Summer Reading

June! The month of weddings and graduations, strawberries and roses. Lavender and thyme come into bloom and lemonade stands blossom around the neighborhood. But mostly it is a month of slack.

This is a between time. Planting time is winding down but harvest is not yet winding up. School is out but summer programs haven’t started yet. It’s not quite time for vacations but it’s impossible to focus on work. In the desert, June is the month of waiting for the monsoon to hit around the 4th of July. And then three weeks in we have the ultimate slack time, the summer solstice, where even the sun stands still. Sort of.

I am not a summer person. June is rather something to endure. But one summer tradition that I wholly embrace is summer reading. ’Tis the season for losing yourself in adventure, mystery, fantasy. I even read a few romances in June. Then, there are all the nooks and crannies and unexplored corridors of history. Nothing with battles, dates and important people. So many interesting stories about forests and cities, craft and food, trade routes and the making of boats through the ages. 

In keeping with the theme of summer reading, there is a general break from philosophy and political science and serious literature (that which takes itself seriously, anyway). Introspection is for the indoor months. When the sun is hot, I want books that make me feel.

My June list is almost all fiction this year. I have three related non-fiction books: To Speak for the Trees by Diana Beresford-Kroeger, Finding the Mother Tree by Suzanne Simard and Rooted by Lyanda Lynn Haupt. And I’ve also got The Soul of a Woman by Isabel Allende because she’s just delightful. But the rest is all imaginary worlds.

So here is my June 2021 fiction list, in no particular order. Or, actually, in the order that they are piled beside my bed. (With a few on the bed itself…)

The Ministry for the Future by Kim Stanley Robinson
The Space Between Worlds by Micaiah Johnson
Fable and Namesake by Adrienne Young
lots of Joanne Harris, Chocolat through The Strawberry Thief
Remote Control by Nnedi Okorafor
Unnatural Magic and The Ruthless Lady’s Guide to Wizardry by C.M. Waggoner
The Angel of the Crows by Katherine Addison
The Rule of Wolves by Leigh Bardugo (there may be a re-reading of the rest of her books)
Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse
City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert
Driftwood by Marie Brennan
The Dutch House by Ann Patchett
Across the Green Grass Fields by Seanan McGuire
The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd
The Witch’s Heart by Genevieve Gornichec
The Memory Theater by Karin Tidbeck
The Night Country by Melissa Albert
Block Seventeen by Kimiko Guthrie
The Five Wounds by Kirstin Valdez Quade
The Falconer trilogy by Elizabeth May

Others may happen along. There’s always something that new to grab the monkey brain’s attention. But in any event, it’s going to be a good month. I hope you have an equally epic month of slack!

©Elizabeth Anker 2021