Summer reading

Saw this article in the Guardian: and wondered what everyone is planning to read over the summer…

I’m not going away on holiday this year, which demonstrates rather bad planning, but I am currently reading (and loving) The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson, which I am ashamed to say I downloaded to my Kindle on 25th July 2012 and proceeded to ignore for 50 weeks. I went through a very nasty phase of not wanting to read any modern fiction at all, regardless of genre or author, but I have come out the other side of that, thanks mainly to the glorious The Debt to Pleasure by John Lanchester. And now my bookworm soul has reared its myopic little head again, and I am b-a-c-k in the world of literature from all eras, not just that which dates from the 19th century or earlier.

Next up in my Summer Reading agenda will be The Name Of The Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, which my son tells me is brilliant, although it falls outside my usual purlieu. (I did mention John Lanchester, didn’t I? Exotic-vocab-R-us.)

Then I’m going to read Use of Weapons by Iain M Banks, purely because I appear to have downloaded it to my Kindle round about the time of his sad demise.

And my final piece of summer-specific reading will be Doctor Glas by Hjalmar Söderberg (tr. David Barrett). Not modern (it was written in 1905, I think) but part of my obsession with Scandinavian literature, and I have chosen it because I regret not making the effort to go to London to see Krister Henriksson (my favourite Wallander) perform it there earlier this year. Not that I speak Swedish, but I’m told that it was subtitled.

What’s on your list?

I’m still stuck there, in order to avoid any charge of imitation or envy. Years ago I vowed to read the novels of R. F. Delderfield, so each summer I take another hefty volume and sink into his leisurely and sprawling accounts of past centuries. He’s so unfashionable today, but I revel in his disquisitions on British politics, history, and geography. He’s wild about Lloyd George and the Liberal Party, for example. Right now I am in volume 2 of the Swann trilogy, Theirs was the Kingdom. Hard to believe that he makes a good story about the rise of a national shipping firm. I bought all the hardbacks but now prefer to read them on Kindle, charting my nightly progress with a gleeful “I’m up to 47%.” In the 60s and 70s he was hugely popular, when people still had time to read long, detailed novels. After RFD I will tackle Patrick O’Brian and his 20-novel series on Aubrey and Maturin. I’m sure that this obsession will not end well. :mrgreen:

R F Delderfield! Gosh, I’d forgotten about him. I remember absolutely loving To Serve Them All My Days. Is he as good now as I thought he was back then, when I was a teenager back in the 70s? I’m just finishing a uni course on Welsh history, and have been wading around in the dark with Lloyd George, so perhaps the Swann saga should be on my list, too.

My husband reads next to nothing else apart from Patrick O’Brian and the purely factual. I’ve read the first few of the series myself, and they’re pretty good. I’d read more, but I often seem to break the spines on books, and it would make my husband cross if I did that to “his” paperbacks. :slight_smile:

I started with To Serve Them because it’s about a schoolmaster, but the next series I read was A Horseman Riding By, a trilogy that begins with the Boer war and ends with Churchhill’s funeral in 1965. It’s set in South Devon on a great estate that slowly evolves as the hero ages. Delderfield, whose name sounds like a village, is hugely attached to places and loves to describe them. Not to everyone’s taste today, but my family line descends from Yorkshire and Normany, and I love books set in the country. (I can hear Keith snoring in the background…) :open_mouth:

Interrupted Julia O’Faolain’s No Country For Young Men, to read Iain’s The Wasp Factory, The Crow Road, and Use of Weapons. Finished NCFYM and now I’m reading O’Faolain’s, Adam Gould.

Working my way through a load of E. M. Forster’s stuff.

Expecting The Debt to Pleasure by John Lanchester, and Larry McMurtry’s Lonesome Dove to fall through the letterbox anytime soon. Blame Siren and Hugh for that.
Collection of Guy de Maupassant Short stories Is en route to Chez Vic, too.

I ordered Iain M Banks’ The State Of The Art. This is what arrived.
There’s stuff in that, that I’d rather Ange didn’t get a look at, but it’s too late. She’s been through it. She reckons it’s better than, Good Housekeeping, Woman &Home and Cosmopolitan, all rolled into one.

Great thread Siren: plenty of good ideas and suggestions for my endless list of books to read.

I am savoring Homer’s “Odyssey” & an in depth review of Greek & Roman mythology with the help of Coursera this summer. :slight_smile:
I am of course keeping all my notes, maps, ideas, lists & clippings in Scrivener & a few scapple documents. :wink:

Vic, carefully examining my nails here,
while practicing snap kicks
and planning global voyages.
Expect to meet you
somewhere along the way. Droo :slight_smile:

Actually, There is some intriguing stuff in the book. This Zeek has put a lot of effort into it. :smiley:

We may end up meeting ourselves coming back! :open_mouth: who sent me the wrong book, told me to keep it, or pass it on.
I’m definitely gonna read it… sometime :smiley:
Iain’s State of the Art, is on its way.

I’m reading bits here and there from The Word Exchange, a compilation of Anglo-Saxon poems, original + modern translation. On the desktop, under that, Eduardo Galeano’s Memory of Fire trilogy; read it several years ago, want to do it again. And having read Zafón’s Shadow of the Wind and The Prisoner of Heaven, I’m waiting for a copy of The Watcher in the Shadows.

Hmm. Everything in translation. Probably if I look around a bit, I’ll find a few good English-language novelists.


Summer reading is all about guilty pleasures for me. :stuck_out_tongue: Something about lying in the sunshine requires a trashy novel and a margarita!! :smiley:

Halfway through summer, at least here in Maine, and halfway through Hawthorne’s Mosses from an Old Manse, with, probably, The Scarlet Letter and House of the Seven Gables to follow, neither of which I’ve read in 20 years or more. May look into the Blithedale Romance and Marble Faun before snow flies, but the last time I read them, maybe 40 years ago, I found them, as Huck Finn said of A Pilgrim’s Progress, “interesting but tough.” Maybe tougher than interesting, if memory serves. Letter and Gables, on the other hand, were positively mesmerizing.

I’ve never managed to connect with R F Delderfield’s work with the exception of Seven Men of Gascony, which I tend to re-read every couple of years. It must be about due. Other items are the new Hiaasen and the most recent Nic Costa by David Hewson plus if I can get a dedicated block of time with the aforementioned margarita’s I’m hoping to finally finish Roughing It by Mark Twain.


What, no one has my novel on their summer reading list? Waiting until Xmas?


Well, Christmas is in summer for us southern hemisphere folk. :wink:

That sounds like a double opportunity :wink:

I wrote a tale not too long ago, which opened with the words, “All the world conspires agin me.” I think it’s coming back to haunt me. Either that, or Siren is a witch! Just the day before she started this thread, I received The Art of Shen Ku, instead of Iain M Banks’, State Of The Art… which hasn’t yet arrived.

Inspired by this thread, I ordered Larry McMurtry’s Lonesome Dove, which duly arrived yesterday morning… and again this morning.

I ordered Exile and the Kingdom, The Rebel, and [i]Selected Political Writings, all by Albert Camus. Selected Political Writings arrived yesterday… it’s in French! I’m fluent in Stockpoteseian, Salfordian, Mancunian, a mid east Lancashire dialect of Scouse, with just a tenuous grasp of English, but as far as French goes, I can just about count up to 6: ern, der, twat, cat, sank, sex. Won’t surprise me if the other two are in French too! Merde! Merde!<-- (Google Translate).

I’m saying nothing! :wink:

You could ask M. le D to translate the Camus for you :slight_smile:

You y’ floozy! Y’ tryin’ t’ get me thrown overboard? :open_mouth: His French is all his own! Even the French don’t understand Le D’s French! :confused:

it may be time for you to consider frequenting a different outlet for your book purchases.

Well, mousehound cus, If Siren ain’t a witch, then Camus is my fault, should’ve double checked. As for the books I din’t order, but received anyway, they haven’t charged me, and they told me to keep them. No prob. Thing is pus, it never rains but it pours :wink:
Take care
Fluff’s human