Friday, July 29, 2011

Summer Reading

At different times I have been a VERY serious reader and a frivolous  reader. I have tried to read classics and had some success. There are some classic novels that I can recommend with a whole heart. And interestingly I seem to read these in the summer. I wonder why. Perhaps the warmth of a summer day encourages one to lay on the chaise and read something dreamy. I read Tess of the D'Urbervilles that way, and War and Peace, and Swann's Way by Proust. I read Colette in the summer, and many more. Too numerous to mention, really!

I also like to read what the reviewers call "Beach Reads." Frivolous, light entertainment that doesn't break your heart if you forget it at the cabin! As a young woman I read Valley of the Dolls in the summer-real trash that! I think I read The World According to Garp in the summer. You might argue that it is not SUCH a trashy novel.... I read Stranger in a Strange Land one summer when I was young and impressionable-I read it later and it didn't hold up!
One summer in the early 70's I read Saul Bellow's Henderson the Rain King and loved it-again not trash!
The problem here is that I don't usually finish anything that is toooo trashy. I always figure that there are too many really good books out there to read something I don't really like! I give a book about two chapters and if it hasn't caught me by then-out it goes. That is part of the reason why I check so many books out from the library. If I don't like it, I just can't be bothered to finish it!
To tie this all together, right now I am reading murder mysteries. I just finished Death of a Cosy Writer by G. M. Malliet and it was good fun. I am reading a Georgette Heyer mystery called Blunt Instrument. It is a classic and I am enjoying it so much that I am trying not to rush through it!

So now here is the question for you-What do you read in the summer? Trash, classics, or something in between?

Talk to you soon,

Books to the ceiling,
Books to the sky,
My pile of books is a mile high.
How I love them! How I need them!
I'll have a long beard by the time I read them.

    Arnold Lobel


Pam said...

Every summer, I choose one fairly lengthy nonfiction book to read. One summer it was No Ordinary Time by Doris Kearns Goodwin about FDR and Eleanor during WWII. Another summer it was Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln also by Goodwin. Einstein: His Life and Universe by Walter Isaacson was a good summer read, too. This summer I'm reading Franklin and Eleanor: An Extraordinary Marriage by Hazel Rowley while I wait for The Fiery Trial by Eric Foner (about Lincoln and the civil war) to become available at the library. I also want to read The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot before summer comes to an end. I always read these kinds of books during the summer because when I taught, I didn't have the time or the inclination really to commit to such large and meaty tomes during the school year. I guess it just became habit. On the lighter end of the spectrum, I am working my way through the Alex Deleware murder mystery novels by Jonathan Kellerman this summer. I always love to find a series, so I can keep going with a set of characters for awhile.

Lynda said...

You know Pam, I think I started reading "big" books in the summer while I was in school. You had time in the summer to read what you really wanted to, not what some professor forced you to read!

Judith Michels said...

I don't know I read lengthy books all year long not just in summer. I love a good series. The more books in it the better. The Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon are my all time favorite series. Still waiting for the next one to come out. Just finished Clan of the Cave Bear series for the second time. Wasn't as good as I thought when I read it years ago. Summer for me is so full of other things including reading.