I have a confession to make.
It’s been beautiful out here. I’m talking perfect spring, not too hot, sunshine and breeze days. And between that and the stress of helping Boyfriend research/proofread for finals, all I’ve really wanted to do sit out on the porch with a good book.
Writing time has suffered; I almost haven’t had any energy for it. On some level even reading time has been given over to the general lethargy.
Gormenghast, the current book, is good, don’t get me wrong. I count it and its prequel to be among the most interesting things I’ve ever read. It’s long and old and verbose, though; the series was started in the 1940’s and reads like Victorian Gothic, with a touch of D. H. Lawrence in the themes and Victor Hugo in the digressions.
I like it, but god is it slow going.
I find myself gazing wistfully at my bookshelf, wishing I was reading something lighter to suit the mood of chilling outside, doing nothing. And I have so many books I’m looking forward to on my shelves that I want to read all of them, right now.
So, since actual writing has not been a thing that’s been happening, here are the five I find myself staring at the most, wanting to pull them out and crack them open instead. As always, in no particular order, because I hate ranking things.
1) Forest of Memory by Mary Robinette Kowal
I saw this scrolling through book blogs, and instantly fell in love with the cover. The world and premise of the story sound fascinating to me, and I’m interested to see how fleshed out they could be in such a short read. At just 96 pages it seems like the perfect book for a single afternoon.
2) Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
This sounds to me like the song of my people, told with humor and love. I’ve been in fandom long enough that I admit that’s most of my draw to it, the idea that I’ll recognize some of the inspiration for it and maybe get some of the injokes as well. With the fact that it seems to be written by another person who once lived in nerd culture, hopefully I’ll see a little of myself there too.
3) Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge
YA is always good for quick, fun reads, especially YA with beautiful prose. I’m completely new to this author, but after reading this short story on tumblr, I had to go see if she had any more work so I could grab it. I really want to know if the drive and poetry of that story carry over well into novel form. If so, I may have a fourth favorite YA author.
4) The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories by Susanna Clarke
I’m not actually sure if you could call Susanna Clarke light reading. Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell definitely wasn’t, and that’s the only other litmus I have to judge her by. I did love that book though, so I was excited to see she’d written something else in its world. And a short story collection shouldn’t be too heavy, anyway. It’ll be good to relive the magic and to get back to her writing.
5) Libriomancer by Jim C. Hines
Hines’ works, on the other hand, are pretty much my ideal for light reading: fun, fast-paced, and never taking themselves too seriously. The premise is also a draw for this one. I think any bookish person or fantasy fan has to love the idea of a magician whose power can pull things and characters out of all the books we’ve read. All of Hines’ work so far has been great summer reading, and I’m sure this is no exception.
So, yes, I think soon I’m going to have to put down the heavy literature and pick up something fun. It’s just the season for it.
Anyone else have something on their shelves they can’t wait to read? Or book recommendations for good beach novels?