My high school summer reading lists were carefully chosen and printed by the school on small booklets with card stock covers. Since I love to read, I happily met the reading requirements within the first week or two of summer vacation. As a writing procrastinator, the related book reports were a different story, ignored until my mother pushed me into writing them the day before school began.
I enjoy fiction with a sense of place and time, plenty of humor, and strong minded characters. This summer, I have been enjoying authors who have been on my favorites list for many years. Here are this summer’s book reports, handed in early for a change.
Faye Moskowitz writes of her life: growing up in small-town Michigan with her immigrant family, marrying, then moving to Washington, DC, to find a new vocation – teacher and writer. And the Bridge is Love has recently been reissued by The Feminist Press.
[1. "Orchard in the Summer" Signed Print by AaronThompsonPhoto 2. "Trouble on my Mind" Embroidery by WaterPenny 3. "The Serpent of Good Fortune" Print by TriciaScottStudio 4. Mother Maybelle Vintage Photo from KimVintage]
Lee Smith has written some of my favorite novels. Set in the Blue Ridge and Smokey Mountains, they are vivid tales of musicians, professors, mountain folk, and young women finding their way to a different life. This summer, I am reading Mrs. Darcy and the Blue-Eyed Stranger, a compilation of Smith’s old and new short stories.
[1. "Creeping Terror" Original Drawing by HeartPumpArts 2. Needle Felted Foot by TheGreedyCrocodile 3. Hermes Protection Key Chain by GurlyGirl 4. Miniature Ancient Roman Vessel by Kivaford 5. Ancient Rome Wine Coasters from BuckarooBear]
Not only has Lindsey Davis created Falco, a wisecracking detective in first century Rome, she has given him an intelligent and brave girlfriend, Helena. This series has slyly given me a much greater understanding of a time and culture that had never particularly interested me. Their families and the Emperor are the impetus for adventures all over the Roman Empire.
Georgette Heyer! No summer is complete without rereading a favorite or two of her many witty and lighthearted “Regency Romances.” Her descriptions of clothes alone would almost be enough to merit a read, but her insightful writing and silly romps take me on a frothy vacation of the mind. These are not cornball bodice rippers but perfect bonbons that never leave you feeling as if you have over-indulged.
What books are you reading this summer?
Cate Fitt, a.k.a. knitfitt, has been a member of Etsy since 2007 and is an experienced critic, curator and juror. She earned her MFA in fiber in 1978, later receiving an artist’s fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Through the years, she’s been a maker of one-of-a-kind hand-painted clothing, pottery, jewelry, and linocut and monotype prints. She lives in a little house close to the James River with two whippets named Moose and Peach.