Well, I don’t know what y’all are up to this time of year, but for me, ‘tis the season for sitting lake side watching my kids play, trying not to get skin cancer and reading lots of books. Like most people, the summer isn’t a time when I say “Gee, I would really like to read a deep, metaphysical tome right now.” (That’s what Jim does over summer break.) So here are a few of the books I am reading (have read) this summer.
Grimm’s Complete Fairy Tales by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm: To shed any pretensions of intellectualism, I will admit that I became interested in reading the Grimm’s Tales after reading a review of Snow White and the Huntsman, which claimed that this movie version was truer to the original than Walt Disney’s version. This seems a bit like saying Veggie Tales is more like the Bible than is Prince of Egypt, but nevertheless I was curious to read some of the stories I thought I knew. I have enjoyed reading these here and there. One of the things that has struck me is the lack of religious references in any of them. It’s summer so I will wait until fall to think too hard about that one, but it was interesting nonetheless.
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak: I have only started this one and will definitely finish it at some point though it might not qualify as a beach read, but since Taylor Lake doesn’t really qualify as a beach maybe that’s okay. I love it’s originality though stories that jump around on the timeline often frustrate me.
Boy by Roald Dahl: Here is summer reading at it’s best. Entertaining yet informative. If you have ever wondered what kind of childhood could produce the mind that gave us Charlie and the Chocolate Factory or, my children’s favorite, The Twits, this is a must read.
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee: Again, not exactly light reading but it was the June selection for my book club, the book club I never go to because I am too busy roasting in the sun but like to pretend I am a part of. I read it in high school, which I pretty much think qualifies as never having read it or having read the back cover and maybe some random pages in the middle. Either way, I had forgotten (or never realized) what an amazing book this is. I will truly miss Scout the rest of the summer.
I Am Half Sick of Shadows by Alan Bradley: The only downside to this book was that it was set at Christmas and as we are roasting in July heat that someone mistakenly placed in June, I had some difficulties imagining blizzards and plots to trap Santa Claus. Still, Bradley managed to deliver another amusing mystery starring the intrepid Flavia de Luce. I think she and Scout would be friends, if they didn’t live decades apart, in different countries, and weren’t imaginary characters.