Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Summer Reads

Its summer you say? Then it must be time to enjoy sunshine, or long evenings, or some time away from it all with a great book!

Summer reading is a sacred thing. Reading a good book in the summer makes the summer feel so very full and rich, and the book memorable. But reading a book during the summer that disappoints makes you feel ripped off and as if you've wasted precious time!

Here's a quick list of some of my recommendations that shouldn't disappoint and should leave you with only pleasant summer reading memories. I've tried to pick out a variety that can appeal to different reading moods-because we all know that what you're in the mood for is what makes for a great time reading. Make sure to read while enjoying a margarita, sangria, or if preggo, a great lemonade or iced tea!

Light But Bright: The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton

Let's start with an easy easy read. A girlie read. The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton fits the bill for a well written novel that sucks you into the unraveling of a long-held family secret. I enjoy Morton's portrayal of elderly characters. So seldom do modern writers respect the elderly enough to make them main characters with thoughts and feelings when they always prove to be so very interesting! This story centres upon the elderly mother who can no longer reveal her past due to illness, yet her daughter searches for the truth. I thought this book was the perfect combination of mystery and family drama and read it in about a day because Morton has a great skill of writing perfect chapter cliffhangers!

Smart AND Fun: Scoop by Evelyn Waugh

I think this is probably the best satirical book ever written. Ok, I can't say I've read every satirical book ever written, but this still has to be the best! It tells the tale of mistaken identity when a rural man named Boot is mistakenly sent by a large London newspaper to a fictional African country to cover an expected war. Boot has no idea what he is doing, but finds that most reporters there don't either! Waugh captures perfectly the strange relationship between the media, news, and historical events with a wry sense of humour and a perfectly crafted story. I want to reread it now just thinking about it. I recommend it for those who are in the mood for an expertly written novel with a fun dose of cynicism!

Dramatic Classic: Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

For my classic recommendation I have to say that Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier is worth the read,or reread! If you're in the mood for romantic drama, or maybe melodrama, then this is one of the best! I love it for its melodrama. And if you've never read it then you've never enjoyed melodrama quite like this. Its romantic and chilling and over the top in many ways, but done perfectly. What's not to love about marrying a dashing husband, moving to his gorgeous English manor house only to figure out you probably should have asked him a little more about his previous wife and how he chooses his domestic staff??

Quirky and Quick: Memento Mori by Muriel Spark

Memento Mori by Catholic novelist Muriel Spark is the book for you if you're looking for a novel that almost defies genres and is completely different from what you're used to reading. I'm recommending this if you're into quirky, sometimes strange books that still have wonderfully drawn characters. Muriel Spark writes a short novel here about a smart set of geriatrics who receive anonymous phone calls telling them to remember they too must die. The characters all deal with these calls differently and many buried secrets and sins come to light. Its fascinating, brilliantly written, with a killer sense of humour.

Mandatory Marvellous Mystery: The Fashion in Shrouds by Margery Allingham

 I think it a shame to let a summer go by without reading a classic mystery. I'm the biggest fan of Agatha Christie, Margery Alligham, Dorothy Sayers, and Ngaio Marsh, otherwise known as the Queens of the Golden Age of Mystery. Somehow reading these mysteries are both comforting and pure enjoyment. The Fashion in Shrouds is a Albert Campion mystery, Allingham's chic and witty hero, but its a treat to read as its a great depiction of the 1930's rich and powerful in London. It has mystery, romance, humour, and the great characters that Allingham excels at creating.

Well, I'm going to stop there. I hope that you give one (or all!) a try and enjoy them wholeheartedly this summer! And I'm always looking for a good read so tell me what favourite book you've read lately. I'm also on Goodreads doling out honest opinions on everything I read, so feel free to follow.


  1. I wish to be a great reader like you when I have more kids. I have one baby so far and it takes me months to finish a book.

    I've read George Eliot's "Middlemarch" lately and would recommend if you like that epoch.

  2. Rebecca is exciting and well-written, but I always like to read it alongside Jane Eyre, to see how things turn out differently when a heroine makes the right (if hard) choice in a similar situation.

  3. you read my mind!! I was just emailing Hallie for recs this morning.

    I gave Simon Scoop because Waugh is his FAVORITE but he lent it to a friend so I'll have read it when he returns it.

    in the mean time ... Rebecca and The Secret Keeper look awesome. It boggles the mind HOW many books there are and HOW many I'll never ever even know about. Ever.

  4. Love Rebecca, and shall have to add 'Scoop' to my ever growing pile o' "To Reads" along with your suggested mystery. I am *always* looking for new mysteries to read. =)

  5. I LOVED The Secret Keeper. Her other novels are good too, though I haven't read The House at Riverton. I loved the writing style in Rebecca, yet it drove me mad. I could not stand the narrator. She irritated me to no end. I just added Scoop to my list :)

  6. Thank you for such a thoughtful list of book recommendations! :) You definitely don't want to waste your summer vacation time with a bad book! I think a great book for you to read this summer is “The Facebook Diet” by author Gemini Adams (http://www.unplugseries.com/). It is a very FUNNY and quick read (nice for an afternoon by the pool or if you're traveling). The author explores the humorous side to our Facebook adoration by noting and illustrating the many weird and wonderful obsessive behaviors that people exhibit as a result of Facebook. There are 50 comical cartoons that all start with the line, “You know you’re a Facebook addict when…” It’s an entertaining and enlightening read that really looks at how good, bad, healthy, connecting, isolating, or addictive is Facebook.. I have shared it with my social media obsessed friends and we all really enjoyed it. Hope you will give it a read!


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