Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Summer Lovin'

One book stands out in my mind as a favorite summer read and that is Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander. My book club, The Sanity Seekers, picked it for our summer read one year. It’s the closest book to a romance we’ve ever read. I wasn’t sure how the other members of the group were going to receive it but we all loved it. Many of us went on to read more of the books in the series. It was the perfect summer read. That was a couple of summers ago and you know what? I miss Jamie and Claire.

If you’re like me you’ve probably got a stack of books by your bedside table waiting to be read. I have a mental stack of books resting there, the idea of them is patiently lingering. I don’t have the actual books because they’d be to tempting. See, I gave up reading romance for the sake of my writing. My favorite authors, or any author really, was doing a number on my self-confidence. But in the summer all bets are off. It’s time to grab one of the books or authors I’ve denied myself all year and delve in.

I’ve got my favorite places to read too. We are campers. We do a lot of reading in the quiet moments while playing hard in between. Beside the pool is another of my favorite places. I’ve got no one to force out the door for school so the odd early morning I may treat myself to a few extra minutes in bed and a couple of pages. Maybe later in the day I’ll sit outside on the patio and read a chapter or two. Maybe for you it’s an outdoor cafĂ©. The family cabin. Or the passenger seat of the car while traveling on vacation. The great thing about reading, you can do it almost anywhere.

This summer I’ll be looking forward to cracking the spine on JR Ward’s latest in her Black Dagger Brotherhood series, Lover Avenged. I’ll be picking up Stephanie Meyer’s New Moon. Yes, I will! Summertime is the perfect time to read young adult fiction. I will also be checking in on the Steele Street gang and reading Tara Janzen’s summer release Breaking Loose. Is it possible J.T. Chronopolous could still be alive? I’ll be finding out. I’m also going to add Sherry Thomas to my list because what’s a summer without a historical. I’m going to start with Delicious because summer is also about food and I’ve wanted to read it ever since she guest blogged at the Chicks.

If you’re a little strapped for cash this year, remember your local library or secondhand stores for an alternative, cheaper way of getting your hands on some books. Swap books with friends. Hit some garage sales. Then pull up a lounger, bench, towel or deck chair. Add a little wine or a cocktail (leaded or unleaded, it’s your choice). Take your book in your hands and run a finger over the front cover. Take a moment to appreciate the art and what drew you to it. Carefully open it. Let the scent of paper and ink waft up your nose. Read the dedication and picture the one you’re going to write for your current, soon-to-be-published, work-in-progress. Turn to the first page and intently read the opening sentence. Take a breath. Relax your shoulders. Uncurl your toes. And enjoy the summer.


Pepper Basham said...

I've discovered a 'new' author for my summer reading and I'm hooked on her writing style. Jamie Carie. I love adventure and her books are chock full of it, like watching 'The Patriot' or "Last of the Mohicans' by reading a book. I've just started Wind Dancer and plan to read "The Duchess and the Dragon"

Jana Richards said...

Hi Karyn,
I think you're away camping this week but if you get a chance to reply, I hope you're having a great summer.

How I wish I could sit by a campsite and read! Years ago when we had a trailer that's how I spent most of my time, when I wasn't chasing after the kids or tending to camping duties. Enjoy your time.

Now I fit in my reading in spaces when I can't do anything else. We're travelling to Regina in a couple of weeks so that's 12 hours of uninterrupted reading time. At Christmas I read two books there and back.

I'm currently reading "Gargoyle" by Winnipeg writer Andrew Davison (I hope I got his name right; I'm at work and don't have it with me.) This writer got a 1.25 million advance for this book so I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. So far pretty good.

I've got a Suzanne Brockman book, the first three in the Twilight series and 11 of the 16 free Harlequin books still on my ebook reader. What to choose first? So many books, so little time!

Hey Pepper, glad to have you join us here on the Prairies!


Anita Mae Draper said...

Hey Karyn, your post reminded me of lazy days at my grandma's farm when I was 12. When we weren't out berry picking or haying, I was hiding out in my upstairs room. It was an old house and the room wasn't big. The desk/table was right in front of the window so if I wanted, I could sit there and see across the fields and bush but my favorite pastime was lying on my bed reading, with the summer breeze billowing out the curtain above the table. Mama was Finn and had a lot of Finn reading material - including Reader's Digest - but there were many old classics left over from their 6 kids' school days. And Archie Comics. You know, I can never walk into a room where the curtains blow in breeze without thinking about that summer.

Thanks for the fond memory, Karyn.

Ban said...

Grief, I really wish I could read while in the car - I'd get sooo many books finished only ... it makes me car sick :(
I still plan on working on the 'assignment' up here - no place stirs my creativity more than this house up in the Adirondacks. Around six o'clock the sun starts to go down over the lake, the light gets that rich amber hue and the tree shadows get really lloonngg. Well, they would if we had any sun up here. It's rained all but one day so far !!! At least I'm getting some reading done.
Hope you're having a wonderful time camping.

Ban said...

ps: Pepper, I'm off to visit your blog ... :)

Hayley E. Lavik said...

Karyn, you remind me how much I've missed having time to read. School took up a lot of time, and now that I'm back to full time writing, I feel like reading is a poor way of spending my time. I should make more time to curl up with a good book, just to read, rather than explore in regards to my own writing.

Suse said...

Hey Karyn, I hope you're getting a chance to catch up on your reading. I have some time off this summer so I hope to get some reading in too. I've bought a few books - Mary Balogh, of course, plus some other authors that I haven't read before. I'm a fan of the movies with Jason Bourne so I've bought the latest book in that series. I'm also trying to add a few more mysteries and thrillers to my repertoire before the summer is over.

Hey Jana, when you're in Regina, give me a call if you've got some spare time.

Captain Hook said...

I'm a continuous reader. Seriously. Nothing gets in the way of my reading. Without it, I always feel like I'm going insane, and I don't like that. But on the bad side, when you read 1 to 2 books a day, you wuickly run out of books by your favorite authors and must continually find more.

Reading books in the genre I write doesn't bother me in the slightest. Not in the sense of giving me a case of Isuckitis. Instead it inspires me. I want to write that well. That becomes my goal and by reading them, I learn.

My biggest problem is that I have to own books. I'm not satisfied with just borrowing from a library or sitting at the bookstore to read them. I have to own them.

However, at the moment I am trying to thin down my book collection. (I have about 3000 at last count.) Ninety percent of them are romances, so if anyone wants some particular titles, I'll ship them to you for just the cost of shipping.

Seriously. I need to get rid of a bunch before my next move, so you'd be helping me out.

Silver James said...

When I was in school, I also set out each summer with a reading goal. One year it was the classic horror novels. One had me devouring Alexandre Dumas books. Loved the musketeers! I wish I had more time for reading. I try to read at least an hour a day. Sometimes, I get lucky and get more time for it.

Enjoy your time away!

Janet C. said...

I hope your camping trip with the family is going well and you're finding lots of time to read.

Ah, reading - yes, I try, like Silver, to read every day. 15 minutes before bed usually morphs into an hour or more if I've got my nose stuck in a good book. Nothing like that - needing to read the next page, chapter, not willing to turn out the light until...

I hope to do some reading while I move - no Internet access should give me plenty of time. Happy reading, everyone :)

LeeAnne Hanks said...

When I was a kid, the perfect stories for me were The Chronicles of Narnia. I've read them a dozen times! I totally agree that summer is the best time for YA fiction, even as an adult. My first published book "Within the Flame" was just released and I'm hoping it will add a bit of romance and excitement to summer reading for young adults. I am totally going to take the reading suggestions off this blog. I go through a couple books a week and am running out! Thanks :)
~LeeAnne Hanks