Packing up for the beach, the lake, a camping trip or just a stay-cation in your own backyard or on the balcony? Time to pick out your “summer reads.” Choose books you love because they take you to another place and time, help you relax, or give you inspiration while you enjoy the summer.
What book genre says “summer” to you? Some love “how to do” books (books on making things, growing things, collecting things). Others love inspirational books, a good biography, a mystery, or non-fiction political commentary.
So, figure out the kind of books you like and put together a summer reading pile! Here are some ideas, mostly from our great Canadian authors.
Classics – Summer can be a great time to read (or re-read a classic). You finally have time to savour the book! If you’re heading to the east coast (perhaps to Prince Edward Island), consider a Canadian classic like Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maude Montgomery.
Short Stories – For those in-between times on the deck or the porch, short stories are a great choice. Think of Canadian humorist Stephen Leacock Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town, or the late Stuart McLean’s various editions of The Vinyl Café.
Historical Fiction – For those who love fiction but also love fact, historical fiction transports you to another place and time. You also learn along the way without even realizing it!
The Halifax Connection by Marie Jakober, or Michael Ondaatje’s In the Skin of a Lion, set in Toronto in the 20s and 30s.
Mystery – Mysteries and thrillers are ideal for summer reading. Pick a favourite by English writer Agatha Christie, you can’t go wrong. Or start working your way through the alphabet with the American author Sue Grafton (starting with A is for Alibi).
If you’re heading to Quebec consider Louise Penny, one of Canada’s greatest mystery writers. This Quebec author sets her books in the eastern townships, rich in English-French Canadian references and deep in thrilling mystery.
Science Fiction – Consider Robert J. Sawyer, one of Canada’s most successful science fiction writers. His latest, Quantum Night, touches on themes of quantum physics, psychology, current politics and ethics.
Biography – For music fans, consider the biography of Neil Young, Waging Heavy Peace: A Hippie Dream, or An Astronaut’s Guide To Life on Earth by Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield.
Non-fiction – There are so many great non-fiction choices depending on your interests:
Malcolm Gladwell’s various books, including The Outliers, make you think about things you never considered before!
12 Rules for Life, by Jordan Peterson, University of Toronto psychology professor, considered one of the world’s most-read Canadian authors.