So many varied suggestions for summer reading! I am easily daunted by rows of books, when I go into Borders it is like having dozens of hands plucking at my thoughts, and I turn tail (same in music stores). So I have some strategies…
Recommendations, especially from someone I trust.
The library! I take a recommendation, and when I find it I take three more books from the same section.
I don’t finish books I don’t like.
I re-read books I do like.
I go easy on fiction.
I read in French sometimes – that really slows me down, and I get far more out of the atmosphere of the book, and keep up my French! Isn’t that a good idea, especially in summer when I read Marcel Pagnol and can practically hear the cicadas.
When I realise I like a book I go back to the beginning and ration it, reading at speaking pace.
I read and memorise poetry. If I can’t sleep poetry is far better than a book, because it stills my mind – I’m not carried along by plot! Or I look at picture books, or my dictionaries, or at my atlas and let my mind travel. The world is so big.
Right now I am reading There Is Room for You by Charlotte Bacon, and Ship Fever by Andrea Barrett (I was in the Bs yesterday). I have enjoyed Raffaela Barker for her light-hearted, round-heeled mamas, and Robinton Mistry for my favorite book of all time, A Fine Balance.
Anything by Patrick Leigh Fermor – start with A Time of Gifts and Between the Woods and the Water.