Summer Reading

Welcome to summer, everyone! Living in New England, I always feel like summer is a revelation. Trees are green! You can walk outside! You can leave work and it’s still sunny out! Sometimes I forget that a few months ago, I was wrapping myself in scarves and trudging through snow drifts. But I think having the long winter makes me appreciate the summer so much more.

One of my favorite parts of summer when I was a kid was summer reading. Not necessarily school-assigned summer reading, but my own piles of library books. Any book can be a great summer reading book, but why not read books that feel summery in some way? Here are a few of my suggestions for summery reads:

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt
With an opening line about the first week of August hanging in the air like the highest seat of a Ferris wheel, you know you’re in for a book that radiates summer heat and tension. I’ve mentioned this before, but Tuck‘s a favorite.

The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy (The Penderwicks #1) by Jeanne Birdsall
Who doesn’t want to take a summer vacation with the charming Penderwick family? I still have to read the third in the series, The Penderwicks at Point Mouette; that might have to do go on my summer 2013 reading list.

Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg
Not set only in summer, but barbeque, strong Southern women, and a murder mystery in Alabama feel distinctly summery.

Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen
All of Dessen’s books have a great, summer-y feel, but I especially like the combination of ridding bikes, summer jobs, and a beach town.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Gatsby’s parties feel like they could only happen during the wild summer months. Whenever it’s the summer solstice, I always think about Daisy’s reference to waiting for the longest day of the year and missing it.

Atonement by Ian McEwan
On a hot summer day in 1935, everything changes forever for the Tallis family and Robbie Turner. McEwan really captures the tension of an isolated summer day.

A Ring of Endless Light by Madeleine L’Engle
I love island books, and L’Engle more than delivers the summer goodness (dolphins!) while balancing out major issues like death and grief and hope.

Share your favorite summer books in the comments!

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