Thursday, June 25, 2009

Booking Through Thursday: Hot!

This week's BTT question is a tough one:

. . . what is the most “Summery” book you can think of? The one that captures the essence of summer for you? (I’m not asking for you to list your ideal “beach reading,” you understand, but the book that you can read at any time of year but that evokes “summer.”)

At first I thought it would be difficult for me to come up with one book that "evokes summer" – that is, a book with a summery feel to it. Actually, the first thing that came to mind was Barbara Pym. Since I'm a confirmed Pym fanatic, and I first discovered her work during a summer trip to England back in the early '80s, her books usually do make me think of summer.

Then there are all those books I first read during summer vacations when I was a child. I was introduced to Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer and Nancy Drew during the summer. And I spent one whole summer enthralled by everything Arthurian after reading T.H. White's The Once and Future King. But then, I think I read Lord of the Flies during a summer vacation, too; and that certainly doesn't seem very summery. Well, I suppose you could see it as the ultimate example of the summer camp experience gone horribly awry.

But if I'm going to choose just one book that always represents summer in my mind, it would probably be Alice in Wonderland. Not that I read it during the summer, but because of the story of its creation. It was supposedly on July 4, 1862, that Lewis Carroll invented the tale for Alice Liddell while taking her and her sisters rowing. Also, the book is prefaced by a poem that begins "All in the golden afternoon / Full leisurely we glide" and it ends with Alice and her sister sitting in the grass, thinking about the "happy summer days." See? Perfect summer book. In fact, it might be time for a quick re-read this summer.


  1. Oooh, good choice. I keep thinking I'll reread Alice and Through the Looking Glass and then the plan gets postponed because of all the new stuff I need to get to. I should devote a few weeks each summer to rereading favorites.

  2. Summer camp gone horribly awry indeed :-) Lord of the Flies was pretty messed up, that's for sure.

    Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn are great examples of the summer spirit, and I never thought of Alice in that sense, but you're right!

  3. At one time, The Once and Future King was my favorite book!

  4. Lord pf the Flies has been recommended to me on numerous occasions. I can't believe I haven't read it in school.

    I found myself perusing this chick lit type of summer romance novel. Ha! Never says never! It's called Scenic Route.

    For me summer is usually the time when I read a lot of mysteries. I've got Rebecca, The Moonstone and few others lined up.

  5. We just bought one of my daughter's friends a Nancy Drew book for her birthday. Talk about staying power.

    I reread Alice in Wonderland recently and was a little disappointed.

  6. I've never read Alice In Wonderland. Might have to remedy that!

  7. I loved Alice and Huck Finn.

    My choice for a summery read is Child of My Heart by Alice McDermott. The story takes place in the summer. McDermott did a wonderful job conveying an authentic summer feel.

  8. You and I had similar thought processes on this one, but my conclusion was different:

    Alice is a good choice!

  9. I think of Summer's Lease by John Mortimer. Can't remember if I read it during the summer or not. Ah, the English in Chiantishire.


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