If you’re tired of the cold gray of winter, the cheapest, easiest way to escape is into a book that evokes everything we love about summer.
I used this list as a Studio 5 segment. To view the segment CLICK HERE.
The Case of the Fickle Mermaid by P.J. Brackston
How about a trip to the coast of Germany on a luxurious cruise, with Gretel and her brother Hansel? Yes, that Hansel and Gretel. Gretel is all grown up now and working as a private investigator in 18th century Bavaria. In this adventure, Gretel is off to investigate some mysterious disappearances and rumors of mystical sea creatures. Gretel is tart and sarcastic and these books are so much fun to read.
Content note: A few sexual references and occasional foul language.
Uprooted by Naomi Novick
This was one of my favorite reads of 2015. Take a journey into a fantastical land with everything: earth magic, romance, action, beautiful descriptions and great characters. The pace never slows, and you’ll be so eager to see what happens next between newly discovered witch Agnieszka and her mentor, The Dragon. The magic is perfection, and offers so many great moments and interesting scenes.
Content note: One slightly descriptive almost-sex scene, one moderately descriptive sex scene, and some violence.
Dune by Frank Herbert
Dune is one of the great masterpieces of science fiction. If you really miss the hot days of summer, this is the book to read. It’s set on a desert planet: hot, dry winds, massive sand dunes, merciless sun, and very little water. From page one you’re pulled into this world of power and betrayal, mystic prophesies and harsh survival, love and hate.
Content note: Occasional violence and a few homosexual references.
Saving CeeCee Honeycut by Beth Hoffman
What better place to escape the cold of winter than Savannah, Georgia? Saving CeeCee Honeycut is one of those fabulous Southern novels full of eccentricity, wacky women, and humor. Twelve-year-old CeeCee goes to live with her aunt after a tragedy takes her mother away. What follows is a hilarious, heartbreaking, and unforgettable journey.
Content note: Mention of racism (it’s 1960’s Georgia).
Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury
It’s impossible to talk about books that evoke summer without mentioning Dandelion Wine. Master storyteller, Ray Bradbury, perfectly captures the magic and growth of being a child in summer. Douglas Spalding is twelve in the summer of 1928: climbing trees, inhaling the scent of freshly mowed lawns, burning firecrackers, watching the bees and learning about the potential of life.
Content note: Clean
The Moon-Spinners by Mary Stewart
For our last escape, how about a vacation on a quaint, picturesque Greek island? Throw in some romance, mystery, and suspense and you have the perfect get-away read. Young Nicola Ferris takes time off from her job as a secretary to explore the lush landscape of Crete. But she finds much more than she bargained for when she stumbles on a man who’s been shot and is hiding from those who pulled the trigger.
Content note: Mild violence