My Summer Books

I like any excuse to curl up and spend the day immersed in a good story. Last weekend, for example, it rained rained rained and I read read read. But what I like best is summertime reading. Whether it’s beach reading, dock reading, reading outside on a lounger, or hiding inside from a wild summer storm, being with a good book on a hot day and having nothing more important to do is one of the best feelings.

Rainy day reading: The Hopefuls by Jennifer Close

This year, to make up for having skipped my usual tropical winter getaway, I am taking a good chunk of July off during which time I plan to forget how to even do my job. What will I do instead? A little road trip here, a wee family visit there, but mostly… READING.

A good summer vacation book can be of any genre, but there should be a healthy dose of escapism involved. Not to say that I don’t like reading serious literature while working on my tan, but the material shouldn’t be too challenging, and definitely not depressing.

Here are some titles I’ve got lined up for summer 2017 —

The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton: Last summer, the runaway hit in Brenda’s backyard was Burton’s The Muse. I’m hoping her previous novel, The Miniaturist, will be equally transporting with a mix of intrigue, great female characters, and some food for thought too. There was a rather long waiting list at the library for this one, so when I saw the e-book on sale a couple of weeks ago, I nabbed it. It has been sitting inside my e-reader ever since. I can’t wait!


The “unread” pile

The Couturier of Milan by Ian Hamilton: Much like Jack Reacher, the heroine of Hamilton’s books, Ava Lee, is an unrealistic superbeing that is extremely fun to read about. A Chinese Canadian forensic accountant who is also a hot lesbian and martial arts practitioner, Ava Lee goes on international crime solving adventures. Hamilton is extremely reliable and pops out an Ava Lee novel every February which I then read on a tropical beach in March or April. So this year I’ve saved it for summer. To be honest, I found the last instalment in the series a bit disappointing. I hope this one will bring a bit more mystery and excitement.

Domina by L.S. Hinton: This one is a guilty pleasure, I’ll admit. It’s the follow-up to Maestra, the story of a young British art expert with a taste for luxury and a faulty moral compass. C’est very Euro-trash, and I mean that in the best way.

The Men in My Life: A Memoir of Love and Art in 1950s Manhattan by Patricia Bosworth: I’m not familiar with Bosworth, but this looks to have many of the ingredients I enjoy — It’s a memoir (my favourite genre), it promises love and art (hello!), plus I’ll read almost anything about a young woman’s formative years in 1950s Manhattan.

Happenstance by Carol Shields: I try not to accumulate books and to borrow instead of buy. However, sometimes I chance upon a used book too good to pass up. Last summer, I found a copy of Happenstance for 50 cents and it’s been on top of my unread pile since. (Only when I got it home did I notice it had been signed by the author!). It’s been ages since I got into any Shields. My first was The Republic of Love, still one of the best love stories I’ve ever read. The second was Larry’s Party which didn’t win me over, sadly. Now I’m ready to get back to her and this one is about a Brenda! It’s 2 novels in one: there’s Brenda’s telling of her marriage to Jack, as well as his side of the story. Sounds dishy.

The Vacationers by Emma Straub: I read Modern Lovers during the winter and it had the perfect mix of drama, comedy, and style. I’m hoping for the same from her earlier work. Plus it has the word “vacation” in it, obviously a sign of good things.

I’m sure I will deviate from this path and read a bunch of other stuff while forgetting to get to some of these titles. But that’s the great thing about reading, each book leads to the next in unexpected ways and it’s best to go with it.

What are you reading? Any suggestions for me?


  1. I am currently reading “The Underground River” by Martha Conway. It was an advanced copy from Biblio Clio—so it was free! I love, love, love historical fiction (especially ones involving slavery or abolitionists). So far, I am enjoying it and will probably take it with me on vacation. The book I am planning to read after that is another advanced copy of “Mr. Rochester” by Sarah Shoemaker. Written in the view of Mr. Rochester from Jane Eyre—which, you can imagine will be awesome 🙂

    • Hmm, I remember not liking Mr Rochester at all and thinking she should not be with him. I’m sure I’m not the only person with complicated feelings about him. It will be interesting to get his narrative.
      I just finished The Hating Game which was an awesome light summer read. I’ve just started In Cold Blood… obv I’m deviating from the plan.

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