Those Summer Reads…

I mentioned on my bookish bits last week that I was planning on having a ‘Summer Reads Season’ and what time could be better than when I am away myself on a shortish summer break (longer one coming next month). Ahead this week you can expect to hear from publishers, authors and bloggers regarding favourite reads and what delights they have been saving for summer. The newspapers will be going crazy over this in a few weeks (I always read those seasonal lists) and so I thought ‘why don’t I too?’ But for today lets just look at summer reads as a genre shall we?

Two things made me think of what summer reading as a subject, if I did any – which I have now noted I do, for a post which then became a week long jaunt. One was a post Lija of A Writer’s Pet made which really got my mind whirring. The other was that I was already having to look at what books I had read that were my idea of a perfect summer read for something which launches tomorrow (I am shrouding it in mystery to build up the anticipation, ha) and I came up with this delectable eight of which I have had  to whittle down from.

I was going to list them but then the post might be never ending, if you want a list though let me know! Anyway, I never thought that I was someone who subscribed to the idea of summer reading; in fact I thought I read the same things all year round. When I looked into it though from what I read last year I noticed I do actually read a little seasonally. These books initially look like they have nothing in common but the more I thought about it the more as a group they sum up my summer mentality…

  • They are all well written and yet not hard or oppressive (crime doesn’t have to be dark just have some shades) nor are they froth
  • They each have big themes but never make them depressing
  • They have a slightly magical touch to them even if they aren’t surreal (it makes sense in my head to me if it doesn’t to anyone else)
  • They are books you could languish in no matter the genre
  • They are books you want to rave about to people
  • There is generally sunshine in them to my memory, be it the place, the season it’s written about or just a sort of jovial summery prose (even the war time ones)
  • They are literary yet punchy/paced too
  • None of them is trashy

Not all of them tick all those criteria but each one hits at least four or more… So I guess that must be my criteria for a good summer read from me. Weirdly I could probably sum up an autumnal gem for me far easier than I could a summer. I have also noticed that none of them are particularly long, even though one that looks like it might be.

Interestingly when I looked at what was on my current bedside it seems the ridiculously humid London heat of the last few weeks has started to have a summery effect on my reading subconscious already as I have these lined up and ready to go by the bedside.

I think they all fit with my summer bullet points don’t you? So do you read seasonally? What criteria can you list for me that you need from your summer reads? Don’t give any recommendations yet, save yourself for next week when it all goes recommendation mad! Hope you’re looking forward to it?


Filed under Book Thoughts

10 responses to “Those Summer Reads…

  1. Hah, I’m sticking with my theory! Sort of. I see that we don’t totally disagree though – summer reading doesn’t automatically mean fluff or froth.

    I do wonder how much of what we might consider “seasonal reading” coincides with when publishers decide to release certain books.

    • By no means what so ever does summer read mean fluff or froth and I think thats one of the things that can annoy me with these summer read assumptions. Not yours, you know what I mean.

      I had never thought about seasonal reading and schedules of publishing, very good point!

  2. In the summer I usually choose more plot-focused books. If I am reading something that is heavy in description, I tend to get distracted by trees and bees and sunshine. I’m not very picky about the length of the book if it moves along at a good pace. I think I also pick up quirkier books in the summer. (I would have to go back and look to confirm that.)

    I also seem to read more library books in the summer. I’m sure that it’s because it’s warm and comfortable when I go out and pick them up! My winter library books tend to be kept out for the entire borrowing period.

    • I have never thought about my book borrowing patterns but then again I didnt really get into the library again until this year and my book buying ban so I will watch and see if your theory applies to me too.

  3. I don’t read seasonally in the summertime (or I may be like you and do it more or less subconsciously), but I look forward to it during the fall and winter and do it purposefully then. I love to read horror and suspense books during October, and Christmas books during December. My only problem is, I am such a slow reader (when I read for pleasure) that the season is over long before I have finished with the seasonal books!

    • Hey Randall thanks for commenting for the first time and so sorry for taking so long to comment back, blame my holiday. I am a seasonal autumnal reader just like your good self.

  4. I definitely tend to go for lighter reading during the summer – to give my brain a break along with the rest of me. 🙂 I’m not sure about specific trends, but we did notice something odd about my June books (I stack the ones I’ve read on the corner of my dresser until the end of the month and then I move them downstairs to file them — one of my quirky hang-ups). Anyway, we noticed that all of my June book covers were either blues, black, or variations of cool colors. It wasn’t planned at all. I thought it was sort of pretty and wondered if I was drifting towards “cool” colors in an attempt to “beat the heat.” 🙂
    Happy holiday to you – enjoy yourself!

  5. I read about cold places in the summer to forget about the heat outside.

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