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I realize it’s not officially summer until June 21, but I’m calling it. It’s time to enjoy early summer evenings on the patio with a favorite sangria in hand. It also means it’s time to grab a few books, toss ’em in your bag for easy access while eating lunch at the park, laying at the beach, or hanging poolside (safety first people: if you have tykes, make sure they at least have flotation devices properly strapped on them). Here are some titles for your consideration:

arcadia-quote Arcadia, by Lauren Groff
In short, it’s a story about a boy, Bit, who grows up in an upstate New York commune during the late 1960s and 1970s. I cannot recommend this book enough to others. I truly enjoyed it. It also confirmed I would not survive as a commune hippie. I apparently like my hot showers too much and don’t like tofu enough.

Southerner's Handbook-quote The Southerner’s Handbook: A Guide to Living the Good Life, by Editors of Garden and Gun
The southern way of life is a phenomenon for me as an event planner. The graciousness and wit of a southern host knows no ends. And while I know not every southerner knows how to make the perfect mint julep, just like not every PNW’er enjoys hiking (gasp!), it was a great read for individual takes on the southern culture and lifestyle. And it looks good.

GeekLove-quote Geek Love: A Novel, by Katherine Dunn
I have a safe distance fascination of old school traveling carnivals and their freak shows. Whether real or illusions, it’s just interesting to me. The story is about a family who owns a traveling carnival, and switches between the past and the present day events of the narrator. The past contains the siblings’  rivalry, the parents slow lapse into the midway’s noise, and the carnival’s own implosion. The present day has the narrator living in Portland, keeping a careful eye on loved ones, which includes carrying out a plan to protect them. Warning: if you get squirmy reading about blood, body disfigurements, or cults, walk away from this one. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200.

divergent quote The Divergent Seriesby Veronica Roth
Yes. I read engulfed these books. Each book is a quick read, which means they’re perfect for a weekend getaway at the beach. (Even with the boys running around and having limited time to read, I finished the first book within four days. It seems thick but it reads quick, as do most YA books.)

What books do you have piled on your table – or in your e-reader – for this summer? Any recommendations for me to check out and possibly share with the others?

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