I hope you can access this link. I loved this editorial in the Tribune about summer reading.
What have you been reading? I did read one of their suggestions - Anne Tyler. I finished rereading Leon Uris's Exodus, however, and while good, it probably is about 3 books in one. I am in several others and am dying to start a new novel that my daughter gave me (but I'd better finish some of the others first). You?
Sorry, couldn't access, but happy to report on my August reading.
I decided last yr to read all Jack Reachers (Lee Child) in order, so I slid into Aug w/#'s 3 & 4. Then it was on to my beloved Scandinavian mysteries. This yr I pared back the usual 8 to 5 only, making room for a longer work. So I got the latest numbers of Dept Q (Jussi Adler-Olsen), Inspector Erlendur (Arnaldur Indridason), Fjallbacka Mysteries (Camilla Lackburg), Inspector Sejer (Karin Fossum), & tried out the Erik Winter series (Ake Edwardson)-- very good.
I saved time for reading a long novel (600pp) in Spanish-- my book club had chosen the Eng translation for Sept discussion. It is called "The Time In Between", a first novel by Spaniard Maria Dueñas. In Spanish it's called "El Tiempo Entre Costuras"-- the time between seams. The 'seams' refer partly to the protagonist's profession (custom-design seamstress) but also to the era bookended by the beginning of the Spanish Civil War and just prior to American entry into WWII. The settings are Morocco, Madrid, & Esteril (Portugal).
Any review will tell you the novel is a tad soapy, the author needs seasoning [too much telling not enough showing], & we could use a lot more detail on the couture as well as history. However, for me, both couture & history of the era were new, & I learned a lot just googling to fill out details. It was a pleasant and interesting read.
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Summer: It's the perfect time for beach-going, golf, roller coasters, grilling and lots more activities set in the inviting outdoors. It's also not a bad time for an activity usually done indoors: reading. This time of year, fans of the printed (or pixilated) word find themselves in search of a holy grail, which takes the form of the perfect summer book.
Time magazine devotes a page in "The Answers Issue" to the question: "What is your ultimate summer read?" Among the recommendations: Toni Morrison's "God Help the Child" and Jessica Knoll's "Luckiest Girl Alive."
It might seem like an odd question. We don't make a big deal of finding specific volumes tailored to winter or spring. Why bother with books at all when there are so many other warm-weather options that beckon seductively, particularly to winter-weary Chicagoans — from a jog on the lakefront to music to the Blues Festival to a beer in the bleachers at Wrigley?
One reason is that there's something special about diving deep into a novel while lying in a hammock or a pool chaise. Even the most pallid bookworm can enjoy her favorite pastime even more with the sun on her face and the breeze in her hair. Besides, some days in July and August are just too hot to even think about physical exertion.
Sure, it's a pleasure, when snow is falling on a frigid landscape, to snuggle into an easy chair by a roaring fire. But being able to occasionally put down the book to smell the flowers or dip a toe in the water is a luxury not to be missed. And it's easier to enjoy a good book when the driveway isn't in need of shoveling.
Much of the appeal of summer reading may trace back from long childhood school breaks, when the days stretched out forever and offered plenty of time for exploring the Mississippi with Huckleberry Finn or sleuthing with Nancy Drew. Many a devoted reader was spawned after the last school bell had rung. Even for modern kids and adults, summer is a time for vacations, when books you've been meaning to get around to provide a pleasant way to idle away abundant free time.
The perennial question is what sort of book best suits the season. Among the legends of the genre are Gillian Flynn's "Gone Girl" (2012) and J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" (1997), both of which came out conveniently in June. In a pinch, Stephen King, Anne Tyler and John Grisham are good bets.
The ideal books have a few basic elements: a gripping plot, memorable characters, and a high page count. Brevity may be the soul of wit, but it's no virtue when you have a lazy afternoon and nothing that has to be done. A dull book is one that will soon be put down in favor of a volleyball or a Frisbee.
Summer reads don't have to be light fare: For some people, hefty biographies and Russian novels can be savored best from an Adirondack chair on the porch of a rustic lake cottage. Some lake cottages, of course, come nicely equipped with a shelf of fat paperbacks, dog-eared and water-warped, that have sustained previous vacationers on sunny afternoons — or rainy ones.
The best of these books are like the perfect summer: They last a long time, they provide one surprise and pleasure after another, and you hate to see them end.