wolf tales for now! All summer long! :)

  4. I read CONSTANTLY, Danielle. Always have a book in progress. Actually, it's what I look forward to at the end of every day. I started Lisa Kleypas' Wallflower series yesterday, and I already know I'm going to love it. Our own Michele Young's Lady Flees Her Lord got me into the mood for historicals earlier this year and I've been devouring them ever since.

    But enough of that. I want to hear more about Z! Don't you ladies? She's been holding out on us!

  5. It's going to be in the mid60s-70s in Chicagoland today, so hopefully I will find some time to read outside! Thanks for sharing everyone and enjoy this Memorial Day weekend.


  6. Well here in Australia the weather is nice and cool and it is raining here in Sydney but I love reading all year round and I have loved all the books I have read so far from the "Casa Babes"

    I am reaing Kendra's Wild Highland Magic at the moment and loving it. I only wish I didn't have to go to work today because I know I would be finishing it looks like another late night coming up don't you love that when you are reading a great book and can't put it down.

    Have Fun

  7. I'm looking forward to reading Judi's book, I just bought it today. I even checked to see when Marie's book comes out, not until July? I've got to read Libby's, Kendra's, Mary Margerets...the casababes list goes on.