Bookends: summer reading
I had planned today to write about some of the summer recommended reading lists that are now beginning to make an appearance. It happens every year as we get into July. Often they come under headings like Perfect Summer Reading, or Best Books for the Beach or Must Read Books for Holidays. I don’t really understand the idea of seasonal reading like this let alone what criteria is being used to classify titles as a summer reading option. Are they defined by a particular theme or writing style? Are they books featuring holidays or set in sunny holiday places? Or are they made from a waterproof paper so they don’t get all crinkly from splashes at the poolside? ( which of course mistakenly supposes that’s how all of us spend our holiday time?
At least the Financial Times had the intelligence to use the broader category of leisure reading for their round up recently. Kudos to them also for including works in translation which is something we see seldom.
Here are their fiction recommendations:
Travelling Sprinkler by Nicholson Barker
The Strangler Vine by Miranda Carter
Every Day is for the Thief by Teju Cole
Can’t and Won’t by Lydia Davies
To Rise Again at a Decent Hour by Joshua Ferris
In the Wolfs Mouth by Adam Foulds
Everland by Rebecca Hunt
All the Rage by AL Kennedy
Redeployment by Phil Klay
the Last Word by Hanif Kureishi
On Such a Full Sea by Chang Rae Lee
the Medici Boy by John L’Hureux
Kinder than Solitude by Yiyun Li
Leaving the Sea by Ben Marcus
A Girl is a Half-formed Thing by Elmear McBride
Bark by Lorrie Moore
Family Life by Akhil Sharma
I’d not heard of most of these, with the exception of the titles by McBride and Kureishi, but the FT considers them the best of the 2014 titles to date.
Would any of these be on your list of recommendations? What do yiu think of the whole notion of ” summer reading”?