My Summer Reading: The promise, the plans, and the peril

It's summer time 08 by Huhu Uet
It’s summer time 08 by Huhu Uet

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Ah, summer. Twelve weeks to sit on the back deck with my fresh brewed iced tea and read. No interruptions, no reading slumps, no distractions, just great book after great book as the sun shines and the soft summer breezes caress my reclining form.

Are you laughing yet? You should be. I’m pretty sure my kids, husband, house, job/s, dogs, cats, fish, and friends have other ideas. But still, fool that I am, I am making summer reading plans. Here they are:

1. Georgette Heyer

Since I started reading romance about six years ago, I’ve tried to read at least one book from all the big names. But I’ve never read a Georgette Heyer. She wrote 57 romance novels, of which I own four: Venetia (1950), The Grand Sophy (1950), Devil’s Cub (1932) and Frederica (1965). I figure I’ll start with those four, in chronological order.

2. Meljean Brook’s Guardian Series

Meljean Brook’s paranormal romance Guardian Series is coming to a close in August with Michael’s book, Guardian Demon. Eight books, plus a few shorts. I’m a little behind: have only read through book five, so this is an excellent time to re-read, catch up, and fill in those missing short stories.

3. Penhally Bay Series, Harlequin Medical

This one is work, but it’s still fun. I’m writing an essay on conceptions of medical professionalism in this sixteen book series, which is set on the Cornish coast. I thought it would be a good challenge for me to view romance through a lens of clinical ethics rather than gender. It’s one of my four projects this summer/fall. More on that in another post.

4.  Shards of Honor, Lois McMaster Bujold.

I’ve owned this one in paper (bound with Barrayar) for a year. I bought it on a splendid visit to The Strand with Kristen of Fantasy Cafe during BEA last year. I keep picking it up and putting it down. I’d like to finish at least the first volume in this widely praised and beloved sci fi series.

5. Anything by Haruki Murakami.

Suggestions welcome.

6. E. M. Forster, Where Angles Fear to Tread

I just read Room With A View and loved it. Since I like romantic plots, this seems a natural next step.

I think that’s as many books I should promise yet fail to read for now.

How about you? Make any summer reading plans?

22 thoughts on “My Summer Reading: The promise, the plans, and the peril

  1. My first Haruki Murakami was his Wild Sheep Chase, which I really loved, so that’s my recommendation. Haven’t yet read 1Q84, but my sister-in-law who did her masters in Japanese literature really loved it. So maybe I’ll try to read it this summer.

  2. “I think that’s as many books as I should promise yet fail to read for now.”

    That line made me laugh so hard. I always have grandiose plans for summer accomplishment, and then fail to live up to them. This seems like a great list. I am wary of taking on new series, but tempted to try Brook’s. Maybe I should catch up with those Iron Seas books in my TBR first, though.

    1. I think academics are the worst for overestimating what we can get done in the summer. Of course, I have a host of unreasonable research plans to go along with my unreasonable leisure reading plans.

      As for Brook… I did read the first Iron Seas book and I liked it, but wasn’t compelled to continue. There is something about the Guardians series that really draws me. Probably it’s the more philosophical themes of free will and moral responsibility in that series.

  3. Re: Georgette Heyer ( from a very long time Heyer fan).’Devil’s Cub’ is good but it is even better if you have read the hero’s parents’ story in ‘These Old Shades’. However, it can stand alone and the heroine is soooo worth the price of admission. “The Grand Sophy’ is great fun, but it has one key scene that will grate on a modern reader. ‘Venetia’–OMG , one of my top ten Heyer books, ever. As is “Frederica’. Just my humble opinion.

    What?!?? You haven’t read “Shards of Honor’ yet????? I am not in the least a Miles fan, but I love, love, love his Mom. Cordelia for the win!!

    As for my reading for the summer–there just doesn’t appear to be anything until the fall. How did that happen???

    1. Thanks for the heads up on These Old Shades. I can always add one book.

      Also, I’m shocked that you aren’t a Miles fan. I thought everyone loved Miles! But I’m glad you endorse Cordelia.

      Finally, I refuse to believe you don’t have a new release all summer to look forward to. Or failing that, I bet your TBR is immense!

  4. Venetia is one of my favorite Heyers! It’s one of the ones I re-bought in e-book format for future impulse re-reading.

    I love reading other people’s TBR posts. Mine is very short-term at the moment, which makes me sad, but I am reading some good stuff, so there’s that.

  5. I’m not into most of Haruki Murakami’s books as I’m not that into magic realism, but I enjoyed ‘Norwegian Wood’ and ‘South of the Border, West of the Sun’. Both are straightforward slices of life, which is my preference. FWIW, I disliked 1Q84. It’s basically a midlife crisis on paper.

    1. I haven’t read a novel with magic realism in a while. Blindness if that counts was the most recent. I don’t seek it out but I don’t avoid it, either. Wait, but as I look at a magical realism Goodreads list (http://www.goodreads.com/list/show/143.Favorite_Magical_Realist_Novels), Cloud Atlas counts, which I read last year. As does Anansi Boys. So, I guess I’ve read my share. Yeah, I am not that attracted to 1Q84 and your description makes me even less so.

  6. No summer plans except to read Patricia Gaffney’s trilogy that’s being digitized. I hate posting plans because just as soon as I type it the chances of me following through on it is zero. Since I am in the mystery genre right now and see no signs of burnout yet after 3 years blogging, I would like to read more early mystery novels that defined the genre (Raymond Chandler, etc). I love Dashiell Hammett stuff but have difficulty with Raymond Chandler. I’m sure it’s just me and I need to find the right book. Oh and read more historical mysteries. Sorry to ramble.

    1. I am definitely buying the Gaffney trilogy. Have only read (and own, in paper) To Have and To Hold.

      No surprise — never read Chandler of Hammett, although I adore films based on the their books so maybe I should.

      And yes, announcing my plans is about as effective, but more time consuming, than not having any, but hey, I got my tenth blog post written. Baby steps.

  7. I don’t have plans to read anything specific–other than the upcoming Nalini Singh, Heart of Obsidian (mind you, there are some later releases I would like to read, but no plans to so, as yet).

    I have every intention to review more–I’ve read a number of books for the first time that I’d liked, are me or have disliked enough to want to share. I just need to get that first line written, unblock the dam, as it were.

    1. I stopped reading the Singh series after, I think three books. I am not sure why because I liked it well enough. there is so much excitement around Heart of Obsidian. Is that the finale?

      And yes, the intention to review more. *sigh* I wouldn’t know anything about that!

      1. It’s not the finale of the series, or even, apparently, of the main current story arc. She has a talent for building up tension around certain characters and events, both in parallel and concurrently, so that those stories are highly anticipated on their own but also because they further the development of the external plotline.

        For example, when book 9 (Kiss of Snow) came out, readers knew we would get a resolution to the Hawke/Sienna tension, but there were a number of other open threads for future books–the Ghost, Judd’s interference with the status quo in the PsyNet, Faith’s father rebellion, Kaleb Krychek’s ambivalence, Nikita’s secrets…

        Some of these questions are sure to be answered with this book, but not all of them, and that keeps readers who enjoy the worldbuilding as much as the romance coming back.

        1. interesting! And very smart on her part, as long as readers don’t feel they are being dragged along unwillingly, which it seems not.

  8. I can’t really make plans until I know what the other members of the Summer School I run have decided they want to read this year. Once I have that in place then I’ll build around it to make sure that I’m not reading too many books from the same genre.

    1. Do you read fiction in the summer school? It sounds exciting to have your plans determined in part by group process.

      Is not reading too many books form the same genre a regular practice? I know I find if I read too much (and usually this means romance) everything starts to look subpar.

      1. Yes, it’s all fiction, Jessica. You can see the possible choices on my blog.

        With me it’s crime fiction. I have to make sure I intersperse it with other types of novels or I really get bogged down.

  9. First, thank you very much for following Miss Bates! She read all your posts at Read React Review (did I get that right?) & was so sad to see you go. Now, she’s so happy you’re back! Miss Bates is not an academic, just a lowly schoolmarm, so summer reading comes a little later, but is her greatest pleasure. The TBR is out of control … She doesn’t quite know what she’ll be reading yet, but it most likely will be a lot of historical romance & her annual re-read of Jane Eyre & all of Austen. Miss Bates too will be reading some Heyer. She read These Old Shades over Christmas break & loved it.

    1. I’m excited to read your reviews and commentary. Your rating scheme is brilliant. Hope the final weeks of the school year fly by.

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