One thing that I’ve observed, however, is that not everyone has the same idea of what makes a great “summer read.” Publishers and booksellers seem to think that women, at least, all want to read a piece of fluff that has some connection to beachiness in June, July, and August . . . Have you ever noticed the preponderance of summer releases sporting covers with a beach or pool scene, or a woman under a sun umbrella or wearing a big floppy hat? These books tend not to be the most literary of material.
And for me, this begs the question, why does a summer read have to be “light”? I like a non-taxing and easily digestible novel now and then, believe me . . . But really, I’d rather a summer novel be fully absorbing more than anything else. My pool or vacation reads don’t need to be about summer or have the obligatory “family-on-vacation-and-many-truths-emerge” theme. I just want my summer books to be engrossing and compelling. I want something that occupies me completely on the plane, or keeps me so wrapped up that I don’t even notice that the sun has started to set after a long and wonderful day on the beach. Sometimes, yes, that’s a lighter, fluffier read; sometimes it’s even a thriller or a mystery, which lie outside of my usual reading interests. But to me, a fantastic summer read can also be a highly literary novel that immerses me into a wholly different world.
What kind of book do you consider to be a great “summer read”?