My Top 4 Summer Reads of 2018

Googling “when is summer” brings up some helpful results – June 21st to September 23rd, apparently. But, for me, summer ends on September 1st with the Hogwarts Express. For that reason, I’m going to be doing my top 4 summer reads between those two dates!

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I’ve had a pretty great summer, working my first summer camp, going away with my family, and generally just chilling. Now it’s time to go back to university and face up to the reading lists, but I thought I’d reminisce about some summer reads, and perhaps give you some recommendations too! These books are in no particular order, but we shall start with…

White Rabbit, Red Wolf by Tom Pollock (read: 25th July)

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I really loved this book, so much. The ending completely fucked with my mind, and then I was lucky enough to meet Tom at YALC, and he is honestly one of the nicest guys in the whole world. I really wish I could buy him a cup of coffee and talk about books and knives and stuff.

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James (read: 27th July)

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe

This book was so heart-raising, I swear I spent most of it with my heart pumping 100bpm+! There were so many twists & turns, I loved the climax and the ending, and it’s gotten me really interested in reading books about space. I think, for example, I might try and pick up The Martian by Andy Weir pretty soon. (That one kinda helps that Sebastian Stan is the movie, BUT STILL.)

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie (read: 8th August)

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Have I shouted at you about how much I love Dame Agatha Christie? No? Well, deep breath, because AGATHA CHRISTIE IS AMAZING AND YOU SHOULD DEFINITELY READ AT LEAST ONE BOOK OF HERS IN YOUR LIFE TIME AND IF YOU ARE GOING TO READ ONLY ONE, MAKE IT THIS ONE. *gasps* Seriously, this book is FANTASTIC and I loved it, and you should definitely read it.

Hero at the Fall by Alwyn Hamilton (read: 18th – 19th August)

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This is the third in the Rebel of the Sands trilogy, and I can’t decide if I preferred the 2nd or 3rd one more, but I think this one. Despite the second two books being like 500+ pages, I still read them in only a couple of days because the plot and characters draw me in completely! Absolutely love this trilogy, I really wish I’d read it sooner.

Honourable mentions also go to Big Bones by Laura Dockrill, Queens of Fennbirn by Kendare Blake, Sadie by Courtney Summers, and Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli. I loved all of these books, too!

Overall, between 21st June – 1st September, I read 23 books, yay! Just glancing at the star ratings on Goodreads, my average rating seems to be about 3.5/5; I read some books that I didn’t like as much, but, as you can see above, I also read some crackers.

And out of all those 23 books, I read 13 in one day! As in…. 13 books in 13 days. 13 books in one day would probably be a world record! I’ve started reading entire books in single days a lot more now, and then having a break between novels. It’s quite a nice way to do it, because I can get sucked all the way in, but I think that reading books over multiple days draws out the enjoyment a little more. Hmm, maybe this is a topic for another blog post!

Why Summer is Terrible for Writers (Although Some Like It)

I get it, summer’s great. Pools and parties (eugh, socialisation) and ice cream (actually, I like the ice cream). But, summer isn’t great for everyone – such as polar bears or those mop dogs.

Mop dog

There’s another species summer is not great for: the writer.

There are many sub-species of the writer, but one of them is the indoor-dweller. I happen to fall into this category (aside from many others).

Summer [tends to] = heat. It’s all right today, as I’m writing this, but it’s been in the 30s this month (that’s Celsius, by the way!). And heat means that it’s pretty difficult to write in, especially when you’re sitting outside because the glare of the sun means it’s practically impossible to see what you’re writing, and, let’s face it, longhand is just painful after a while. Not to mention the sweat you build up when you’re stuck inside, because if you take the comfy cushion off that chair, you might get butt-cramp.

Also, if you’re eating ice-cream, you can’t write at the same time – what if it drips? *le gasp*

And if you do go out in the sun, you might get sunburnt, and then you can’t sit comfortably and you have to keep applying after sun which just makes everything sticky.

The only thing summer is good for is reading. Reading is great. I love reading. You read so much in the summer, I find – hot nights which make it difficult to sleep are just invitations to read instead, and even if you prefer an eReader, you can still see the words in the sun (genius!).

Some writers love summer. Basking in the heat, dropping down about 10k words in an hour because apparently summer is the greatest time of the year (okay maybe that was a slight exaggeration) and okay, I get that it’s great for inspiration. I actually really like the beautiful sunsets and it’s nice to not be in constant darkness, but I don’t think that I could live in, like, Australia. I’d melt before I stepped off the plane.

More of an autumn person, me.

Questions, comments, thoughts? What’s your opinion of summer? What are you reading this summer? What are you writing this summer? 

Ps- sorry it’s not the usual article!