The word conjures up long, sultry, golden days, to spend at will. Even if the reality of Dutch summers doesn’t generally match this dreamy image, the expectation is nice!
One of our favorite ways to spend a summer day is to read a book, put aside especially for the occasion, the anticipation of sitting in peace, or lying comfortably in the shadow somewhere, and devoting all our time and imaginations to the adventure we’ll embark on almost as fulfilling as reading the actual words. So, without further ado, here are our literary plans for this summer.
Planned Reading: The Pluto manga series by Naoki Urasawa and Osamu Tezuka.
Why: I finally have all 8 parts collected, and I’ll be able to read them all one after the other!
Planned Reading: Lonely Planet Romania!
Why: Because that’s where I’m going this year. I always wonder how people find time to read other books when they’re on holiday. There’s just so much to do and see (and itineraries to be worked out) that I hardly ever touch any other book than my travel guide(s) and perhaps a local paper.
Planned Reading: Norse Code by Greg van Eekhout (don’t let the tacky cover fool you) and Night Angel Omnibus: The Complete Trilogy (The Way of Shadows + Shadow’s Edge + Beyond the Shadows) by Brent Weeks.
Why: The former because I’m in love with Norse mythology; I’m reading All the Windwracked Stars by Elizabeth Bear right now – beautiful use of language. The latter because Martijn and (former colleague) Renee are very enthusiastic about it. It has extensive character- and world-building that are worth the wait, as well as violence, vengeance and political intrigue. The omnibus edition also looks mighty fine!
Planned Reading: The Dragonbone Chair by Tad Williams.
Why: I first read it (in Dutch) during sixth grade, and I want to reread it, but in English. I’m looking forward to drowning in the story!
Planned Reading: The System of the World by Neal Stephenson.
Why: I have been steadily plodding my way through the first two books of Stephenson’s Baroque Cycle (Quicksilver and The Confusion), feeling I can’t give them their proper due because real life has been BUSY – yet I’ve not been able to put them aside either, because they are so interesting and funny! I’m hoping to dive into the concluding part with an empty-ish head, to finish off a remarkable trilogy with the attention it deserves.
Planned Reading: The Odyssey by Homer.
Why: I first read The Odyssey on a sailing trip near Greece, after I had just met my wife. Rereading it always brings me back to that time, sailing around the Peloponnesos in a newly-in-love state of mind.
Planned Reading: The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky.
Why: Because a long summer holiday gives you time to read all 900 pages in one go. This is true for more of the classics, too.
Planned Reading: The Los Angeles Diaries by James Brown (NOT the singer, but a Hollywood writers/scriptwriter).
Why: Simply because it was recommended by a friend of mine.
Planned Reading: Aloha from Hell by Jim Kadrey.
Why: Because parts 1 and 2 were so good.
Planned Reading: Still Life and Heartstopper, both by Joy Fielding.
Why: Fielding’s books have a good mix of crime, fiction and tempo. Also, use a little book light to read from summer evening into night (we sell them!). It has a little round pedestal, but you can also clip it onto your book.