I seek out two different types of books in the summer.
1. Light reading that some would call "beach reading." These are the books that are entertaining, often with a charming setting and a happy ending. To that end I have already devoured Rosie Hopkins' Sweetshop of Dreams, Where Have all the Boys Gone?, and Amanda's Wedding, all by Jenny Colgan, a recent discovery of mine. Additionally I have read Mr. Darcy's Dream by Elizabeth Aston, bittersweet by Sarah Ockler, and The Mystery of Mercy Close by Marian Keyes, though honestly I read that one before the school year officially ended, but mentally I was there already. I can honestly say I enjoyed each of these books and have an extensive line up of this sort of reading ready for July and August. I set my expectations low, but thus far have been happy to have been told a good story by competent to excellent writers.
2. Literature, the types of books that require all my
concentration. This summer I WILL read both Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel, both of which have been on my shelf for an embarrassingly long time. I also have a few by Salman Rushdie, both Midnight's Children that I am really looking forward to and The Satanic Verses. Not too long ago I read Fall of Giants by Ken Follett, which I loved. I have the sequel Winter of the World on deck for July as well as Pillars of the Earth. These books are so chock full of characters and plot machinations that they need my full attention. I also place non-fiction in this category. I have trouble reading non-fiction sometimes as it does not always have the quick pace of a novel, but I pick subjects in which I am interested to keep me going. I am currently two-thirds of the way through Salt, Sugar, Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us by Michael Moss. The writing is excellent, exceeded only by the depth of research on the scary topic of processed foods.
Fitting into neither the former category nor the latter are Legend by Marie Lu and The River of No Return by Bee Ridgeway. These are not just entertaining, but also fodder for thought, but do not require quite the same level of intense reading as do Booker Prize winners Mantel and Rushdie. Lu's book has a sequel to which I am looking forward, along with a bevy of other YA items I have been piling up in anticipation of summer. I find that sometimes YA fits into the brain candy category and sometimes it does not. I almost always like what I read in YA, but sometimes find the plots to be too predictable.
Anyway, I wish a full shelf of summer reading for you all!