“That summer feeling will haunt you …” Jonathan Richman

What is a summer read?  When I asked this question of myself, the image of the Beach Boys flitted by with a smattering of Jonathan Richman’s “That Summer Feeling.”  He says in that song : “ that summer feeling will haunt you …,” and the books that I read during the summers have done just that.  They have reappeared at different times in my life, because most were big reads, friends that returned in book groups or in classes.

My first memorable summer read was Jack London’s “Call of the Wild.”  I found the cool porch in our Pennsylvania farmhouse irresistible as I experienced the cold north with the wolves.  Summer sounds were everywhere with the frogs chorusing in the pond off the porch and honeybees active in the grass.  That was my wildlife.

At an older age I read Tolkien’s Trilogy.   At that point in my teenage life I was not interested in swimming but went to the pool to catch the rays (I will rue the day) and read every minute with a tea-blend (Lemon Blend is a Western Pa “delicacy” and particularly good with ice tea) by my hand.  Gollum and his Precious ring bobbed through the stories as my younger brother bobbed along playing water polo while I read away.

War and Peace” and “Gone with the Wind” were other summer reads that consumed me.  I also dabbled in Zane Grey westerns.  When I went to our little town library and asked for “Lady Chatterley’s Lover” that I had to read for high school, the librarian told me that I should have my mouth washed out with soap for asking for that title.  Might be why I became a librarian. When I told my father about her reaction, he quietly told me that he had a copy in his clothes closet so off I went on another summer read.

They have all stayed with me as has that summer feeling.

Come join in on the summer fun with JMRL’s Adult Summer Reading Program.  The 2012 Summer Reading Program is open to adults and includes special prizes. It’s fun and FREE. At all branch libraries except Greene County Library and Bookmobile. All prizes are provided by the Friends of the Library.

Some Summer 2012 book lists:


JMRL’s BrownBaggers’ 2012 book list

New York Times: New Under the Sun: Books for Basking

NPR: 15 Summer Reads Handpicked By Indie Booksellers

Washington Post: Michael Dirda’s suggestions

~The Reluctant Blogger

One comment

  1. I’m not sure which is the more interesting fact—that a high school class required the reading of Lady Chatterly’s Lover, that the librarian in the same town preferred to censor it, or that a father would have a copy in a closet, would let that be known, and would loan it to his daughter. Great anecdote!

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