Thursday, June 10, 2010

Summer Reading

by Danielle Jackson

For some strange reason, I always amp up my reading efforts in the summer. Perhaps I was in too many advanced English classes growing up and having summer reading assignments, but there’s pretty much nothing more I’d rather be doing on a sunny day then sitting out on my parents’ deck, reading a big book and getting lost in the world inside it!

In fact, even in my post-college years, I give myself Summer Reading “projects”—yes, I’m a dork. My first summer project this summer is to re-read all 7 Harry Potter Books; and wouldn’t you know it, overachiever that I am, I’m already on Book 6!

Up next, I’m having trouble deciding… I’ve thought about reading through Tolkien—and I’m talking, starting with The Silmarillion, The Hobbit and then tackling all three volumes The Lord of the Rings! But that might take me well into the Fall! So, my next idea is to re-read Austen—all 6 of the novels, and reading her shorter and unfinished pieces, and perhaps even her letters to Cassandra.

It seems I have a certain knack to re-read books that I enjoyed when I was younger, too… In the past I’ve re-immersed myself in The Dark is Rising Sequence by Susan Cooper and The Time Sequence (A Wrinkle in Time et al) by Madeline L’Engle. I did try to read the Narnia Books, but for some reason, I couldn’t get through them… Perhaps my sense of wonder was just too far-gone! I might try again at some point, though.

I think what I love most about being able to go back and really immerse myself in a whole new world—and not even one so fantastical as LOTR or HP. Take Austen, for example, between her incredible wit and social observation, and even with her rather sparse physical descriptions of things, it’s easy to get lost inside that time period, and feel like you’re sitting in a tea room with the Jennings of Sense and Sensibility or enjoying the ball in Pride and Prejudice!

I’ve also taken to reading entire romance series once they are out, The Born In Series by Nora Roberts, The Bridgertons by Julia Quinn! It’s to be a “part” of something with familiar characters, perhaps a recurring theme or setting, and of course, breathtaking, heart-stopping romance!

And let’s not forget I’m in a monthly book club, I made the grave mistake of choosing one-click buying on Amazon and there’s an entire catalog of fabulous authors with books I like to read from the publisher I work for :-)

Are there any series/books that you find yourself returning to? I’m sure you’re not as ridiculous as I am, with goals in mind as summer gears up and what I want to have read by the end of it, but what is it about summer that just begs for tons of reading?


  1. I read all the time because writing my own stories isn't enough. I love immersing myself in the world of romance, and once I find an author I love, I read everything she writes! But I'm always looking for new ones because I'm always running out of books to read! It doesn't matter what time of year it is, just like I write every day of the year! :) And if I run out of reading material, or am stumped on writing, it's as bad as not having chocolate on hand! :) Talk about withdrawal!

  2. Right on the money Terry! I love reading. I think the summer humidity and the longer days brings out the bookworm in me. I have fair skin and can only take so much sun...summer TV season usually sucks, so....I read.

    I do the 'gotta read everything' when I find a new author as well...I usually try to start at the first book and work my way through...sometimes it works and sometimes...well, it doesn't! And yes, I re-read books all the time. If I like the books enough to re-read, I buy, if not there is always the library!

  3. This summer Twinkle Toes (who will be home with us for the entire month of August, Yay!) and I will read Pride and Prejudice together. I'm very excited, not only to share P&P with her, but because she's fallen in love with reading, and for a 14 year-old with dyslexia and dysgraphia, that's a difficult thing to do. She's also begun writing a Percy Jackson Fanfiction, so I'll be editing that too.

    My son and I will be reading all the Robert Ludlum books together. I've never been one to reread books, but reading with your kids makes it all new again.

    With any luck, I'll find a great book for my youngest and I to read together. She has yet to fall in love with reading, but Twinkle Toes was about her age when she caught the bug, so there is always hope.

    Between reading with the kids and writing, I don't have much time for personal reading, sigh...It's a good thing my kids have great taste in books.

  4. Terry-My boyfriend likes to joke that I'm reading about 5 books at one time: usually to ARCs for work, 2 for my own fun, and 1 for book club! Just wait until he sees this summer's plans :) Enjoy feeding your reading addiction!

  5. Jessica--good point about the humidity and lack of good TV. Summer is the perfect time to enjoy a good book! Thanks for stopping by!

  6. Robin! How wonderful to have 2 ouy of 3 kids that love to read! I think I was 12 or 13 when I first read P&P, so the timing is perfect for Twinkle Toes.

    I think my dad might be reading the Robert Ludlum books, too. I only read The Bourne Identity, but really enjoyed it!

    And I'm sure something will come along for the youngest--it sounds like your house, she can't get away from reading or seeing how much people enjoy it.

  7. I just got a Kindle and gobbled up some free books (now in the public domain) right away. So I'm re-reading Sherlock Holmes stories on it. Loving them and it! Danielle, you are an overachiever if you're getting through the Harry Potter books so quickly! LOL!

  8. Summer is a great time for reading, but I read the Harry Potter books continuously. I find them very relaxing, perhaps because they are so different from romances and I don't feel the need to compare them with my own writing.

  9. Libby-I've never ead the Sherlock Holmes novels; do I smell a future summer project for myself?!

    Honestly--the HP books read so quick! For books 1-4, I made myself take a week to read them, to really savor everything. Book 5 was about 9 days (why do I know this?!?!) because a lot of interesting things are revealed. And for Book 6 and 7, I'm limiting myself to a chapter or two each day, and then more on the weekends since I have more time.

    It's a dedicated process :)

  10. I agree, Cheryl! They HP books are rather comforting to re-read. I've been enjoying returning to Hogwarts, and will probably start making that trip more frequently!

  11. I remember the summer before my last year of college, I read all the Jane Austen novels. I was finishing Sense and Sensibility the week before classes started, and my roommate walked in and said, "Why are you reading BEFORE classes start?" I knew we weren't going to be friends!

    I'd like to work a bit on my long-neglected TBR pile this summer. I have a JD Robb book, a Christie Craig book, a Kim Lenox book, a Robyn DeHart book, and an Allison Brennan book. And I have a signing on Saturday with Tera Lynn Childs, Christie Craig, Deeanne Gist, Colleen Thompson, and a few others. I can see that TBR pile growing already!

  12. Danielle, I cannot compete with you! You are way ahead of your summer reading and I'm way behind and summer is still a week or so away! But last night I started Amanda Quick's Burning Lamp so I'm on my way.
    See you in July!

  13. Shana-I have quite a few friends who don't read; they just don't understand that I LOVE reading. It's quite comical, actually!

    Good luck getting started on your TBR pile :)

  14. Enjoy the book, Amelia! See you soon!!!

  15. I'm completely beyond anyone's help at this point,lol. I even read while I'm on vacation! While I happen to love an extremely long list of wonderfully talented authors, there is one which I will never turn my back on. Any book which bears the NR logo on it, I plan on reading. I am so behind on all the Nora Roberts books from her backlist! Over the summer I'm hoping to finish Savor the Moment, book three from her Bride Quartet Series.

    Susan S.

  16. Susan-

    My mom (and she's the reason I know anything about romance novels!) is reading the three books out so far of the Bride Quartet this summer, too, and she is loving them! She says they are really well done, which what isn't from NR?! I hope you enjoy this one!

  17. One of these days I'm going to go through the Harry Potter books all in a row, too, Danielle - there's something about her storytelling voice that is just amazing. I wish I could figure out what it is (don't we all)!
    And do, do, do read the Sherlock Holmes novels and stories. They were my Harry Potter when I was a kid - I read them over and over.
    I'm due to re-read Austen, too, but her voice is so contagious I can't read it while I'm writing or my cowboys start to sound like Regency dukes!

  18. I'm like Terry. I'm always reading and have a ton of books in my tbr pile. I always keep a bunch around because you never know when you'll need a lot of reading material.

  19. Joanne--with you and Libby recommending them, I'll definitely look into Sherlock Holmes!

    When I was reading HP and The Order of the Phoenix, I was angry all the time because Harry was angry that entire book. It was crazy!

    Cowboys who talk like regency dukes... how very interesting :)

  20. I'm the same way Linda. I've usually got at least two books in my car, my bookshelves are overflowing, and now there are books on top of books on my floor-it's uncontrollable! But I plan on reading them all... someday!

  21. I have all of Jane's works on my Kindle with the immediate goal of reading Persuasion for my JASNA group book discussion. I am also working my way through Tessa Dare's novels. After that, I am not sure. It has been a while since I read Tolkien - that very unusual for me - so adding that to my Kindle is a fine idea!

    Danielle, if you love Tolkien and his form of world building fantasy, you should try to series by David Eddings. He is my favorite after Tolkien. The Belgariad and the Mallorean - 10 books in all, but they are SO good!

    Now I just need to find time to read.

  22. I have a very long list of books I'd like to read for this summer. There is nothing better than reading a good book! I rarely re-read books though, with the exception of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer of course!

  23. Great post, Danielle! I have several books that I read over and over again, Saving Grace by Julie Garwood, Sorcery & Cecilia by Stevermere, The Hero & the Crown by Robin McKinley, The Little House on the Prairie books, several books of Andre Norton, Robin Hobb, Patricia McKillip, Barbara Michaels...and these are just off the top of my head. :}