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My Summer Reading List

Written by Julianne Puckett on . Posted in Way of (Vermont) Life

One of my favorite things about summer is having extra time to read.

You might think this is the wrong time of year to say that. For many Vermonters, I’m sure winter is the time for more reading because it’s too cold and dark to get caught up in the kinds outdoor chores that usually keep us from our books: house painting, lawn mowing, weed pulling and the like.

But for me, it’s the extra-long days of summer, that lingering evening light, that means I can sneak in a little more reading time on the porch after dinner. Not to mention summertime trips to the beach, which require little more than a big hat and a bag full of books to make me blissfully happy.

This year, I’m sharing on my blog my personal summer reading list, which includes not only my favorite genre of contemporary fiction but also an homage to my home state of Vermont. Of the books on my list, half have a connection to Vermont.

If you need a little reading inspiration, here’s just some of what I’ll be digging into:

Contemporary Fiction

  • Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald (Therese Anne Fowler): I am an F. Scott Fitzgerald junkie, having devoted much of my undergraduate and post-graduate studies to his life’s work. This means that I also know a little about his crazy-sexy wife, Zelda, but, like most of us, not nearly enough about her artistic abilities and how they may or may not have influenced Scott’s own. My enjoyment of this current trend of fiction (such as The Paris Wife or The Aviator’s Wife) largely focused on the lesser-known or -understood wives of historically significant men coupled with my obsession for all things Fitz should make this one of my favorite reads this year.
  • Miss Me When I’m Gone (Emily Arsenault): If she’s being lumped in with the likes of literary mystery writers Tana French and Laura Lippman, Emily Arsenault will likely win me as a repeat reader. I’m a sucker for well-crafted and well-written mysteries that lure you in — and it doesn’t hurt that Arsenault is a fellow graduate of my alma mater, Mount Holyoke College.

The Vermont Connection

  • The Light in the Ruins (Chris Bohjalian): I’ve been a fan of Chris Bohjalian’s work since I first read Midwives — and I’ve become a bigger fan since I learned that we share an obsession with F. Scott Fitzgerald (if you have read Double Bind, you know what I mean). And, as icing on the cake, Bohjalian is a fellow Vermonter (and long-time columnist for the Burlington Free Press), so picking up his new novel is a no-brainer for me, especially when it’s described as “a spellbinding novel of love, despair, and revenge — set in war-ravaged Tuscany.” Perfect summer fare!
  • Something Abides: Discovering the Civil War in Today’s Vermont (Howard Coffin): One of these books is not like the others, right? Really, this one is for my husband, who is a big Civil War history buff. Plus, this year is the sesquicentennial anniversary of Vermont’s involvement in the Civil War.  I think it will be fun to use historian Coffin’s book as a travel guide for some summer driving adventures to discover places we’ve never been to in our state that also have Civil War significance. Because we all need a break from mowing the lawn.

So, what will you be reading this summer?

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