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A Summer Reading List

I was wondering if it's time for a book post, but surely it's always so? I have been enjoying those of others recently, and decided to offer my own.

I am currently reading Thornyhold by Mary Stewart, on the ever-reliable recommendation of Melissa Wiley. I didn't think it was my style, but am finding it addictive. I don't think I've read Mary Stewart before, but it's been a long life filled with thousands of books, so perhaps I have.

Next on my list is The Owl Service by Alan Garner, which I've never read despite it twice being in my house. I adore the old Welsh myths however, so I'll be trying it again. Sometimes when I'm without an actual book, I imagine out those myths, making a book of them in my mind - especially the tale of Arianrhod & Gwydion (which my long term readers may remember I love), but also Rhiannon, Ceridwen, and Blodeuwedd.

I also have coming The Other Wind, which is the final Earthsea book by Ursula le Guin, not necessarily my favourite of the series but essential for my collection (my favourite is The Tombs of Atuan read in conjunction with Tehanu, with Wizard & Farthest Shore for back story and The Other Wind to tie it all up so okay my favourite is the whole series).

And I am waiting on The Blue Castle by LM Montgomery, the second half in particular which I love, perhaps even more than the Anne books. It's more adult but has a luminous spirit which enchants me on a grown-up level. I've only ever read it online, so will be excited to have it in my hands. Hopefully the cover will be quaint and unsuited to the story - I grew up with the strange, ugly cover art of second-hand paperback novels and have a real soft spot for it. I almost never choose a modern book for its cover, no matter how glamourous.

Another book on my to-be-reread list is The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. To be honest, this is a book I dip into rather than read right through. I don't really like ensemble casts, as you may have been able to guess if you've read any of my stories. (I have several plots-in-waiting that involve two people in a house or on a deserted island, nothing more for the entire novel. Well, except ghosts and eerie animals, but they probably don't count.)

I recently finished rereading Crosstalk by Connie Willis, a fun rom-com by one of my favourite authors. I love this book, although I find myself getting caught up over and again by the heroine's ridiculous name. Connie's short stories are also an absolute treat which I intend to reread this month.

There are so many wonderful books being published all the time, not to mention the vast library we already have in the world, I could bury my nose in a book all day every day and still not get through everything I want to read and reread and rereread.

My reading tastes are fairly eclectic, although you'll seldom see me reading literary fiction for pleasure. I like heartwarming comfort, a touch of thrilling dark, and escapism, hopefully with cleverness woven through. I'm not stupid or lowbrow, I've read Old English in the original and have many classics on my shelves. By I take books as friends, and I personally prefer relatively easy-going friends who have beautiful spirits and who can have an intense, fascinating conversation but aren't sombrely focussed on important things all the time.

UPDATE: I'm giving up on Thornyhold. Despite the love everyone else seems to have for it, I'm finding myself unsuited to it. I don't mind a book starting slowly (as you will know if you've read Deep in the Far Away) but expect some things to wonder about, some lures ... I don't really see the point of so much Mary has included in her early chapters. I'm afraid I've lost interest.


  1. I loved Alan Garner's books when I was a girl — except Owl Service, which terrified me! (And I am not easily scared by books!).

  2. Ahhh... your last paragraph! <3

  3. I read 'the blue castle' and I like it, I didn't love it but I think it's because I find the story too easy, like the mistake in the beginning which propels her to action but I did laughed a couple of times and it's always good that a book can provoke some emotion in you.

    I haven't read any of the others on your list but I think I might check out Thornyhold, that seems like something I would read.

    have a lovely day.

  4. Oh, I've never read The Blue Castle, perhaps I should...

  5. I really enjoyed "the night circus" myself, and of course the "earths" books are among my very favorite books of all time. I've never read "the blue castle" or even laid eyes upon it...I must seek it out. although I don't generally do a lot of rom-com (ok, apart from jane austen's books), I do have a soft spot for barbara pym's books, and nancy mitford's too.

    any day is a good day for a book post! I love hearing what others are reading...

  6. It's a true gem. In some moods, it's my favorite LMM.


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