Readers, it’s time to put those extra daylight hours to good use. What better way than with a book that like a big, strong wave sucks you in, pulls you under and spits you back out on the shores of life feeling entertained, transported, and ready for more fun?
But what makes for the perfect summer book? Somehow, it seems that summertime reads should charm and delight more than those consumed during the colder seasons. At this time of year, it’s nice to feel as if you’re reluctantly leaving a lovely garden party full of friends, gazing back longingly at all those interesting, lively guests you’re temporarily leaving behind when you put in a bookmark. Summer reads shouldn’t require too much work from the reader (hence our title – “summertime and the reading is easy”); we think they feel that much more appropriate if they are placed in an “estival” (fancy word for having to do with summer) setting; and it’s definitely a plus if they elicit a chuckle or two.
So with these criteria in mind, some suggestions from us for your summer reading. Have fun riding the waves and turning those pages.
For A Summer Setting:
Seating Arrangements by Maggie Shipstead (May 2012) – This book most definitely meets the criteria of being set in summer – and on the clambake studded shores of a New England island no less. The humor is apparent from page one and the drama proceeds to unfold as the members of a WASP family gather for the wedding of an oldest, already pregnant – gasp!- daughter. All of the action in this character driven novel takes place over the course of three days while the guests and family alike act out, explore (and even consider breaking out of) their strictly prescribed roles. The different generations and changing societal norms combine to make this a complicated romp through what should be a simple ceremony. Shipstead’s crisp writing is full of wry observations about tradition, the ties that bind, and the quest for everlasting love. ~ Lisa Cadow and Lisa Christie
For a Chuckle:
Calling Invisible Women by Jeanne Ray (June 2012) – I am not sure what it says about my life that I related to and needed this book. But, I so totally appreciated her humorous look at life in a family when the mother does not feel seen or heard by others. The main character has superb self-awareness and humor, her overworked husband and two oblivious kids are sympathetic, and you will want a mother-in-law like the one in this novel. If you are looking for a “beach” read that will have you smiling and maybe even appreciate yourself and others a bit more, look no further. ~ Lisa Christie
For when the Reading is Easy:
The House of the Hunted by Mark Mills (June 2012) – We would describe this as Maisie Dobbs with an 007 edge, but it might turn off some potential audience members for this page-turning read. So what it has: a strong main character – a former British Secret Service Agent who has retired at a young age to the coast of France; a great setting; Russians, Italians; a few sexual escapades; and some history of Europe between the two world wars. A great thriller for your summer beach trips. ~ Lisa Christie
We have more great summer books and will post those descriptions in two weeks. Why wait? Because we wanted to give you time to enjoy these selections first.