December 22, 2016

The Great Summer Read



Call out to everyone taking part -- or thinking of taking part -- in the Great Summer Read! Yes, you're still in time to start. There's no registration and you can log a challenge at any time, even on the very last day, 30 January.

And from now until then, we'll be posting tips and reading recommendations for the Great Summer Read challenges here on Books in the City.

Add your own Great Summer Reading experiences into the mix using the comments feature on any of the posts and you can tick off Challenge #10, "Share your read"! (Comments on earlier posts also count - no worries, reader who commented on the Into the River post!)

NB Although only Auckland Libraries members can go in the draw for the Great Summer Read prizes, anyone can enjoy trying the challenges and contributing comments. The more the merrier!

I've been hunting down (aka requesting) and bringing home my candidates for the Great Summer Read challenges and by now have a nice stash:

Karen's bedside table 

As you can see, I am a librocubicularist, someone who reads in bed, from the Latin libro, book, and cubiculum, bedchamber. A term invented by Christopher Morley, author of a book I'm going to be reading for the Great Summer Read, or more precisely rereading-- my choice for completing Challenge #4: "Reread a childhood favourite". 

Recently I saw a comment on social media where "pastime" was spelled "past time" -- it seems a lovely expression for Challenge #4, where past time and pastime become one and the same.

No I'm not going to say -- yet -- what book I'm using for Challenge #4. Also because I'm thinking of using two books from that same year in my childhood, a favourite year, the year I got my first job in a library. 

So keep checking in with Books in the City for ideas for your summer reading -- surely one of the finest pastimes ever!

Ditulis Oleh : Karen Craig // 12:38
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27 comments:

  1. Love your pile of books - is it getting smaller or are you adding to it each day?! I find that my piles tend to get bigger rather than smaller. Hence, when I chose a bundle of books from the library, I went for thin books (Mills & Boons, romance, escapism) as my first books for the challenge. Now though, as I am officially on holiday, the longer books come out.
    I have just finished Blue, by Danielle Steel (finished it in my bed this morning!). I found that it moved from scene to scene quite quickly. I did like how each character got to have their say, as it were - it wasn't all coming from one person's view, but from a mix of people, and even that switched quickly on the pages.
    The background - the relief work overseas, the sexual abuse of a young child by a member of the clergy (& the church's cover-up of that abuse) - were all too realistic and hard hitting. It is a sad fact of life that these things are happening in our world, but that Danielle Steele could weave them into her story and leave everyone with a warm happy glow was gratifying. I am keen to read her two books about her son and her work with the homeless.

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    1. Hi Tsana,
      Yes - definitely one of those whose piles get bigger! Lucky thing you can get two renewals now on many books. Danielle Steel is amazing, both for her prodigious output and for her commitment to exploring new terrain over the years instead of just taking the easiest path ie continuing with the formula of her first "fluff" genre bestsellers. In this sense - books which are page-turners but also deal with difficult issues - have you ever tried Douglas Kennedy? Have a look!

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  2. I just want to do a shout out about How Green was my Valley by Richard Llewellyn. How utterly perfect, atmospheric and what language! I am loving it.

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    1. Hi Deborah, Ah, that book! I discovered it in adolescence and have read it 3 or 4 times, and every time as soon as I get to the end of that beautiful last line "How green was my valley then, and the valley of them that are gone" I put my head down and bawl. Did you know that after Llewellyn's death it came out that he had not actually grown up in Wales at all (was not even named Llewellyn) but had found his inspiration in stories he had been told by others. Some people condemned him for that but I thought it made his accomplishment all the greater - having been able to find and express so vividly such real and universal feelings, through the telling of what we now know was essentially a fable. One of my all-time favourite books! Have you read Dylan Thomas's A Child's Christmas in Wales? I think you'd love it and it is the season! Another beautiful book which comes to mind in that sense is Truman Capote's A Christmas Memory - another book which makes me cry every time I finish it!

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  3. for the challenge share your read by commenting I decided to reread the silver chair by C.S Lewis. I haven't read it in ages and I really enjoyed it.

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    1. I thought I didn't remember The Silver Chair at all- but I had a quick look at the synopsis and I do remember Eustace Scrubb! I have't re-read any of the Narnia books as an adult, meaning since I discovered that there were Christian themes, so I'd be curious to see how that affects the experience!

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  4. For the challenge share your read by commenting I decided to read Baby, it's cold outside by Susan May Warren one of my favourite authors. It was both sad and heart warming, an awesome Christmas read. It was such a good book I read it in 3 days.

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    1. That's wonderful that you found a perfect Christmas story! Susan May Warren is new to me so I checked her out our catalogue - I love her choice of song titles for her books.. When I fall in love, It had to be you, and, my favourite (as it's one of my favourite songs) Always on my mind!

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  5. I've just read The Ne$t by Cynthia D'aprix Sweeney, about family, finance, life paths, and love. It beautifully blends the stories of the many characters with a wonderful language and multiple angles.

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    1. Hi Clare, thanks for the recommendation! This book is one of the titles on the Auckland Libraries Top 100 of 2016 -- 'curated by librarians from the books which were popular with our readers'! Looks like we made a good choice!

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  6. "Sparrow" by Michael Morpurgo was a lovely story to read that informed me of some of the daring deeds Jane of Arc performed. Her bravery inspired me. I recommend it for a younger age group however.

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    1. Michael Morpurgo never lets you down! The premise of this story -- a modern day girl the same age as Joan when she was fighting the English, on a visit to Joan's city, hearing a voice tell Joan's story, is certainly a suggestive one. Thanks for the recommendation!

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  7. For the read book on the top 100 list I have just read "A child of books" by Oliver Jeffers. The pictures are just absolutely wonderful.

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    1. I have this book out too and hate the idea of having to take it back! Definitely a picture book for all ages!

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    2. I also took this book out for the Top 100. Absolutely loved it and had to read all the extra little words which were on the pages as pictures. Definitely a book for all ages.

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  8. I'm reading The Collected Poems of Katherine Mansfield. I got a copy of this beautiful hardcover book under the Christmas tree. We heard about the discovery of these previously unknown poems on the radio and were very excited. I love the way the book is set with poems in chronological order. As you read you watch Katherine Mansfield’s writing and style developing and maturing. I become more and more engaged in this book and find I can really feel the words blossoming. Her poems, like so many of her stories, are sensual and provoking. This book is uplifting. I recommend it!

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    1. Hi, this book sounds like a recipe for perfect summer reading! Well done to your Santa!

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  9. Hi, I do not know why but I have not read a John Grisham for a very long time. I have just finished and enjoyed the twists in The Racketeer. I enjoy this challenge, makes you read something different and find different things like this blog and the ratings.

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    1. Hi Lynette,
      Thanks so much for passing on your appreciation! It's always nice to revisit those masters-of-their-craft like John Grisham who always provide a good show. John le Carre is one I like in this sense! Hope you'll keep going with the challenges!

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  10. For "share your read" I tried out "vanished in Vallarta" by Jeffery Round, largely because I love a good mystery and hadn't chosen one for any of the other challenges. Very surprising themes (homosexual relationship difficulties, international spies etc) as picked it at random from the city mystery section - good chance to try something different!

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    1. Dear Sfar060: Awesome comment. You have the spirit!

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  11. For the challenge share you read, I decided to read the book Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick, she is a great author. When you think the book plot is slowing down, something happens that changes everything.

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    1. So she only slows down because there's a curve ahead, I see. Sounds like a good book for a holiday read, when you have time to really get into the rhythm! Thanks for the recommendation.

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  12. One of the books I picke dup in a travel 'book bundle' was 'In Siberia' by Colin Thurbron. It was written almost 20 years ago, when foreigners were first able to travel on their own in out of the way places. The historical and geographical information was very interesting and I loved his insights, his use of language and metaphor eg 'A drift of cottages'; 'I notice how incongruous her hands are: hands that had belonged to an earlier, bigger woman, and been left behind in her lap'; 'Snow turned everything else black. People trailed along the streets in black overcoats and black hats like loosed shadows. By day the sun barely winched itself into the sky ...'.

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    1. Hi Elaine (belatedly... sorry about that!)
      Thanks for this recommendation -- and reminder! Although I know of him and his reputation as one of the last of those old style British travel writers, the ones who seek to immerse themselves in the countries they write about so that their books are - just as you say - rich with insight as well as observance, Colin Thubron is a serious gap in my reading! Must get on to him!

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  13. I loved reading "William the Explorer" by Richmal Crompton to my nephew (who is also called William). Not only does it tick the box for Challenge #2, but could also be a contender for Challenge #4 (a childhood favourite) and Challenge #9 (a classic, 1960). Loving the Great Summer Read!

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    1. For a lot of readers it could also have been a book published in the decade they were born, given that the William books were published over 50 years! And William certainly gets top marks for winning lifelong fans, despite not exactly having what would be called winning ways (which is why he is so winning!). I just found out recently that Richmal Crompton is a woman - I had always thought the author was a man! Auckland Libraries has not one but two biographies of her. Before she started writing she had been a "Classics mistress" - I presume a different type of Classic!

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