Monday, July 29, 2019

Too Soon For School... A Summer Book List

Too Soon For School
A Summer Book List

Humans have complained about change for as long as time has been unwinding.  I do my best to embrace it, particulary because it's one of the best ways I've discovered to learn, grow, or improve.  However, when I run into my local supermarket and find all the familiar aisles have been inexplicably rearranged and I can no longer find the butter, I'm as irritated as the next grump.  It's so often the little things that chip away at my sanguinity.  When your favorite lipstick is discontinued, when the BBC cancels the one show you really liked, or when Ben Affleck is cast as Batman.  Those are the changes that niggle.

Children roll with change far better than adults.  This is perhaps because they are too young to have become well and truly used to much.  For instance, here where I live, school starts this week.  On August 1st.  There are so many things wrong with this I haven't room to list them all.  But for one thing, it's still hot.  Blazingly hot.  What happens to the beloved tradition of "back to school" clothes shopping, which was, let's face it, the seriously great thing about having to go back to school?  How fondly I remember the wool skirts, the sweaters, the plaid.  Dress like that this week and you'll find yourself in the emergency room before lunch, half dead with heat stroke. 

When I was a little girl August 1st was the start of our last, most delicious, month of the summer holidays.  We always went to the beach in August.  When the days were hot and oppressively humid, and it was far too uncomfortable to play outside, all the summer books were pulled out and finally read.  September was the start of school; August was the grand finale of summer.  Here at The House of Edward, it still is.  So even though I'm a little late, here are some great new books to read during summer's last hurrah.
As always, click on the book to see more.
I hope you enjoy them.

The Overstory 
by Richard Powers

Walking in Wonder
by John O'Donohue

Reasons To Be Cheerful
by Nina Stibbe

The Long Call
by Ann Cleeves

Vita and Virginia
by Sarah Gristwood

Woman In Their Beds
by Gina Berriault

What I Stand On
by Wendell Berry

The Testaments
by Margaret Atwood

The Dutch House
by Ann Patchett

The Mueller Report

Where The Crawdads Sing
by Delia Owens

Big Sky
by Kate Atkinson


  1. A friend has just given me the Crawdads book, and I hope to read it soon.
    I remember one year buying a wool plaid kilt (remember those, with kilt pins?!) for school and of course I had to wear it the first day. It was boiling out, and it was tough walking home that day!
    I wonder why it starts so early? Do they get out much earlier, too? In my state the governor is trying to get school districts to begin after Labor Day, but it is up to the individual districts and ours is still opening in August.

  2. Starting school on August 1st is horrible in so many ways! My husband was a school teacher (now retired) and August was our last hurrah when we went to the beach and he tried to finish up his honey-do list while there was still time and the angst of school approaching loomed larger. As a teenager I remember loving the gigantic September issue of the magazines like Seventeen and Mademoiselle with their fall clothes ads and layouts (do they still do this?), and swooning over heathery wools and Shetland sweaters. By the way, my grandchildren start school, also in the south, on August 26th, which is closer to when we started, which sometimes fell on my birthday in late August.

    All these books look enticing, and some I already had on my list but haven't attempted yet. However, we do have our copy of the Mueller report!

  3. Living in the southern hemisphere August is our cold and windy month and we so look forward to the spring. Your book list will be my finale to winter as I love curling up under a throw and reading. I look forward to reading Ann Cleaves new novel as I love the Shetland and Vera series.

  4. I vote for the old way - school starting the day after Labor Day and ending the Friday before Memorial Day!
    Thank you for another wonderful list of books to read.

  5. Having just retired from teaching for 40 years, I have been concerned about how I would react to the end of August when we would have teacher In Service days and a return to school. (We stated in August because sometimes we have snow days to make up in June. If there are a lot of snow days, it can get dicey as to whether we can get all the days in by June 30). My brilliant husband told me to plan for a big vacation for September, knowing that I would be busy prepping for the trip instead of worrying about missing school. He's a keeper! While I will not bring books with me on the trip, I do look forward to the winter when I can curl up in front of the wood stove with a pot of tea & tackle all the books I want! Glad to have you back! Carol in VT

  6. I always love your book lists Pamela. I finished The Overstory last month. It took a while, but I enjoyed it. A good one for a book club discussion. Loved Where the Crawdads Sing. I hear great things about Kate Atkinson, I really need to get onto her books. I am off to explore all the others...thank you! xx


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