I don’t know about you, but when summertime comes around, my reading appetite changes. Or explodes. I want to read something challenging, because I have more time (or so I think) and yet I also want to read something fun, light and simple. You know, a book that I can read and comprehend while sitting alongside the pool with four splashy sunscreeny children interrupting me every 5 minutes for goldfish or a trip to the lovely pool bathrooms.
So, I become divergent in my literary desires.
I have my challenge laid out for me – I’m reading Anna Karenina with my book club this summer. Love LOVE love it! So much. And I’m even more thrilled to have a great group of friends to read along with me!
But, sometimes, I need to set poor Anna down. Because I know how it ends. And all those references to vodka and pickles….
And I like to read multiple books at once. I’m always looking for something new and fitting for summer.
It’s come to my mind that maybe you do, too!
So, I’ve come up with a list of books that might just fit you perfectly for summertime! Whether you’re off on a cruise (lucky dog) or an exotic vacay to Hawaii (lucky lucky dog) or off the the pool with the kids (I’ll meet ya there) – I’ve got a book for you!
(oh, and be sure to leave your own recommendations in comments. I’m always looking for something new to read!)
The Zookeepers Wife by Diane Ackerman (Okay, so this one is NOT light-hearted, considering it takes place in the Warsaw City Zoo just after he Nazi invasion of Poland. But it’s a true story, and despite some of the sad events, I found it to be encouraging, and hopeful in a way. Like many of the books written about this time period. Those people defined the word ‘brave’!)
Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Annie Barrows and Mary Ann Shaffer (Same time setting as the book above, but different location and feel. Written in letter format, which took me a few minutes to get used to, but after that, I loved it! Fabulous mystery/love story. And they’re making a movie!)
Mrs. Mike by Benedict Freedman (I love this book so much. Canadian Katherine Mary O’Fallon falls in love with Mike Flannigan is a well-respected sergeant in the Canadian Mounted Police. They move north north north into desolate country and… well, you’ll just have to read it to find out the rest!)
Tisha by Robert Specht (similar to Mrs. Mike, Tisha is about Anne Hobbs, a prim and proper 19-year-old schoolteacher who yearns for adventure. She takes over a school in Chicken, located deep in the Alaskan interior. And yes, she falls in love!)
Eight Cousins and Rose in Bloom by Louisa May Alcott (these books aren’t as well-knows as Alcott’s Little Women, but there lovely stories. Some consider them children’s lit, but whatever! They’re delightful and you will be so glad you read them!)
An Episode of Sparrows by Rumer Godden (one of my all time favorites, about a little girl named Lovejoy. LOVEJOY!!! She is an orphan of sorts, trying to survive post-war London. You know I’m a huge fan of Rumer Godden, and this book is why!)
Austenland by Shannon Hale (Yes, I’m really recommending this book. I actually liked it! One of the few Jane Austen fan-fiction books that I could finish! And they’re turning this one into a movie, too.)
All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot (I was given this book for my 18th birthday by a dear friend. Full of hilarious (and probably true) stories of a veterinarian in the English countryside. It’s a delightful classic!)
I Am David Anne Holm (The book is about a 12 year old boy named David. He’s spent entire life has been spent in a prison camp in Eastern Europe. He is given the chance to escape and a lingering memory causes him to seek refuge in Denmark. Beautiful Beautiful Beautiful book! And there’s a movie, too. It’s good. But the book is best!)
Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim (I’ve loved this book since I saw the movie in high school. Later, I found out it was a book first, and had to read it. “A recipe for happiness: four women, one medieval Italian castle, plenty of wisteria, and solitude as needed.” And the movie is very good!)
Code of the Woosters by P.G. Wodehouse (a book about the trials and tribulations of Bertie Wooster and Jeeves, his valet and protector. Super funny. From the book-flap: “This unlikely duo is as famous as Holmes and Watson, Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, and Tracy and Hepburn, but they have their own very special inimitable charm.” and a review: ““You should read Wodehouse when you’re well, and when you’re poorly; when you’re travelling, and when you’re not; when you’re feeling clever, and when you’re feeling utterly dim. Wodehouse always lifts your spirits, no matter how high they happen to be already.” (Lynne Truss )”
Peace Like a River by Leif Enger (We read this in our bookclub and everyone loved it! Along with his sister and father, the boy Reuben finds himself on a cross-country search for his outlaw older brother who has been charged with murder. Their journey is touched by serendipity and the kindness of strangers, and its remarkable conclusion shows how family, love, and faith can stand up to the most terrifying of enemies, the most tragic of fates.)
What books do you recommend for summertime reading? Please share in comments!!