Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Summer Reading 2014


Summer Reading 2014
When I was a child growing up in the South I spent a lot of time in the summer trying to get cool.  Southern summers are hot but like most people on our street my parents considered air-conditioning to be an affectation for the less than hardy Southerner, so our rooms were cooled at night by the stalwart efforts of an oscillating fan placed strategically in the hallway between my bedroom and theirs. This method, while completely fair, was often sadly ineffectual.  How well I remember lying in my bed in the humid heat, listening to the crickets in the woods outside my window as I waited for that fan to finally swivel my way.  

But every summer, as soon as school holidays began, we would visit a building unlike any other I knew; blessedly cool, quiet, and entirely magical.  The main branch of our public library was a colossal grey stone edifice that presided, cathedral-holy, over the busiest street downtown.  Approaching it on a hot June day when steam rose up like an unnatural fog from the blistering streets and everyone wore the damp, listless expressions of the truly miserable as they plowed their way through the heavy air was akin to nearing an oasis in the middle of a inhabitable land; a land that vanished as though it had never existed as soon as I pushed open that library door.  It was not only a place where, amazingly,  you were allowed to take as many books as you wanted home with you but full as it was of fat, comfortable chairs, it was a cool and utterly delightful place to read the afternoon away.  

In summer, where one reads has always been sweetly tied to what one reads.  Hence the description, Beach Book, I suppose.  More than any other season, summer holds out handfuls of tempting places to read: windswept beaches, coastal cottages, fragrant gardens.  In this, my annual Summer Reading list, I decided to pair books with places as beautiful as they are inviting.  Each looks like the most wonderful place to read on a summer's day.  And thanks to the National Trust of Britain, they all can be rented!   Just click on the photograph and you’ll be whisked away for all the details.  Same goes with the books, just click the picture of each to find out more.  Also, a marvelous children’s book closes out each separate list.  

The months of summer are brief, I know that now.  When I was a child, of course, they stretched out before me like an unbroken ribbon of carnival candy creating enough delicious memories to last a lifetime.   I’m glad those memories include books and I hope you’ll make some wonderful new literary memories of your own this summer.  As I was writing this post it occurred to me that it was six years ago this month that I began writing here at From the House of Edward.  I can’t think of a lovelier way to celebrate than with a passel of tempting new books, can you?  Remember now, do leave comments to tell me what you’re planning to read this summer.
  Love to you all,
 Pamela, and Edward too, of course.
xoxo

Doyden Castle, Cornwall

The Sea House
by Elizabeth Gifford

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
by Gabrielle Zevin
Bittersweet
by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore

The Night Gardener
by Jonathan Auxier
***
Helston Lodge, Cornwall

My Brilliant Friend
by Elena Ferrante

The Girls at the Kingfisher Club
by Genevieve Valentine

What Are People For 
by Wendell Berry

Three Bears in a Boat
by David Soman
***

Tan y Bwlch, Wales

This House is Haunted
by John Boyne

All the Light We Cannot See
by Anthony Doerr

The Silkworm
by Robert Galbraith

Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes
by Jonathan Auxier
***
Tintinhull House, Somerset

The Romanov Sisters
by Helen Rappaport

Sissinghurst
by Vita Sackville-West and Sarah Raven

One Man’s Folly:  The Exceptional Houses of Furlow Gatewood
by Julia Reed

The Minpins
by Roald Dahl






24 comments:

  1. Gosh! What a huge selection of wonderful reads - can't wait to sample so many of them.
    A Cornish summer read from a few years ago - Rosamund Pilcher's The Shellseekers which had EVERYTHING a summer read should have - art, history, romance...and Cornwall. I'm always haunted by the fate of the Romanoff sisters. I will try to compile a list of my own soon.

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  2. Hello Pamela,
    I clicked over to read the descriptions on these books, and I'll definitely be ordering What Are People For? It sounds as if Wendell Berry holds many the same views I do about what the problems are with modern-day living. All the Light We Cannot See also sounds intriguing. My Kindle had a recent malfunction (I gathered it up with a load of laundry and sent it through the washer; yes I did that!) but honestly -- even though it's a convenience for on-the-go-reading, I much prefer holding paper books in my hands. Just now getting around to The Goldfinch. Have been on a Pat Conroy binge lately; love his writing. Happy Reading!

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  3. Hello Pamela,
    I clicked over to read the descriptions on these books, and I'll definitely be ordering What Are People For? It sounds as if Wendell Berry holds many the same views I do about what the problems are with modern-day living. All the Light We Cannot See also sounds intriguing. My Kindle had a recent malfunction (I gathered it up with a load of laundry and sent it through the washer; yes I did that!) but honestly -- even though it's a convenience for on-the-go-reading, I much prefer holding paper books in my hands. Just now getting around to The Goldfinch. Have been on a Pat Conroy binge lately; love his writing. Happy Reading!

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  4. Thank you, thank you!! I can't share what books I'll be reading this summer, because I had just run out of ideas, but you've given me some good ones! Just finished "Still Life with Breadcrumbs" by Anna Quindlan and liked it a lot. Also, "The Art Forger" was good. Having time to read is one of my favorite things about summer. I love to read on the beach, but am not the typical beach reader (I've been known to dive into a Dickens novel under my umbrella).

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  5. Every one of those books looks my kind of book Pamela and I have read none of them, so they are on my list for when I go to the library next. I have read so many books on Sissinghurst but not that one.

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  6. I look forward to your reading lists. Your blog today brings back fond memories of Libraries in my life. I love to read and fortunately, so do my children. I'm happy to see our son take our grandchildren to the Library, and so the tradition continues :) congratulations on 6 years! Your blog is one I really look forward to reading.

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  7. Wonderful to see Wendell Berry here.
    Have you ever been to the Summer Isles ? http://www.mrandmrssmith.com/luxury-hotels/pool-house

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  8. SO, many of you have summer reading lists. I feel silly I do not have one!I do have one of the books you showed sitting here so I think I will pick that up today and start reading!It is VERY HOT here in CALIFORNIA today........I have all the doors and windows closed as to keep the house cool for my furry creatures and me too!The book I ordered awhile back is ONE MANS FOLLY........I can tell he and I would get along beautifully!Thanks for reminding me to take some time and just BE!

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  9. Pamela, I love your list. So many books I am interested in! And how did I not know about Sissinghurst? This summer I would like to read the new Michael Cunningham book and The Vacationers which I hear good things about. Of course, I always find a reason to reread my favorite Barbara Pyms, any time of the year.
    xx Sunday

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  10. What a decision: which house in Cornwall will I choose? Thanks for this delightful mix of books and places. I'll have to refer back to your list. I got so far as the first one, 'The Sea House,' which definitely sounds like one I'd enjoy. Did you ever see the movie "The Secret of Roan Inish"? It's been a while since I've seen it, but I remember thinking it was a lovely movie. The blurb about the book reminded me of it.

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  11. Your lists are dangerous for me to read and I always find a few titles and authors I add to my TBR stacks. My husband and I purchase books and have about 100 still to be read; since I read about 8 books a month you can see we have lots ahead. I got a copy of Garden Blessings today which looks fabulous, I love gardens and I love blessings. Thanks for your book ideas.

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  12. I love your reading suggestions, Pamela. This summer I'm visiting Sissinghurst, Monk's House and Charleston Farm. I will add The Creation of a Garden to my reading list.

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  13. I just finished reading "Flying a Little Higher" by Laura Sobiech. Check it out, I believe you and your readers will enjoy it as much as I did. I will make you laugh and cry.

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  14. What a wonderful list! Thank you! I'm just finishing The Dracula Dossier. My plans are to begin “The Art of Hearing Heartbeats” by Jan-Philipp Sendker, for the last surviving of three book clubs I joined over the years… So nice to have this, an unofficial one! And so very nice to check in with you, Pamela!

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  15. Fabulous list! I've just reserved The Romanov Sisters from the library. I'll have to see which others of these I can get.
    I love everyone's summer reading lists.

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  16. This is an awesome post. Gosh I could live in that Cornwall castle. What a spot.
    I'll start looking for Bittersweet.
    yvonne

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  17. Laughed about your observation that to a child, summer seems to go on forever, whereas to an adult it is much, much shorter!! A bit the same as how trees from our childhood always look much, much smaller when later visited. A lovely post, with lovely and thoughtful suggestions. So, even though to me its a winter reading list, as we are in winter proper now in Australia, I will still check out your list, because to me, winter is the time when I read the most!! (Just to be contrary….)

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  18. I had the great fortune to visit Mr. Furlow Gatewood and enjoy his company as we saw his houses ( One Man's Folly). The book is a must read .... it is a wonderful reminder for me of a truly special day and of meeting a very special person.
    I am rereading The Shell Seekers - a perfect Summer book.
    Lisa

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  19. What a beautiful post. I might not like summer very much (hay fever, tree pollen, dust, allergy. I'm more of a spring/autumn kind of person) but I loved this post. It's full of what I like, books. Thanks.

    Greetings from London.

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  20. I always look forward to your seasonal reading lists! Thanks so much for all these marvelous recommendations. Summer is a great time to read.

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  21. I always love your book recommendations Pamela - I'm currently reading Elizabeth Gilbert's newest, big, fat novel "The Significance of All Things" and am loving it ! hugs & kisses to all from Sam, Winnie & the rest of the Gang at Black Street xoxo Susan

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  22. oops ! ... that should read "The Signature of All Things" by Elizabeth Gilbert (author of Eat, Pray, Love)

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I love to read your comments! Each and every one! Though I'm always reading your comments, I may not respond in the comment section. If you want to write me directly, you may do so at pamela@pamelaterry.net. Thank you for reading!