Summer Books, Part One

9:00 am

After watching Jen Campbell's 'Recommended Summer Reads' video, I was inspired to compile my own list of books that either remind me of summer or are set in summer for those interested. Naturally, I am writing this wearing a pair of dungarees and have split the post in two because I picked far too many to fit into one. A lot are books I read in the past and no longer own copies of, hence their disappearance from the photo. Let's get started:

Cat's Eye by Margaret Atwood - Read for my second year of university, in this Atwood tells the story of Elaine, an artist who returns to her hometown and begins to reminisce about her childhood there, particularly remembering a friend of hers with whom she had a strained relationship. Her flashbacks are intertwined with her rediscovering her city and when I think about the story, I just remember beautiful natural imagery with fields of flowers and young girls running about on adventures.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll - The classic, which Jen also mentioned in her video. There's not much explanation needed here. It's a story full of flowers, toadstools, animals, and tea parties. I absolutely love my copy of the book, with wonderful, wacky illustrations by Yayoi Kusama.

Matilda by Roald Dahl - Matilda doesn't so much remind me of summer but of the endless summer of childhood. When I think back to when I was young, it was always summer (or Christmas, obviously) and I would always be watching Matilda. I don't know anybody who does not love this story.

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro - This book is quite possibly my favourite book of all time, and manages to both remind me of the height of summer and the cool depths of winter. I've gushed about this before all over my blog, but I would honestly recommend this to anyone. Another story concerning flashbacks to childhood, Kathy thinks back to her time at Hailsham, a boarding school for children with a mysterious unknown purpose. She remembers her friends, Ruth and Tommy, and the relationships they had with each other. It's heartbreaking, beautifully written, with a wonderful sense of place.

Song of the Sea Maid* by Rebecca Mascull - I've recently written about this book in another blog post, so head there if you want more details, but this book covers the life of Dawnay Price, an orphan who finds herself fascinated by science and endeavors to become the natural philosopher she dreams to be. This book filled me with such a love for the great outdoors and summertime adventures, and I will probably end up rereading it by the end of the year!

Enduring Love by Ian McEwan - I read this book such a long time ago, I honestly couldn't give you a detailed run-down of what happens, but the opening chapter will always stick with me. No spoilers, but the image of a summer's day with a picnic and a hot air balloon features.

Holes by Louis Sachar - This was pretty much my favourite book when I was younger and will always hold a place in my heart. Stanley Yelnats is sent to Camp Greenlake, a place for delinquent young boys, after a misunderstanding and is forced along with his fellow 'prisoners' to dig holes all day in the desert sun. A lot happens in this book that you wouldn't expect and you can't help but feel the blazing sun as you read about Stanley's exploits.

A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare - The summer play. I will never tire of this story and if you haven't read it, you must.

Wild by Cheryl Strayed - I would be surprised if you haven't heard of Wild, but if you haven't it's an autobiographical work telling the story of when Cheryl decided to trek the Pacific Crest Trail solo after the death of her mother and the disintegration of her marriage. I really struggled to put this book down the whole time I was reading it and felt like I was journeying the trek with Cheryl as she attempted to piece her life back together.

Stay tuned for part two, coming soon,
M x

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