Tuesday, July 9, 2024

What's On Your Summer Reading List?

...the strongest friends of the soul – BOOKS... 

Emily Dickinson

When I was a kid, in small town Austin, Minnesota, I lived for summer. After a harsh winter, I couldn't wait to run barefoot or swim in the neighbor's pool or run through the cold water coming through the sprinkler.

Flower gardens. A warm sun. Picnics. A week at Green Lake in Spicer. The county fair. My birthday. 


I don't recall much before age seven, when memory truly kicks in. Snippets here and there. I do remember when my dad took me to the public library downtown and I got my first library card. It was blue and had many lines, which quickly filled with due dates. 

In summer's beauty, I could ride my bicycle downtown to the library and fill the bike's basket with my chosen summer's fare. The school library always limited me to two books a week--and limited time to choose them. A lone summer library visit offered not only respite from my household filled with three brothers and all their activity. It gave me a place to hide in the quiet.

Perhaps that is why I never notice the quiet now. Noise, yes. Quiet no. 

I have friends who say they keep the TV on for the noise, like having someone else in the house. I can't comprehend that. What goes on in my head is not quiet for a second. I'm a great companion for myself. 

Obviously, I do live with someone. And, when he is home, the quiet only comes if he's reading or napping. I've learned to adjust. I don't mind, as I'm most grateful for his presence. Since he's retired and we survived that adjustment, he's learned what it means when I hold both palms up in the air. A silent and kind Do Not Disturb. 

I respect the same for him when he naps on the couch in the middle of my household chores. Or when he has his morning quiet time or is reading a book or car magazine. Or goes to bed early. 

We co-exist well. 

While he watches something on one of the myriad of choices on the TV, I sometimes join. We usually watch one show together. We've finished  Better Call Saul and five seasons of Fargo. Currently Season Three of The Bear

More likely, I retreat either to my ear buds and an audio library book. Or to the bedroom, where with an absence of a television set, I can choose something from my Books To Be Read shelf, and escape into my own world. 

Which is especially nice in summer. When time seems more available; the day much longer. And remembrances of those summer days as a child, reading a book outside while swaying in my dad's hammock, away from the mayhem of a busy household. Hoping not to be discovered.

This summer, I've tackled my To Be Read Shelf, which sometimes creeps onto another shelf as well. Two rows thick. I counted once. Over 35 books. Some have sat there for years. This summer I wanted new books, but coming from depression-era parents, I have something in me that makes me think I need to appreciate and finish what I have and go from there. 

I tackled the shelf. Seventeen books gone. Many I had a hard time starting, but I found if I got a loan of the audio from the library, I could start more easily, with the book in hand. Books that have been sitting on a shelf for more than ten years are often readily available at the library. 

My shelf has whittled down to this. 

With that success, I ridded myself of depression guilt and went on a Summer Reading binge purchase adventure. Here is my new stack which I'm already devouring. 

Do I feel quilty for my purchases? Hell, no. Do you have any idea what those writer's went through to get those books written and published? Plus, how little they will make from them? 

Do you know how much I enjoy opening the pages of a new book? The smell. The knowing I'm the first to turn its pages. The joy of a good story?

Helps that the guilt is easily assuaged when you normally get your books from the library or through an exchange with friends.

So, what's on your summer reading list? For those of you who watch TV, any good suggestions for a new series for my husband and me? We like those with good writing and character development, and, maybe, are a little twisted? 

Happy summer everybody. My hammock calls.


  1. Hello again, Julie. I've been a book listener these last several years, especially because of weaving. A long book and a long project go well together. Right now I am relistening to The Lord of the Rings trilogy. I did listen to a riveting book recently, a memoir, Nowhere Girl by Cheryl Diamond. It's several years old, and if you haven't read it, I do recommend it.

    1. So good to hear from, Joanne. Book listening has been a great thing for me to discover as well. I love when someone reads to me. I will look up Nowhere Girl, for sure.

  2. I’ve also been tackling my backlog this year. And plenty more still to go!

  3. Sorry for the anonymous post.

    1. Ha, I'm trying to figure out how to get it let me reply. And it's my blog!

    2. Midlife RoadtripperJuly 10, 2024 at 9:23 AM

      Trying again.

  4. What a lovely post about summer. I could appreciate the part about co-existing with a much less quiet companion. My husband liked noise but we worked it out, too.

  5. Thank you for stopping by my blog. I always enjoy seeing what you're reading on goodreads, but somehow lost track of your blog when blogluvin collapsed. Lovely summer memories. They remind me of my solo bike rides to the library, often with a quick visit to my grandparents on the way home... happy times! Your stack of books is so appealing... many are on my list, too. I'm anticipating a birthday gift certificate to my favorite indie later this month, so my stack will be growing, too! Happy hammock reading!


Let me know what you think. Every word you write, I appreciate.


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