Thursday, June 30, 2011

It's time to read in the sun: Summer reading recommendations

Tomorrow is July 1st, which is Canada Day and therefore kicks off the first long weekend of summer, and despite whatever your calendar says, it's the Canada Day long weekend that really kicks off the season. Also, a note on calendars: it seems I should buy one. I got myself all in a flutter yesterday and published by Thursday book recommendation a day early. I know. But, maybe it was fortuitous, because now I can write about summer reading right as people are about to get down to. The National Post, Globe and Mail, and NPR have all published their lists, so here is mine.

Five novels I recommend for the summer:
The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt – revisit the Western and be amazed.
The Leopard by Jo Nesbo – a Nordic Noir crime thriller set during a Norwegian winter – it'll cool you off maybe?
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley – another mystery, but in an entirely different style. Also the first book in a series of three (so far), which is nice if you want to spend the summer getting to know some new characters.
Things My Girlfriend and I Have Argued About by Mil Millington – be prepared to laugh until you cry.
The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery – set in Muskoka, this is an entirely different side of Anne Shirley's creator.
Bonus non-fiction:
The Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean – if you thought flowers were boring, prepare to have your mind blown by the incredible history of orchid hunting.

I always feel like summer reading should be fun, quickly-paced, and not completely fluff. We only have so much time to read, so even though it's generally agreed that summer should be for lighter fare, light doesn't have to mean mindless. That's the balance I was trying to strike with this list, while also covering a variety of genres. 

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