Archived Story

Summer allows time for must-reads

Published 9:32am Friday, June 14, 2013 Updated 11:42am Friday, June 14, 2013

What’s on your must-read list this summer? For me, summer still conjures up lazy adolescent days spent reading pretty much whenever and wherever I could, be that in my bedroom, by the lake, under a tree or even, in some cases, in a tree!

These days, the stack of “wish I had time to read” books is quite a bit higher than the “read it!” stack, but each summer I try to recapture some of those magical days from my childhood by immersing myself in a few good books. I thought I would share some of the titles on my “must read” list for this summer and hope that you’ll share some of your must reads with me the next time you’re in at the library.

I have one book I want to read this summer no matter what. I will not let anything get in the way of finishing this book! This book, although definitely not your typical light summer read, appears to be on many summer reading lists, as there are 45 holds on this title in the Viking Library System as I write this column.

The book is Khaled Hosseini’s And the Mountains Echoed. I, along with many readers, was moved to tears and laughter and emerged with new understandings after reading Hosseini’s Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns. According to critics and fans alike, this title could be his best yet! I can’t wait to decide for myself.

I enjoy reading fiction and nonfiction and try and alternate between the two. Recently, while putting together a book order, I came across a title that seemed like the perfect summer read, The Astronaut Wives Club, by Lily Koppel. The book explores the lives of the wives left behind during the 1960s when their famous Mercury Seven astronaut husbands embark on missions that take them into the final frontier.

The astronaut wives became famous in their own right as fashion icons and sought after dinner guests. Trying to adapt to their newfound fame, the women start their own support club. Koppel writes the story of their more than fifty year friendship and the divorces, deaths, and personal tragedies and triumphs that shaped their lives.

Each summer, I also try to revisit an old favorite or read a classic title I have missed reading up to this point. This summer I plan on reading A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle. Recently, a library patron commented on how she had read the title for the first time recently and really enjoyed it. However, she also lamented that she hadn’t read the book as a child because she felt there were things in the book only a child can truly appreciate. Somehow, someway, despite my voracious reading habits as a youth, I, too, missed reading A Wrinkle in Time, so this summer I plan on remedying that mishap as well.

Finally, my summer reading list includes sharing many, many books with my own daughter who is three years old and loves books. We recently discovered the simple life messages and optimistic outlook of Pete the Cat in the series of books of the same name by author Eric Litwin and artist James Dean. My daughter’s current favorite is Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons, which teaches subtraction and the important life skill of not sweating the small stuff.

So, there you have it, don’t sweat the small stuff this summer and take the time to sit back, relax, and enjoy a good book or two or three. Librarian’s orders.


Erin Smith, Library Director, Fergus Falls Public Library

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