Words on Words: Summer’s reading list

6 mins read

With summer arriving, and thoughts of summer reading in its wake, we were fortunate to have the opportunity of interviewing the leading expert on the subject, Summer herself!

Kenny: Thank you for taking some time to visit with us on this beautiful afternoon.

Summer: I’m delighted to be here Kenny.

Kenny: I think a lot of people are unsure how certain aspects of your job work. For example, we think of the seasons as having four identical, fixed periods, each marked by a solstice or an equinox. Is that how things really work?

Summer: The fixed intervals help sustain traditions and form a kind of series of picture frames. From our perspective what people are viewing inside those frames doesn’t necessarily match the frame, particularly near the borders. As a season I can tell you that we simply are, and that we can determine where and when we are without reference to a starting gun going off and a finish line.

Kenny: Do the seasons ever overlap, do you get to hang out with each other?

Summer: Oh absolutely. You’ve probably noticed a special quality to what we call “blended days” which you may think of as Indian summer”, or an early Fall day.  The pleasure we seasons take in having a chance to socialize carries over a bit.

Kenny: What do you do when you are off duty. When summer is over?

Summer: It’s always summer somewhere Kenny.

Kenny: That’s true isn’t it? What a foolish question!

Summer: Oh we get that all the time. No worries.

Kenny: Okay, now on to our main topic, summer reading! I was thinking that you must really be an expert there?

Summer: Absolutely, that’s one of my favorite job responsibilities.

Kenny: I hear you. Can you share your summer picks with us?

Summer: Well, let me start out with two older books that you’d be crazy not to have read. You can’t really fully appreciate summer if you haven’t visited the “sunny world” of P.G. Wodehouse. Just Enough Jeeves is just the thing to get you started. Also, anyone who loves books will find Anne Fadiman’s Ex-Libris to be a bottomless source of enjoyment.

Kenny: Great choices! What about some new releases.

Summer: Well some big recent titles you’ll want to have on hand are 22 Britannia Road, Caleb’s Crossing and Maine. As far as paperback releases this summer the best are Ready Player One, The Night Circus, American Nations, Rules of Civility, and The Keeper of Lost Causes. They’re all big fun. Now here are two terrific non-fiction hardcovers not to miss, Monica Wood’s When We Were The Kennedy’s, a great memoir set in Mexico Maine, and Ben Mcintyre’s Double Cross, a fascinating account of the D-Day spies.

Kenny: Good stuff. Now how about some kids, and YA titles?

Summer: Good times for middle grade readers can be found in some great new series, Wereworld, and The Chronicles of Egg. Lots of action, adventure, humor, and characters kids will relate to. A Million Miles From Boston is a good choice too, and it’s set in Maine. For YA I would feature Grave Mercy and Cinder if I were you. Stories you can really step into and enjoy.

Kenny: Awesome. Thanks. Any last thoughts?

Summer: Yes, anyone who hasn’t read The Passage yet you should put that on your summer list. Autumn tipped me off that it’s sequel, The Twelve, coming out in October, is just as good, and that’s saying something!

Kenny: It is. Thanks for the tip!

Summer: My Pleasure. Enjoy the days everyone.


1) Just Enough Jeeves
P. G. Wodehouse; Robert McCrum
Published by: W. W. Norton & Company
Edition: Paperback (ISBN #9780393339437)
2) Ex Libris
Anne Fadiman
Published by: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Edition: Paperback (ISBN #9780374527228)
3) Rules of Civility
Amor Towles
Published by: Penguin (Non-Classics)
Edition: Paperback (ISBN #9780143121169)
4) Double Cross
Ben Macintyre
Published by: Crown
Edition: Hardcover (ISBN #9780307888754)
5) 22 Britannia Road
Amanda Hodgkinson
Published by: Penguin (Non-Classics)
Edition: Paperback (ISBN #9780143121046)
6) The Keeper of Lost Causes
Jussi Adler-Olsen
Published by: Plume
Edition: Paperback (ISBN #9780452297906)
7) Maine
J. Courtney Sullivan
Published by: Vintage
Edition: Paperback (ISBN #9780307742216)
8) Caleb’s Crossing
Geraldine Brooks
Published by: Penguin (Non-Classics)
Edition: Paperback (ISBN #9780143121077)
9) The Magician King
Lev Grossman
Published by: Plume
Edition: Paperback (ISBN #9780452298019)
10) When We Were the Kennedys
Monica Wood
Published by: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Edition: Hardcover (ISBN #9780547630144)
11) Rise of the Wolf
Curtis Jobling
Published by: Puffin
Edition: Paperback (ISBN #9780142421086)
12) Ready Player One
Ernest Cline
Published by: Broadway
Edition: Paperback (ISBN #9780307887443)
13) The Night Circus
Erin Morgenstern
Published by: Anchor
Edition: Paperback (ISBN #9780307744432)
14) The Emerald Atlas
John Stephens
Published by: Yearling
Edition: Paperback (ISBN #9780375872716)
15) Deadweather and Sunrise
Geoff Rodkey
Published by: Putnam Juvenile
Edition: Hardcover (ISBN #9780399257858)
16) Grave Mercy
Robin LaFevers
Published by: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children
Edition: Hardcover (ISBN #9780547628349)
17) Cinder
Marissa Meyer
Published by: Feiwel & Friends
Edition: Hardcover (ISBN #9780312641894)
18) The Passage
Justin Cronin
Published by: Ballantine Books
Edition: Paperback (ISBN #9780345504975)
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