Hi Frosting & Filigree readers, this is Lauren from Miss Bibliophile. Sadie asked me to stop by and do a guest post about one of my favorite topics—summer reading!
Each summer brings with it a new round of summer reading material. If you’re a book lover like me, you’re faced with so many books you want to read that you find yourself still working on your summer reading when Christmas rolls around. Instead of trying to tackle all of the hot new releases, it can be nice to pick a book based on where you’ll be doing your reading. Or, in some cases, where you wish you could be doing your reading. Here are some ideas to get you started:
If you’re vacationing in one of the classic destinations in the Northeast, like the Hamptons or Cape Cod….
Then try The Summer We Read Gatsby by Danielle Ganek. It follows two sisters who spend a summer staying in a Hamptons house they inherit and incorporates a nice dose of F. Scott Fitzgerald references into its beachy plot. Ganek writes the best kind of chick lit. It’s light and fun, but smart enough to keep it from feeling too fluffy or frivalous. Or, if you prefer something with even more family melodrama, you might like The Last Summer (Of You and Me) by Ann Brashares. Spanning the final summer that two sisters spend together at their family’s home on Fire Island, it’s actually a bit of a tearjerker. (Feel free to blame it on sunscreen in your eyes.)
If you’re hitting the beach at the Jersey Shore (and you aren’t a cast member of The Jersey Shore)…
Check out Rosie and Skate by Beth Ann Bauman or Smart Girls Like Us by Diane Vadino. The former is a young adult novel, the latter adult fiction, and both are set all or in part at Jersey Shore and South Jersey towns that evoke the off-season, locals-only side of things.
If you’re stuck in the city but wish you weren’t…..
Try escaping to a different era. If you’re a New Yorker, Rules of Civility by Amor Towles will take you back to the 1930’s with the story of working girl Katey Kontent, who travels from bars in Greenwich Village to apartments on Central Park West and back again when she’s thrust into an upper class social circle. If you prefer a little mystery, The Alienist by Caleb Carr will transport you to turn of the century Manhattan where a forensic psychologist tracks a serial killer through the city, encountering many historical figures along the way. Both of these are tough ones to put down.
If you’re taking classes or going to summer school…
Pick up a good campus novel, like The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides or Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl. If you want to feel like you’ve gotten smarter over the summer, go with The Marriage Plot. It follows three college friends during and after their years at Brown in the 1980’s and is packed full of references to literature and philosophy. If you’d rather get completely lost in the world of a boarding school, then try Special Topics in Calamity Physics. Cloaked in an aura of mystery, it tells the story of Blue van Meer, a brainy teenager who is drawn into a group of elite and eccentric students. (If I had to make a list of my 10 favorite books from the past 10 years, this one would be on it.)
If you’re going on vacation with your family….
You’ll absolutely relate to The Fortnight in September by RC Sherriff. Published by Persphone Books out of the UK, which specializes in forgotten classics from the early twentieth century, this is by no means a typical beach read. There’s no high drama, page-turning suspense, or romantic triangles. The plot simply recounts the daily happenings of a family of five during their vacation to the English seaside. Although it’s ostensibly just a simple slice of life, it’s filled with so many moments that will have anyone who’s gone on a family vacation thinking, “Yes! I know exactly how that feels!”.
If you don’t have any plans and are worried that all of your friends are doing something more exciting then you are…..
You need to read Mindy Kaling’s book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (And Other Concerns). Light and funny, it can be read in an afternoon and would actually be perfect of any of the situations listed about.
And if that’s still not enough for you….
Then take a look at this Summer Reading Flow Chart, with a suggestion for every situation.