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.