Summer Fun

Posted by SusanM on Monday, Jun 18, 2012 - 5:41 PM

Summer bookIn the last two weeks I’ve noticed many newspapers and magazines running their annual ‘summer reads’ or ‘beach reads’ articles.  Because many book clubs often take a break over the summer, this can be the perfect time to catch up on all those fun books that you’ve been looking forward to reading.  On the other hand, I’m often asked by ambitious book clubs to order one of those books that due to their length they never seem to have time to read between September and May. (Most book clubs try to keep their monthly choices to around 300 pages.)  But often a book comes along that exceeds that length and really necessitates a little longer to absorb.  Summer is the perfect time to tackle one of these epic books.  Here are a few suggestions.

Hilary Mantel won the Man Booker Prize in 2009 for Wolf Hall, the story of Henry Vll’s minister, Thomas Cromwell. This is an excellent choice for those who love historical fiction, especially if you plan on reading Ms. Mantel’s sequel, Bring up the Bodies. History lovers may prefer to read Catherine the Great by Robert K. Massie during the summer months.  Although not a novel, this 656 page biography about the Russian empress who became one of the richest and most powerful women in the world is a fascinating story.

Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts is a book that many book clubs put on their lists, until they find out that it is 944 pages long!  I think stretching it out over the summer would be the perfect time to read this mostly autobiographical novel about an Australian bank robber who escapes from prison and flees to India, where he lives for 10 years.

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson (656 pages) is the most complete and detailed account of the life of the man who revolutionized the computer industry.  Jobs cooperated completely with Isaacson and gave him total access to his life.  In addition to interviews with over 100 family members and friends, Isaacson had over 40 personal interviews with Jobs himself. Legendary novelist Stephen King, author of over 50 books, recently published 11/22/63, a novel about a time traveler who tries to stop the assassination of John F. Kennedy.  Part historical fiction, part science fiction, this 849 page novel was selected by the NY Times as one of the top five fiction books of 2011.  Both of these recent works are ideal choices for extended summer reading.

If your book club is up for a challenge and would like to attempt one of these epic books, let me know so we can arrange an extended loan for you.


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