June is only two days away, and with it comes summer. In my opinion, summer is the worst season of them all. I turn into a literal vampire for three months. Honestly, you won’t see me outside unless it’s unusually cold, windy, or raining. I cannot handle the heat, even British heat. It’s just a big no from me. However, though, this does mean I have more time for reading. So, I wanted to share with you the four books I’m desperate to read this summer.
Let’s get into it…
Summer edited by Melissa Harrison:
As with the last three seasonal TBRs, I plan to read Melissa Harrison’s edited collection of nature writing that celebrates the English seasons. There are four books (each pertaining to a certain season), and I’m finally on the last one! A good thing about this collection is that some of the money goes to the Wildlife Trust, so it’s a definitely worthy cause. Inside this collection, you will find Thomas Hardy, Laurie Lee, George Eliot, Philip Larkin, and more!
Unfortunately, I didn’t really enjoy Spring. Despite it being one of my favourite seasons, I just couldn’t deal with the constant entries about birds. I’m hoping that the Summer book will be a lot better, and will maybe feature some more entries about the landscape. From the array of authors included, I see a lot of modern writers which I’m not too fond of – I tend to like the classic writing a lot more! But, we shall see…
Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus:
I’ve had this book sitting on my shelf for years (at least four), and I think it’s finally time I read it. It’s sound like my ideal book, and I’ve heard it’s written beautifully. It’s supposed to be a slow-burner, and I’m in desperate need of a slow book right now. I’ve only heard praise for The Night Circus, and I want to see if it lives up to the hype!
I find this one quite hard to summarise, so here’s the Vintage blurb (sorry): ‘the circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. The black sign, painted in white letters that hangs upon the gates, reads: “open at Nightfall. Closes at Dawn“. As the sun disappears beyond the horizon, all over the tents small lights begin to flicker, as though the entirety of the circus is covered in particularly bright fireflies. When the tents are all aglow, sparkling against the night sky, the sign appears. Le Cirque des Rêves. The Circus of Dreams. Now the circus is open. Now you may enter.
Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell:
Again, this is another book that has been sitting on my shelf for years. I actually purchased this when the BBC One adaptation was being shown in 2015. I neglected to read it for its size; it’s just over 1,000 pages in my edition. I used to be intimidated by the size of books, but now I don’t really care. I’m hoping this isn’t a phase (because there are a lot of big books I want to conquer) but, just in case it is, I’m aiming to read it as soon as possible!
Magic had supposedly disappeared in England until two men, Gilbert Norrell and Jonathan Strange, appear. ‘Centred on the relationship between these two men, the novel investigates the nature of “Englishness”, and the boundaries between reason and unreason, Anglo-Saxon and Anglo-Dane, and Northern and Southern English cultural tropes/stereotypes’ (Goodreads). It’s praised for it’s witty nature and sophisticated style, so I wonder what I’ll make of it…
Margaret Atwood’s Alias Grace:
Yet another massive book, but I’ve been meaning to read Alias Grace for some time now. I watched the Netflix adaptation last November, and loved it so much I just had to buy the book. This will be my first Atwood novel, so hopefully the hype surrounding her doesn’t affect my reading experience. Saying this though, I already know I’ll love this book because of the show.
It’s set in 1843 America, and ‘Grace Marks has been convicted for her involvement in the vicious murders of her employer and his housekeeper and mistress. Some believe Grace is innocent; others think her evil or insane. Now serving a life sentence, Grace claims to have no memory of the murders. An up-and-coming expert in the burgeoning field of mental illness is engaged by a group of reformers and spiritualists who seek a pardon for Grace. What will he find in attempting to unlock her memories?’ (Goodreads).
…and those are the books I’m planning on reading this summer! Usually in my seasonal TBRs, I tend to find books that are related to the season, but none really screamed out to me. Instead, I’ve picked books that I put off due to university (and size). I’m really intrigued by Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell because it’s set in a period I love, full of magic, and supposedly written in such rich prose!
Have you read any of these? I’d love to discuss them with you!
Thanks for reading, Lauren X