“One of the saddest things in life is the things one remembers.”
Just in case we do actually get a summer at any point…
- Rebecca – Daphne du Maurier. I have no idea why I think of this as a beach read – it’s not exactly a thing of sweetness and light – but something about it just draws me in during the summer. It’s set in summer, of course, a brief and fleeting one before the collapse of a world; and there’s also something delightful about its 1930s setting that says “sunlight” to me.
- Death on the Nile – Agatha Christie. Standing in for all of Christie’s mysteries, but of course Death on the Nile has its own holiday resonances. Again, it’s that ’30s vibe that gives it a beachy feel for me: I think it’s something to do with the fairytale of a proper British summer.
- The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger. I love dipping in and out of this magical realist romance: it’s got a bit of depth to it but it’s also easy to pick up and put down again, probably because of its episodic format.
- The Fault in Our Stars – John Green. Another one that I find really easy to dip into – I enjoy Green’s voice, and the slightly sarky, slightly offbeat tone of his romance is refreshingly geeky. I’ve only read the ending about twice, though, because it’s just too depressing.
- Notes From a Big Country – Bill Bryson. His columns make me laugh my head off – perfect for some light reading.
- Robot Dreams – Isaac Asimov. Or any of his short story collections, really. Character development is zero, but there’s always a range of ideas being worked out in his stories, and they always leave me slightly unnerved.
- Going Postal – Terry Pratchett. Pratchett is always a choice when it comes to any light reading, and I much prefer his later novels (well, before I Shall Wear Midnight, anyway) – they are deeper, more exploratory, more serious and more fantastical.
- Good Omens – Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. A slightly camp tale of Heaven, Hell and the Antichrist, Good Omens is also set in an English summer, and it understands what English summers are like, which makes it a great companion for beach trips in Britain, where it’s never really quite warm and always about to rain but you sit there and “sunbathe” anyway out of sheer bloody-mindedness.
- Station Eleven – Emily St John Mandel. A gentle, quiet read that feels weirdly hopeful for a post-apocalypse scenario. There are touches of melancholy which keep it from being jarring, but overall it’s a lovely book to spend time with.
- Cat Stories. I really don’t think this one needs elaboration.
(The theme for this post was suggested by the Broke and the Bookish’s weekly meme Top Ten Tuesday.)