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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Are you a light or heavy summer reader?

The other day one of my dear friends asked me to give her recommendations of books to read for a long airline flight she was about to take.  This was the second time in a week a good friend had asked me for reading recommendations for her long trip.  Not only am I a writer, but I am an avid reader, so you can always ask me what I suggest you read, and I’ll usually rattle off a long list of books I think are great.  I did exactly that with my first friend.  However, my other friend that asked me wanted what she termed ‘easy beach reads’ because she was going to be changing planes a good deal and she has a young child that frequently stops her in the middle of her book. 

I totally get it. I have young kids too and it’s hard for me to find a lot of recreational reading time, but I have never considered myself a ‘light beach’ read type of gal, and I told her as much.  I tend to like a complex plot, so I told her I was not sure the books I recommended would suit her desires.  After I explained my love of meaty books, she told me to hit her with my list. 
I felt as if I needed to go home and really think this through, almost like I was bringing a friend over from the dark side of light fluff.  After securing a night to think about it, I came up with my three favorite books this yearnovels I think would bring anyone over to the light side of complex fiction reading.  Pun intended! 

And since I know a whole gaggle of girls who are about to get away from their kids for a long weekend at the beach with their best friends, this list is for them and whoever else might be looking for a story to so transport them that they never want the novel to end, even if it is already over a thousand pages!

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern – The writing in this book is like the most exquisitely made box of imported chocolates.  The words melt in your mouth and leave a story you cannot quit eating at page by page.  The love story will inspire you, break your heart, and then fill you with hope once more.  The circus arrives unexpectedly and what transpires in the circus will defy your imagination with the lengths people will go to in order to see their ambitions come to fruition.








The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory – What could make for a better summer read than a duchess descended from a river goddess?  The duchess Jaquetta has the gift of second sight and must be very careful when and if she uses it to weave through the tumultuous times she lives in at King Henry the VI’s court.  Throw in a love that conquers all between the duchess and her first husband’s squire and you will find yourself alternately weeping for sorrow and joy.

A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon – If you have followed Claire and Jamie’s story, I need say no more, but for those poor, unfortunate ones of you out there that have not yet jumped on this bandwagon, you are missing a rich historical read with colorful character, strong family ties, an exquisitely created romance, violent loss and gains, heart filling reunions and heart wrenching departures and in this particular novel you will find time travelers living in Colonial America with the knowledge of the war to come and a hard choice of what they should do with this knowledge.



So what is on your ‘must read’ summer list? Are you a light or heavy fiction reader?

Have a great day!
Julie Johnstone, The Marchioness of Mayhem

9 comments:

  1. I'm seriously missing the freedom to read right now! LOL. I usually do a lot of reading in the summer, but I'm swamped and don't have the time right now. Next week, though, I get to escape for a few days and will probably delve into a book or two.

    Back in the day, summer was my escape from the world...and I used it to seriously escape. On my summer breaks from school, I would read as many of the biggest, thickest, meatiest books I could lay my hands on. When I was an older student returning to college after being out in the working world for a while, I continued that tradition during every break I had between semesters.

    As such, it wasn't all that uncommon for me to be seen with the entire Harry Potter series in my grasp for a week or so. I tend to re-read Lord of the Rings at least once a year (often in summer). There are a number of other big, juicy tomes that I like to pick up in the summer. Those months were the only times I had time to devote to something so complex, so I guess it has become a tradition. :)

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    1. I absolutely adore the Lord of the Rings. I need to reread those books! Nothing like a book that can make you cry when wizard dies.

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  2. Interesting post, Julie! My reading tastes depend on the situation. I read much more this summer because the kids were home and I couldn't write (tried that. BAD idea), so I preferred quick, easy reads that didn't command all my attention. However, I'm usually a fan of the complex, dark and seedy plot. I'm to the point that I almost hate to start a new series from one of my favorite authors because her last one pulled me in so deeply, I was foaming at the mouth between releases. Ack! ;}

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    1. Adris,
      I am so in tune with you on trying to write this summer! I want to write so badly and every time my kids interrupt me I turn into a bear. Not good! I gave up this week, and am holding out for next week when they are both at camp again.

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  3. I've heard great things about The Night Circus, Julie. And I love Phillipa Gregory. Never read Outlander though and I'm not sure if I ever will. :\

    I've just finished Sherry Thomas' Ravishing The Heiress. Next up...On the Island by Tracy Garvis Graves. It's a heavier read but still romance. :)

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    1. Marquita,
      Those both sound good! I'll have to try them!

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  4. Julie ~ I find my taste for books depends on my mood. So I can read light or dark, depending. The best book I read this summer was SORORITY SISTERS by Claudia Welch. It was so touching, so endearing, it made me call all of my longtime girlfriends and tell them how much I loved them. It was brilliant!

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    1. Ava,
      You're the second person to mention SORORITY SISTERS to me. I'm going to have to pick that one up and get to reading!

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  5. We have a copy of Night Circus in at work and I keep eye balling it. I have read every book Diana Gabaldon has written to date, she is an amazing author. Her books are definitely not for the light quick reading though.

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