Last week marked the official start of summer in my part of the world. I drove down the Pacific Coast weekend highway this past weekend and aside from the traffic, the coastline gorgeous and the beaches full. I am not a huge fan of Summer, but Summer to me always means travel. Even when I wasn’t physically going somewhere, I indulged myself immensely with that armchair traveling. To mark the start of Summer 2016 I wanted to share three books that encompass summer, travel, adventure, change, and just everything that to me embodies summer.
Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard
Since I started this Blog, I feel like I have mentioned this book every summer, and here’s to another one. This book will never lose it’s charm for me. It’s the summer I know I will have some day. The book follows Bria who has recently graduated high school. She’s an artist who has lost her passion after a passing up an opportunity of a lifetime, and a subsequent breakup. She decides to do something out of the ordinary and books a guided tour to Guatemala. Not the typical place an eighteen year old goes alone, but she decides to just go for it. Along the way she meets a brother sister traveling backpacking duo who convince her to ditch the intinerary and fancy hotels, for a backpack and hostels. Bria finds herself drinking coke from a plastic bag with a straw, riding buses alongside chickens, and taking showers with buckets of ice cold water. I am very familiar with Central America, and this books brought out all kinds of nostalgia in me. I enjoyed reading this perspective of life in Central American, and the respect Bria grows to have for its people and culture. My all time favorite travel book. Central America is beautiful region of the world, and I think Kirsten Hubbard did a fantastic job in representing it.
Me, You by Erri De Luca
Me, You takes you back to that summer of self-discovery and change. For me, it was the summer before high school when I spent two months in Nicaragua living with my mom’s family. It was the summer that forever changed me, and the way I look at the world. Me, You evoked that sense of nostalgia for that in between phase when you’re still a child, but growing into the adult you’ll become. The book takes place on an island off the coast of Naples. The characters are still reeling from the aftermath of World War II, and as a result, relationships are tense. Our young nameless narrator visits the island for the summer and he befriends a local fisherman, Nicola. Nicola regals him with tales from the war, which to many Italians, is a subject of taboo. Our narrator also falls in love for the first time with young Jewish survivor battling her memories and demons. Me, You is lovely quite novel that reads so fluidly. It’s filled with lush imagery and unexpected turns. I wanted to visit this small island, and lounge around the beaches and listen to Nicola’s stories with a glass of wine.
On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetti
I love Melina Marchetti and this is my favorite of her books. It has lovable characters that I seriously wanted to be friends with, humor, and so much more. The writing is beautiful as is the characterization. Taylor lives in a boarding school in a town where every summer, the townies, the cadets, and the boarders fight for dominion over the forest and town. The novel takes place in Australia and gives a fascinating look at Australian small town culture. This book is complicated to explain, and explaining will only take away some of its charm. I will say, however, that on the surface, it sounds like a fun witty YA novel, and it is that, but it also delves into dark and disturbing places. Marchettta writes believable young characters with a grace that left me wanting more. I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed my time with this book, and how I craved more when it was over. Trust me with this one, less is more.
Summer Reads I will be reading this week:
The Rocks by Peter Nichols
Relief Map by Rosalie Knecht
3 notable mentions:
Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen
Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter
The Vacationers by Emma Straub
Here are a few articles on the best summer reading book:
What’s a book that makes you think of summer? Do you have any summer reading recommendations?
Happy Summer and Happy Reading 🙂