One of my favorite summer activities as a teenager was spending long, lazy afternoons lying on a lawn chair in our backyard under the shade of our eucalyptus tree, reading Georgette Heyer novels, while boats droned along the river near our house and cicadas chirped in the bush. All through my teenage years, and well into my young adult years, I spent my summers working through a big stack of books while I lazed in the yard or by the pool, or sunbathed at the beach, toes burrowed in the sand and gulls soaring overhead. As long as I can remember, summer + reading = heaven.
Of course, as an adult, I’ve found that summers aren’t quite as carefree as they were when I was young (also, I no longer read romance novels). Having been a mother for nearly twenty-three years now, with two teenagers still at home, I’ve had my share of busy and stressful summers that have hardly allowed me time to read while I’m in the bathroom, let alone read while lazing by the pool. Last summer I think I hit my all-time summer-reading low: only TWO books completed between May and September. But I start out every summer with an optimistically tall pile of books that I am looking forward to working my way through during all that downtime I will have. A girl can dream, can’t she?
Since the school year for us ends this Friday, summer officially begins in our house this week (gulp!), and I’m ready to tackle my summer reading pile. Problem is, I still need to add some books to that pile, but I’ve been sort of out of the reading loop for a while. So far I plan on reading Margot Livesey’s The Flight of Gemma Hardy, Laura Hillenbrand’s Unbroken (am I the only one who hasn’t read it yet?), Ann Patchett’s State of Wonder, and Lisa See’s Shanghai Girls (can you tell I’m a little behind the times?). I also need to read Clare Vanderpool’s Moon Over Manifest, since I was recently asked to start a YW book club in our ward (incidentally, I’m hopelessly uninformed when it comes to young adult books, so I could really use some help with YA book recommendations) and we’re reading this novel for June. Since I’d like to make my summer reading pile just a little bit taller, I’d love a few more suggestions.
So, what books have you read lately? What’s on your summer reading list? Do you have any suggestions for young adult books that my young women would love to read? Is it difficult for you to find time to read during the summer? If not, what am I doing wrong? I may not be able to spend hours every afternoon lying in my backyard or by the pool lost in a book, but with your help, I can certainly try to recapture some of that summer reading bliss.