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The fun kind of summer reading

We’ve posted our selections, compiled by Katie Bircher, for summer reading–the fun kind, not for school. You can see my at-home mostly-unread piles above: some are as yet untouched and saved for true leisure (The End of the Wasp Season, by Denise Mina, a Scottish crime writer I love) and some half-read and unlikely to be finished, at least by me–Richard is the kind of guy who plows on to the bitter end even when it’s Saul Bellow.

I have finished Simon Mawer’s The Glass Room, one of the best novels I’ve read in several years. I’m trying to get into his new book Trapeze, about a young English woman recruited to sneak into France during WWII. So far it’s okay but not a patch on the similarly premised Code Name Verity, which is on the list linked above. Which shows you should always listen to the Horn Book.

P.S. And if you liked Code Name Verity, try The Defector, first in a fabulous quintet (I think) of books by Evelyn Anthony from the 1980s about a Helen Mirren-like Cold War agent for the Brits. I’m giving them another go come Memorial Day weekend. What’s on your shelf?

Roger Sutton About Roger Sutton

Roger Sutton has been the editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc, since 1996. He was previously editor of The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books and a children's and young adult librarian. He received his M.A. in library science from the University of Chicago in 1982 and a B.A. from Pitzer College in 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @RogerReads.



  1. Ah yes, War and Peace, that paragon of fun summer reading.

  2. Elizabeth Law says:

    Ooh! I see Tana French’s Faithful Place–I loved that, I loved her other two novels (I sound like I don’t discriminate. It’s not that, it’s just that I get obsessed with certain characters) and she has a new book coming this summer. I read War and Peace this year, Kristin, and I considered MOST of it quite fun, but I hated Tolstoy blathering on for 100 pages at the end. I’m also going to give The Crimson Petal and the White a try–Roger always said I’d like it, and then i read about it on a list of “sexiest novels.” And every summer I reread The Long Secret, of course. Finally, i am going to read the new Elizabeth George, a writer with whom my relationship is completely love/hate. I love the ridiculously over the top characters (give me a dark, damaged man in a leg brace any day), I hate the “American’s depiction of what the landed gentry in England live like” stuff. And her plots are getting soooooo loooooooong.

  3. I’m going to spend this summer rereading the work of Jean Craighead George. I’m very upset that the majority of news source I go to never mentioned her death on May 15. I only heard about it from the “A Fuse #8 Production” blog. When I was a kid in the 60s, I loved the wild and animals. Wolves were thought to be loners that attacked humans every chance they had and they were all but extinct in the U.S. And “eskimos” were thought to be backward savages (being Irish-Filipino, a lot of kids and teachers called me “Eskimo,” having no idea what a Filipino was). “Julie of the Wolves” was a revelation for me. Here at last was an author who’d observed animals as I did, and depicted them accurately, unlike the popular “Disney’s Wildlife Adventures.” I spent many a hot summer day in the cool shade of the deep woods, reading George’s books. I’ll do it again this summer.

  4. Melinda says:

    Mostly ethology and Wild Mammals of Missouri by the Schwartzes — I do need to read some more of Jean’s books just because of her sheer awesomeness. Need to get caught up on books though — haven’t read much since December, and I do want to read “The Fault in our Stars” by John Green. But for my birthday I did get the UNABRIDGED audiobook of McCullough’s Truman, which is all kinds of awesome — I’m only up to disk 8 out of, I don’t know, 486 disks, but I love it!

    Oh yes, I am reading a bunch of baby books because one is on the way. Crazy!

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