Memorial Day is almost here, though it’s not the official start of summer – many of us certainly think of it as so. Summer, to many, still equals vacation even though most adults don’t take the summer off. However, even if you haven’t booked your vacation to Tahiti, no matter where you are the days are longer, so reading time is longer; some of us are even tempted to turn off the TV in the evening and sit on the porch with a book as the sun makes its trek west through the sky.
As I get older, I find it harder to read the quintessential “beach reads” that once filled my summer bag. I increasingly find that plot is more important and I need something that is not only page-turning, but substantial as well; otherwise, I get distracted and reading begins to feel like a chore rather than a treat (or one of the, ugh, Hate Reads so endearingly coined in Girls). And I do believe that part of what’s fun about summer reading is not just the fact that some of us are on vacations, but the idea that escaping into a book makes you feel like you’re on vacation – even when you’re not.
The books I am recommending to you to get your summer started are not necessarily new and they aren’t necessarily thin. There is not even a guarantee for happy endings. They are, however, absorbing – and you won’t even be able to lift your eyes from them long enough to realize your couch/backyard/pool isn’t a warm sandy beach overlooking the Pacific.
1/ Attachemnts :: love story told by the male perspective.
2/ The Language of Flowers :: a beautiful tale of a damaged girl who learns how to love by using flowers to express herself
3/ Maine :: story of an east coast family told by three generations of its women
4/ The Elegance of the Hedgehog :: thought provoking, entertaining, funny novel (originally in French)
5/ Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter :: a mesmerizing tale of growing up in the south and the legacies that can ruin a life
6/ Rules of Civility :: new york in the 1930′s – completely absorbing tale with a smart, engaging protagonist