I admit it. I never think of reading in the summer. Instead of sitting on the beach reading, I would rather be swimming, hiking, checking out festivals, or letting myself be mystified by the flames of a campfire. Summertime is generally not a time when I choose to read books.
But when a storm is thundering outside and either you’re stuck inside a cabin with little else to do, or you’re home and having electronics plugged in isn’t advised, I’ll resort to reading a book.
This is when I get really picky. I want something short and fast-paced—so I can go back to exploring the outdoors while the weather is still nice. The following are my 2019 summer reading picks:
A well-crafted story of the dysfunctional Plum family illustrates the New York setting with careful details and hilarious observations. The book starts off with Leo, the eldest Plum, leaving his wife at a wedding, high on drugs and with a waitress in the passenger seat, only to crash his car and get sent to rehab. In order to hush the gossip, his mother spends the money from the Nest, a delayed inheritance for all the children when Melody, the youngest, would turn 40. With all the other siblings in dire straits, expecting the money to fix their debts and relationship problems, they eagerly await for Leo to come up with a solution. It’s a fun quick read filled with drama and ridiculous situations that are just perfect for stormy days inside.
This is also available in audiobook, which is great for long road trips!
If you’ve ever been to Niagara Falls, you’ll recognize it immediately in this coming-of-age story. Jake Bake, neurosurgeon, reminisces on one summer growing up in Niagara Falls. At 12 years old, Jake was still scared of monsters in the closet and bullies from his school, but after meeting the new boy in town, Billy and his sister Dove, he begins exploring the city’s haunted sites with Uncle Cal, or the newly-formed Saturday Night Ghost Club. Exploring the themes of memory, nostalgia and tragedy, Davidson brings to life that summer feeling of exploring the city with nothing but your bike and your friends.
Looking for a getaway to the south of France? Ysabel, set in Aix-en-Provence, will sweep you into a story of adventure that will make you feel like you’re there. Ned, 15 years old, accompanying his father, a revered and professional photographer there to take some pictures of the city and landscape, stumble into a fantastical situation that spans over 2000 years. With great dialogue, well-timed humour, lyrical description of the Aix-en-Provence and a story unlike any I’ve read, this one is sure to keep you reading even after the storms outside have calmed.
Also available in audiobook!
When I hear Ken Follett, I think of his long, sweeping historical novels. While those are great for cold winter nights, it’s not what I’m looking for when the sun sets after 9 o’clock. The Key to Rebecca gives you that historical fiction fix, but with a fast-paced, action-packed story. Follow Alex Wolf, a Nazi spy who travels through the Sahara Desert and into Cairo to get information on the British operations in Egypt during the Second World War, and William Vandam a British Army Intelligence office who picks up Wolf’s trail in the city. It has all the action, intrigue and romance you would expect from summer blockbuster, and it’s just as much fun.
So if you’re like me and hesitate to pick up a book over the summer, make sure to pick one that’s sure to be fun and fast-paced.