Friday, June 22, 2012

Some Some Summertime Summer Reads

 Ikeabookread attrib baddogwhiskas The thermometer tells us it's 100 degrees today, (thank you, Mercury, god of thermometers).

The cat is conked out on her back in the shade, too tired to harass the birds.  I'm listening to my heatstroke playlist. That's the one that starts with the Beachboy's Kokomo, ("Aruba, Jamaica ooo I wanna take ya to ...") and shimmies on to the Lovin' Spoonful's Summer in the City, ("Doesn't seem to be a shadow  in the City").
Summer is upon us.

So let me ask, "What books would you take to the beach this summer?  Old friends?  New discoveries?"

There is a temperate zone in the mind, between luxurious indolence and exacting work; and it is to this region, just between laziness and labor, that summer reading belongs. 
                                 Henry Ward Beecher

HammockonBeach wiki
Here in the South we know all about the heat index creeping stealthily up toward the triple digits.  We've raised 'doing nothing' to a graceful art form.  It's an art practiced by the swimming pool or a big 'ole lake,  or at least in company with a hose spraying around the backyard.  Bonus points for the lifestyle include barbecued ribs and cold Mountain Dew.  And beer.    Backyardhose attribclapstar

For me, any day of the simmering summer is incomplete without a book in the bag.  Or a couple books, since you never know exactly how the spirit will move you.  Summer reading needs the background noise of kids running around barefoot and yelling about nothing at all.  It needs a shady porch or umbrella and maybe a dragonfly hovering just off the port side of the hammock.    

Kai lungI'll tuck an old friend in the straw bag -- Kai-Lung's Golden Hours by Ernest Bramah.  There's a funny, clever, dreamy, irrationality to it that suits hot weather and lying by the pool.  I own it in paperback, but it's free on e-readers, being out of copyright an' all. 

(Go ahead and click on any of these book names for more information 'bout the book.)

Jennifer Crusie always picks me up.  Funny, funny woman.  I haven't had a chance to read, Tell Me Lies yet, and I'm looking forward to it.  Susan Elizabeth Phillips has a new book out in July The Great Escape: A Novel.  I might top those two off with rum and coke and Grace Burrowes' most recent book, Lady Maggie's Secret Scandal.

Drop by Word Wenches for the rest of the 24 recommendations for summer reads.  Here.


  1. There's a certain danger to summer reading. Once in the long ago and far away, when I was still a student, I had to read Richardson's Clarissa. Well, I wasn't looking forward to it, and it was a warm, sunny day, so I decided to do some sunbathing while I read.
    Unfortunately, I found Clarissa completely enthralling. I couldn't stop reading.
    I got one of the worst sunburns of my life.

  2. Oh my. That is dreadful but ... I dunnoh ... sort of wildly human. I mean, it wasn't funny for you at the time, but the idea of someone falling into the book and becoming so enthralled by the story of Clarissa -- it's pretty good, isn't it? -- that she forgets and stays out in the sun.

    I could see myself doing the same thing.

  3. Have you heard of the new non-fiction book, Mrs. Robinson's Disgrace: The Private Diary of a Victorian Lady? I haven't read it yet, but the book sounds interesting.

    Isabella Robinson keeps a diary about her feelings for another man. Her husband finds the diary and sues her for divorce. The court case was so ugly that Queen Victoria asked the newspapers to stop printing the lurid details.

    Being a writer, I thought you might be interested in a book about a 19th century diary.

  4. Heh. Heh. The Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century folks kept writing each other indiscreet letters. You'd think they'd LEARN. And a diary! Really.

  5. Katie8:40 AM

    The Dark Knight by Elizabeth Elliott, I had to mention it, I waited so long...and loved it :)

    Where would the world be without all those indiscreet letters and diaries floating about :)

  6. Wow. I love Elizabeth Elliott and I have not put that one into my TBR pile yet. I will correct that.

  7. I'm late to the party as usual. Summers always put me in mind of the long hours I spent as a child lounging in a tree reading. It's a good thing I wasn't reading Clarissa -- I'd have surely fallen! Anyhoo, sometimes I reread old favorites by Alcott or Felix Salton or Gene Stratton-Porter.

  8. I haven't thought of Felix Salton in a long time.

    Now I find myself wondering whether it was in the public domain when Disney used it and, if not, whether Salton's heirs got a mint from the movie.(Bambi)

  9. According to Wikipedia, Salten (I can't spell to save my life) sold the rights to Bambi to a director for $1,000. The director later transferred the rights to Disney.

    This same article tells us that Salten is credited with having written a famous pornographic novel, which, if the description is accurate, is child pornography. I kind of wish I didn't know about it. A little research can be a dangerous thing.

  10. Kinda squicky. I'd rather not know about Charles Dodson's tastes, either.

    The Victorian era was really messed up in matters sexual.