The joys of summer reading (and Waldo) | Fresh Reads
Last updated 6/21/2019 at Noon
Here in Edmonds, on the edge of the Salish Sea, with daylight extending beyond 15 hours from May 12 to July 31 (according to the internet), how should we fill our summer reading days?
With all that daylight, how will we make time to enjoy our reading spaces, be they lamps and cushions and tea and maybe a cat, or beach recliners and a cold beverage?
Edmonds Bookshop staff share what summer reading means to us, and how you can get the most enjoyment out of your books during what for us is generally a more relaxed and open-minded time of the year.
I have two minds about summer reading. One conjures up a memory of sitting on the deck at the beach with five people, laughing out loud at random moments. Everyone had a Janet Evanovich mystery open.
So, on the one hand, I love to jump into a mystery series and tear through three or four books in a row. On the other hand, the promise of uninterrupted hours lends itself to tackling that classic I always meant to read.
This summer it is “Black Lamb and Grey Falcon” by Rebecca West. It is rewarding to dive deep into a book that requires concentration and persistence.
Okay, for me, summer doesn't alter my reading habits one iota. I read whenever I can, wherever I am. That said, I do absolutely understand how ones reading may change seasonally.
I know of teachers who create their summer reading list because that is their "me" time. I really liked Lisa Taddeo’s “Three Women” (July 9), which portrays desire in an entirely new way.
What summer reading brings to mind being somewhere with nothing you have to do for most of the day. Call it a “read-cation” at a beach, or a pool, or a deck very near a beach or a pool.
The book: something that sucks you right in and keeps you interested and turning pages for as long as you want. My summer resolution: ignore the boring chores and carve out some purposeful reading time.
Some recommendations: “Death of Mrs. Westaway” by Ruth Ware. A spooky old house, a cranky housekeeper, a young woman not sure what she’s in for, and all kinds of family secrets.
“The Huntress” by Kate Quinn. Post-WWII, Boston setting, and we learn the backstories of all our main characters and what happened to them during the war. Completely sunny-deck worthy!
“Woman in the Window” by A.J. Finn. She sees something happen at her neighbors’ house. Her neighbors deny it. No one else believes her. What actually happened? Who’s telling the truth? A couple of pretty good twists. Highly recommended.
I usually think of good, light stories fantasy or science fiction. There’s something about sitting in the sun or at the beach that lends itself to “fun” reads. Anything by Brandon Sanderson, N.K. Jemisin or Robin Hobb will do.
“Daisy Jones & The Six,” by Taylor Jenkins Reid, for all those ’70s rock (Fleetwood Mac) fans, and “Outside Looking In,” by T.C. Boyle, a tragicomic masterpiece for all those curious ’60s psychedelic fans, are both great page-turners, a prerequisite for beach books.
Summer is a good time to dial back the incessant news noise and focus on things closer to home and the heart. Which, counterintuitively, leads me to more serious and focused reading.
While I will always be drawn in by the latest Don Winslow or Lee Child thriller, I find I have more room in my brain to accommodate serious fiction, like last year’s Pulitzer Prize winner, “The Overstory,” by Richard Powers.
Also, I tend to read more poetry in the summer daylight. And I’m currently immersed in an advance readers copy of “Deep River” by local writer Karl Marlantes (July 2), a deeply engaging historical novel about the Finnish origins of the northwest logging industry.
Marlantes is the author of one of the definitive Vietnam novels, “Matterhorn.”
All these books, and lots more new titles for adults and kids are available or can be ordered from Edmonds Bookshop. And did you know that June is Audiobook Month? Our partner Libro.fm has all kinds of content you can enjoy with your eyes closed behind your sunglasses.
The Return of Waldo
July means parades and fireworks, but for many downtown businesses it’s all about Waldo. The annual Where’s Waldo Search begins July 1. Stop by the Bookshop for details, and get on your running shoes.