Catching Fireflies

finding magic along the way

Prepare the Blanket Fort! Summer Reading is Here!

13245355_987370228043918_131371145365044867_nAs the days get warmer, I start to itch for a good book. Not just any book. A big fat book filled with a sprawling epic adventure, something with the power to fill a slow, lazy afternoon when the only movement you make is to turn a page or reach for the icy glass of tea by your side.

When I was still in grade school, I loved our summer reading lists. I would go to the library the first day of summer vacation and stock up on books to fill my summer months. In high school and college, I didn’t have the lists of recommended reading like in the younger grades, but I still stacked my to-read pile next to my bed and plowed through chapter upon chapter as the days grew long and the fan whirred in the background.

None of this is to say that winter reading is not equally joyful, of course! There is nothing like snuggling down into a thick quilt with a mug of cocoa and a juicy story. 🙂

But summer…. when I was still in school, summer meant months off from classes and required reading. It meant reading for the pure and simple joy of being carried away by a story. And the only obligation I had was to do my chores and show up at the dinner table (usually with my nose still in the book of the moment).

book5As I got older, other responsibilities intruded on my summer time reading. Jobs, helping to keep the household running smoothly – both have stolen moments away from the characters and plots I crave! 🙂 But despite having to juggle adult responsibilities, I still keep my to-read piles close at hand.

This summer, I am craving a bit of adventure – an epic saga, perhaps a battle between good and evil…

I am starting with re-reading Stephen King’s It. Perhaps one of the scariest books I ever read! The characters are real and flawed and I love how Mr. King spins a tale. It is the one book that will have me checking closets and under beds in broad daylight. I also plan on re-reading his The Stand, one of my all-time favorite books! If you have shied away from this hefty tome, I have one bit of advice. Do not judge a book by it’s television mini-series! Last on my Stephen King marathon, I have asked for the last four books of The Dark Tower series as part of my birthday gift this month. I own the first few but have never found the time to read them. This summer, that changes.

I would also like to re-read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. I had treated myself to the gorgeous illustrated edition and have not had the chance to do much but glance through it. Since I am feeling a bit disconnected from the magic in the world, and think that will be just the ticket. I will also add some of the collections of Newford stories by Charles De Lint to help me see magic all around me in the “real” world.


I have been wanting to cook more and in looking for inspiring books about cooking, discovered some books about the life of Julia Child that have landed on my Kindle. These will also move toward the top of the list.

Of course, there will be days when I just won’t have time to get lost in a long and winding plot. For those days, I will add a handful of short stories picked randomly from various anthologies that I have picked up over the years. Classics, modern, scary, romantic, quirky – you name it, and I probably have a story somewhere in my library to meet the mood.

I have had so many people tell me to read certain series – A Game of Thrones, Sword of Shannara Trilogy, Discworld, The Dresden Files… I have been a bit intimidated by the sheer volume of words in them. 🙂 But then, honestly, how can the premise of these stories not draw me in? Fantasy, dragons, offbeat wizard private investigators, these series have it all! Perhaps the lazy days of summer will be a good time to dip my toe in…

Oh and let’s not forget the new releases from some favorite authors like Jodi Picoult, Mary Kay Andrews, Elin Hilderbrand and Cathy Lamb that I have already pre-ordered!

Stephen King:

The Stand
The Gunslinger
The Drawing of Three
The Wastelands
Wizard and Glass
The Wind Through the Keyhole
The Wolves of Calla
Song of Susannah
The Dark Tower

J.K. Rowling:
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Charles de Lint:
The Onion Girl
Someplace to be Flying
Tapping the Dream Tree
Forests of the Heart
Dreams Underfoot

Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child  (Bob Spitz)
My Life in France 
(Julia Child)

blanket fortTelling Stories: An Anthology for Writers
The Art of the Short Story
American Short Story Masterpieces

A Game of Thrones (George R.R. Martin)
The Sword of Shannara Trilogy (Terry Brooks)
The Color of Magic (Discworld #1) (Terry Pratchett)

Jim Butcher:
Storm Front 
Fool Moon 
Grave Peril

Here’s To Us   (Elin Hilderbrand)
The Weekenders  (Mary Kay Andrews)
Small Great Things
 (Jodi Picoult)
The Language of Sisters
 (Cathy Lamb)

book9Phew! That should be enough to carry me through summer. Add to these the random nonfiction books on writing, meditation, weight management, cooking and so on that I am always reading on the side and I won’t have a moment to get bored! If I do by some miracle get through all of these, I can always continue the series I mentioned. Shannara has about ten books, Dresden Files 15, Discworld about 35, and Thrones 7 and counting…

What are you reading this summer?


  1. I kind of have list but I bounce from book to book so it is hard to say what I will read in the future. As to all those series of books, the one I recommend is the Discworld books. Mostly because they are shorter and very funny. And you do not have to read from the beginning. In fact, you should skip the first two books, every book is its own unique story and it’s great. My favorite is ‘Going Postal’.

    Excellent post! You’re going to have such great adventures this summer! 😀

    • Thank you so much for the Discworld tip!! I think that is one reason I have shied away from the series. I always assumed they had to be read in order and there were so many of them! I will dip my toe into those this summer for sure.

      • Yeah, I thought it was that way too until a friend told me different. There are um, mini-series within where if helps to read a few in order but I read them out of order and was fine. Hope you enjoy it! 🙂

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