Friday, June 18, 2010

Sum-sum-summertime

by Libby Malin
www.LibbysBooks.com
www.LibbysBooks.blogspot.com


I am a Kindle owner! I love it. I blogged about it over at me very own wee blog--click here for edifying post on historical context of ereaders and communications changes throughout the centuries.

Now I need to get Kindle accessories. Perhaps a red velvet Kindle cover, hmm? Perhaps something diamond-encrusted and pearl-handled, hmm?

Or maybe just a plain leather zip case. Oh yeah.

High summer is nearly here. What's that phrase from Gatsby, where Daisy says she always waits for the longest day of the year and then misses it? That's the way I feel about summer--I eagerly wait for it, and then poof, it's gone in a firecracker burst of wonder. Dog days march in, and I'm thinking, "Autumn, autumn. . . are you out there? Will you please come back? I didn't mean those nasty things I said. . ."

When I was young (you know, just a few years ago - ahem), summer was my favorite season (okay, maybe behind spring). Summer was special. School was out! Summer meant lazy days sitting under trees reading or watching I Love Lucy reruns in the air-conditioned family room, or sleeping late, or getting snow cones, or going to the pool or the beach. Summer was a big, fat, juicy ball of goodness.

Now summer is sitting on the patio sipping coffee in the morning, listening to the birds chatter, wondering if they're talking about us. It's sitting there in the evening admiring flowers just in bloom and wondering when the next blossoms will open. It's even mowing the lawn and enjoying the exercise. It's planning the Fourth of July barbecue when my eldest will return from Hong Kong for a visit. So yes, summer is still a big, fat, juicy ball of goodness.

I've been writing a little, but mostly doing freelance editing, some article writing, and promoting my books. I'm lucky that my office window overlooks our backyard where I can see the garden and the birds when they zoom in for a quick splash in the birdbath. Summer is always just a glance away.

Summer makes an appearance in one of my favorite Samuel Barber songs, Sure on this Shining Night (poem by James Agee). Here are the lyrics, and here is a choral version (you might need to turn up the volume).

SURE ON THIS SHINING NIGHT by James Agee

Sure on this shining night
Of star-made shadows round,
Kindness must watch for me
This side the ground.
The late year lies down the north.
All is healed, all is health.
High summer holds the earth.
Hearts all whole.
Sure on this shining night I weep for wonder wand'ring far alone
Of shadows on the stars.

High summer does hold the earth, and I often do feel that kindness does watch for me this side the ground.

With that, I'll throw it out to you -- is there a song, book, poem, movie that you associate with summer? (I have some extra copies of My Own Personal Soap Opera, so if you comment on this post, I'll throw your name in a lottery and choose a winner of the book by the end of the upcoming weekend. Put your email address in the post if it's not part of your profile.)

11 comments:

  1. I don't have any books that I associate with summer, but there are quite a few that I like to read in the fall. In summer, I'm too busy gardening and trying to keep the barn clean to do much reading!

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  2. My husband does a lot of our gardening, and I love to enjoy the fruits of his labor. Right now hydrangea is blooming, but spectacular clematis still has cobalt blue-purple flowers on the vine.

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  3. The song, Under the Boardwalk, the book, The Hobbit. I first read it on West Hampton Beach, Long Island. I was given the trilogy in payment for babysitting two very nasty kids a lot. I was 11 or 12 that summer, but it has stayed with me ever since. Sigh... I wish I could read the Hobbit again for the first time and that I still had two weeks a year in the Hamptons.

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  4. I associate the book Dandelion Wine with summer and also To Kill a Mockingbird, maybe because I read it during the summer.

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  5. Shana--I also associate To Kill a Mockingbird with summer! Harper Lee really explains the HEAT of a southern summer in that book, which you can feel no matter the time of year. I also think I read that book for a summer English assignment :)

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  6. I have always enjoyed summer reading since I love summer. My favorite summer book would have to be Summer at Tiffany. My summer song is definitely summertime. rojosho(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  7. Reading has always been an every-day-of-the-year thing for me, so I can't say I have any particularly associated with summer. Except perhaps The Testimony of Two Men by Taylor Caldwell because when I was 13 and on vacation at my sister's house she gave me that book and I read it in one solid 24 hour period! I had never done that before and it made an impression on my mind. Since then I have read books in one extended sitting before, but not too often. Plus that novel is about 2 inches thick!

    I just love summer, so anything that is lazy and fun is great.

    Enjoy your Kindle! I love mine. IF you get a cover (and you should) avoid the actual Kindle cover designed for it. There are some flaws with it. Read the customer reviews on Amazon to see what I mean. I have the M-Edge that flips from the top and I love it!

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  8. All I have to do is smell watermellon, hear a Beach Boys song, see a fabulous sunset, and I think of summer.

    Amelia

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  9. I also associate "To Kill a Mockingbird" with summer. My mom read it to my brother and me when we were on a trip to Hawaii. My mom sunburned her lips (ow!) and didn't want to talk but we were begging her to read more! Of course we were old enough to read it ourselves, but it's not the same as Mommy reading!

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  10. Speaking of summer, it's a gorgeous day here in the mid-Atlantic region. Not too hot (yet) and sunny.

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  11. Oh. . .I also meant to say that I read the Lord of the Rings trilogy one summer, but never The Hobbit.

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