FF: Summer Reads?

Dandelion: A New Member of the Book Club

Jim was away last weekend, so I listened to audiobooks and did crafts.

Do you have different “summer reads” than the rest of the year?

For those of you just discovering this part of my blog, the Friday Fragments lists what I’ve read over the past week.  Most of the time I don’t include details of either short fiction (unless part of a book-length collection) or magazines.

The Fragments are not meant to be a recommendation list.  If you’re interested in a not-at-all-inclusive recommendation list, you can look on my website under Neat Stuff.

Once again, this is not a book review column.  It’s just a list with, maybe, a bit of description or a few opinions tossed in.

What are you reading?

Recently Completed:

Life Below Stairs: True Lives of Edwardian Servants by Alison Maloney.  Interesting with lots of details not only about Edwardian servants, but how their lives compared to those of their Victorian counterparts.

The Virgin in the Ice by Ellis Peters.  Audiobook.  Re-read.

The Sanctuary Sparrow by Ellis Peters.  Audiobook.  Re-read.

In Progress:

The Jungle Books by Rudyard Kipling.  Just finished the very unsettling “The Undertakers” and am about to begin “The King’s Ankus.”

Growing Food in a Hotter, Dryer Land by Gary Paul Nabhan.  Very interesting.  Makes me want enough land to try some of the suggestions.

The Towers of the Sunset by L.E. Modisett.  Audiobook.  Interesting way of writing a series – the world is the only continuing character and the books are non-linear within the series.   I was very confused at first.  This book is the second in the series.

Labyrinth by Kate Mosse.  No.  Not the movie with Bowie.  A “grail” story told part in the past, part in contemporary times.  So far I’d say a novelette’s worth of plot, lots of setting infused with running around and being confused because plot elements are withheld to pad the limited story.  Not bad, for all that.  I’ll probably finish it.


Still reading magazines.  A recent National Geographic with a focus on plastic waste was interesting but too focused on the problem.  I would have liked a bit more awareness of the problems those same plastics have eliminated – and how to eliminate plastics without reintroducing those problems.

12 Responses to “FF: Summer Reads?”

  1. Beverly Martin Says:

    I just started Tool of War (Ship Breaker 3) by Paolo Bacigalupi. I really enjoyed the first 2 books and his other book, The Windup Girl.

    • janelindskold Says:

      What sort of mood do they have? I’ve wanted to read something by him for a while, but right now I’m looking for good story w/o the artificial stress caused by characters doing stupid things just to advance the plot.

      • Beverly Martin Says:

        I believe these books might fit that description, especially the first Ship Breaker book. I totally agree with frustration over dumb characters (which is why I like Firekeeper – she may be ignorant but she is never stupid!)

      • Beverly Martin Says:

        I believe these books might fit that description, especially the first Ship Breaker book. I agree with your frustration over dumb characters (which is why I love Firekeeper – she may be ignorant, but is never stupid!)

      • janelindskold Says:

        Thanks! And thanks for understanding Firekeeper. One of the more interesting things about writing about her is watching her change as she loses some of that ignorance but still maintains her essentially wolfish core.

  2. John C Says:

    When I was a student, I had different summer reads — I cherished the break from my English Lit curriculum and read purely for pleasure. Now, I don’t have any special seasonal reading (beyond my annual Night in the Lonesome October), but my vacations are marked by an absence of technical books.

    Right now, I’m bopping to and fro between Better Web Typography, a real treat of a book that teaches the basics of typography from a web development perspective, Design It!, which is about software architecture, and Wolf Hunting, with which I think you might be familiar.

    • janelindskold Says:

      The history of typography is fascinating, isn’t it? I haven’t read the book you’re reading, but I read another one back when I was looking for the font I wanted to use on my new e-book releases.

      I had no idea that it was an art form in itself.

      Hope you enjoy WOLF HUNTING. Did you get the new e-book version or do you have a print copy?

      • John C Says:

        My first realization about the importance of typography came after seeing two editions of 1984 side by side. One was so much more inviting and readable than the other that I almost felt cheated that I’d worked my way through the lesser edition.

        I’m thoroughly enjoying Wolf Hunting — I’m rereading the original paperback I got when it first came out. It’s been long enough since my last reading that I’m finding the stories completely fresh and new. But the major characters made enough of an impression on me that they felt immediately familiar — like visiting an uncle one hasn’t seen for a decade.

        My only ebook reader so far is the kindle fire. With its glowing screen, it doesn’t compete with paper for pleasure of reading, so I tend to use it when I’m traveling.

  3. King Ben's Grandma Says:

    My health has been an unpleasant roller coaster ride this past month or so. There have been a few times, *gasp* I felt too awful to even read.
    I’m, once again, on the mend. The human body is amazing. Getting sick or having pains just reminds me how incredible every day there *aren’t* any problems is!

    The Crooked Staircase by Dean Koontz.
    This is the third Jane Hawk novel. I was a little disappointed at the end because I thought it was supposed to be a trilogy. I thought it was a horrible ending to the series. Then, I found out there is another book coming. So, I guess it wasn’t so horrible after all. I’ll just have to wait for book four.

    Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
    I’m about three quarters through. I’m really enjoying the story. I’d never heard of the series, didn’t know there was a TV show based on the series… I live in a bubble, I guess.
    I’ll definitely continue reading the books. I’m wondering if you or any of your readers have seen the TV show and if it’s worth watching. I rarely watch TV, but I enjoy a good show once in a while.

  4. James Mendur Says:

    I no longer read anything different in the summer than any other time of the year.

    FInished up to book 6 of the “Rivers of London” series. Along the way, found out there are comic books and novellas which are part of continuity and referenced in book 6, which was really confusing. I can understand stand-alone stories in a different medium, but how many readers of paperback novels are going to pick up comic books in order to get the whole series, and how many, like me, are going to wonder why they should even continue reading it? Comic books are an expensive medium, compared to books. I buy very few comic books any more, and those for a particular comic book character or two. Honestly, I think I’m done with that series.

    Began “Witch Is When It All Began” by Abbott – it has a sort of cozy mystery vibe in the first few chapters; the main character / narrator hasn’t figured out magic is real yet.

    Also halfway through “City” by Simak – very much of its time and place (assumptions about what all of humanity really wants, which resembles post WW2 America’s desires, strangely enough :-/ ). As a dog lover, the framing story is interesting, and the evolution of the human race is quite interesting, too. It reminds me of some stories by Gordon R. Dickson in places (mostly the plots, not so much the style), especially Dickson’s “By New Hearth Fires” which is one of the saddest short stories for me.

    • janelindskold Says:

      I’m fond of City. It still works for me, but when I used it in a class a good number of years ago, some of my students didn’t get the idea of a novel told through short stories.

  5. CBI Says:

    I also have no differences in summertime vs. other time reading. There are slight calendar differences now that schools no longer loom large in scheduling, but they are minor.


    A Death in Sweden by Kevin Wignall. An interesting mystery/thriller. I’m not big on the spy thriller genre–I’m trying to recollect how many people the hero kills, not a few in cold blood–but it was a reasonable light read.

    The God of the Hive by Laurie R. King (audiobook). Tenth in the Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes series. Listened with my wife on recent camping trip and finished up at home. It’s a pleasant and easy-reading series. We’ve enjoyed them. This one (and the last one as well) were a bit more thriller-ish than mystery-ish. I prefer the latter by far, but they’ve still been good

    In progress:

    Metamorphoses by Ovid (A.S. Kline, translator). Lunchtime reading, a bit at a time.

    Asphodel by Jane Lindskold. I’m probably the last person following Wednesday Wanderings to read it. 🙂 I’ve liked the mystery aspects (was able to figure out one puzzle in general, although I didn’t get the specifics–and it still might go off somewhere else).

    Phantastes by George Macdonald (reread). A classic. He had written one of the fairy tales in a book I read week or two ago, and so I was moved to reread this one. (I’m having to back-burner this one until I finish Ovid.)

    Benjamin Franklin: An American Life by Walter Isaacson (audiobook). A two/from work audiobook. Interesting stuff on his life and development. A great man, sometimes oily, sometimes hypocritical, sometimes spot on, sometimes beneficial. He did have a general knack for “doing well while doing good”.

    On Liberty by John Stuart Mill. Another “bits and pieces but never the whole thing” book. I’ve come to realize over the past decade how incomplete my college education was, and am trying to correct that. Not very systematically yet. Also a bit back-burnered for now.

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