Friday, June 28, 2013

Snips & Specs: What Makes A Good Summer Book?

Summer!  This past weekend we celebrated the solstice and Monday was the old British and Irish quarter festival of Midsummer. This can only mean one thing: it’s time to make your summer reading list.

This hearkens back to the long lazy days by the pool, by the sea, or in the grass plugging through a lengthy list of must-reads for school.  That tradition has never faded with me- or with many of us avid readers.  I recently got to thinking about whether taking the extra free time to cross off the classics or lounging with some mind candy, is there something that binds all good summer reads together?  

For me, I am drawn toward two things for my summer reading: heat and change.  

As I perch right in front of my pitiful window fan, in the least amount of clothing decent, thinking it isn't a bad idea to take a 3rd cold shower today, I am much more drawn to characters sweating right along with me than some wintry Russian novel.  It gets me into the time and place of the book. 

...I will buy an air conditioner next year!

Even in my mid 20s, summer has never lost a sense of magic and potential; the feeling that I can accomplish anything, and be a different person at the end of it.  The doors are open, the car is waiting, my swimsuit is in my bag, let’s go on an adventure.  A summertime read encapsulates this quality- this season can change a life: Great Gatsby, A Room with a View, Delirium, Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants, To Kill a Mockingbird, Atonement, Rebecca, Summer of My German Soldier, the Age of Miracles and innumerable romance novels immediately pop to mind.  I want to be swept away even when I’m safely on the beach.

How do you define a good summer read?  What’s on your list as July approaches?

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