Friday, June 22, 2012

Books to Beat the Heat

Well today is the first day of my vacation, and more than likely as you are reading this, I'm in the process of getting my brakes fixed.  Not the best way to start of a vacation, but it's the first time I've really had the TIME to get it done.  Not good since my break light and service light have been on for over a month.  So needless to say this will be a long day.  To top it off, I'm not one of those people that can just drop the car off and come back later, I have to stay there.  It's almost like a compulsion with me.  To pass the time, I will be bringing at least two books.  So wish me luck and send warm thoughts that this won't cost me an arm, a leg, and an ear.

So while I'm twiddling my thumbs at the mechanic, I thought I would let one of my favorite bloggers give you some reading suggestions that will help you beat the heat.  I'm pretty sure this is going to be another scorcher of a summer and anything that helps take the mind of the heat is more than welcome.  Simcha of SFF Chat is one of those bloggers who I would miss if either one of use stopped blogging.  I would have to find a way to keep in touch with her.  She is an amazing writer whose reviews are often times better than the book.  I know I can count on her to guide my reading in the right direction and that I would never regret picking up a book she recommended.  Speaking of, I still need to read The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.  I promised her I would read it last summer and I still haven't done so.  I promise it will be done by the end of the year though.  So please stop by her blog when you leave here and say hi.

Everyone has a different idea as to what makes a book a good summer read. For some it's a lighthearted romance and for others it's a fast-paced thriller.  As for me, I think a good summer read is one that helps me forget the scorching desert heat outside by transporting me somewhere nice and cold.

Here are few suggestions of great books to help you cool off this summer, in no particular order.

Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula Le Guin:  I had read this book during the hottest time of the year and the scene in which Genly Ai and Estravan trudge through a blizzard was so descriptive that I was practically shivering.   This is a great book to keep handy in case your air-conditioner ever breaks.

Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu:  "The Snow Queen" is one of my favorite fairy tales and this modern retelling about a girl who travels through a frozen land to save her best friend  is a great summer read for kids and adults.

Nights of Villjamur by Mark Charan Newton:  I haven't had a chance to read this book yet but it's high on my list of things to do. It takes place in a world in which it's citizens are preparing for an ice age. It sounds like now would be a great time to read this book.

Swimming to Antarctica by Lynne Cox:  While I'm not particularly fond of swimming I do enjoy a good memoir and I've always wondered what it would be like to go to Antarctica. In this book Lynne Cox writes about her life and her experiences swimming the Bering Strait and the Strait of Magellan, which she was the first to do. She then swam a mile in the waters of Antarctica.

The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder:  Sometimes it's fun to curl up with a favorite book from your childhood and this account of the Ingalls' struggle to survive a difficult winter will provide a great distraction from the summer heat. It might even leave you tempted to turn on the heat, just because you can.

 Double Black (A Ski Diva Mystery) by Wendy Clinch:  Since I know that Ryan enjoys reading mysteries I decided to include one on this list even though I usually stay away from them. But this story, about a grad student dropout who finds a dead body while living as a ski bum, sounded like enough fun to even tempt me to pick it up. I haven't done so yet but this book is high on my list and  now seems like an excellent time to read it.

Ice by Sarah Beth Durst:  In this retelling of an old Nordic Fairy tale a young woman journeys across the arctic in search of her missing mother who had been taken away when she was a baby. There is also a romance with a talking polar bear.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis:  It seems that this book manages to slip into almost every book-list that I make, but that's because it's a wonderful book suitable for nearly any occasion.  And summer is the perfect time to slip into a magical world locked in perpetual winter by an evil witch.

Cold Magic by Kate Elliott:  If you could use a bit of cooling off then some cold magic might do the trick. This steampunk novel was one of my favorite reads of 2010. It's got magic, adventure, spunky heroines and one handsome, if overly-haughty, cold mage. I think I'll be rereading this one.


bermudaonion said...

Ugh, spending the day having your car repaired doesn't sound like a vacation to me.

Cold weather books are perfect right now!

Cecelia said...

Oh, I hope you have more fun on your vacation after today - auto tune-ups and fixes are no walk in the park.

Great suggestions - several of those books are either favorites or on my immediate 'to read' list (see: Breadcrumbs).

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

I just want to sit in a room with all those covers facing me right now. It's so hot!

Put on those brakes and read! :)

Heidenkind said...

It's hard to find a good summer read! If you're looking for a classic to read, I recommend The Fortieth Door by Mary Hastings Bradley.

Simcha said...

Aww Ryan, that's so nice of you to say all that, and I just wish it were all true. You are definitely one of my favorite bloggers as well and I'll like you even more once you read Tom Sawyer ;) Hope you are doing some fun things on your vacation and not spending all of it doing chores.

Blodeuedd said...

I really liked Cold Magic and I have the Durst book. I mean to read it soon :)

Michelle Stockard Miller said...

Some great suggestions here. I'll have to make note of them. I do have the Ursula K. Le Guin book and who doesn't adore Laura Ingalls Wilder. I have the whole set of her books. I really need to reread them.

Hope your brakes are back in tip top shape, Ryan, and that it didn't cost you too much.

Anonymous said...

Breadcrumbs did make me shiver when I read it - icy sliver stuck in Jack's heart and so forth. And the Narnia book - who can forget the Snow Queen?

Be safe, Ryan!

Yvette said...

Having a fun time at the car repair shop, Ryan? Not a great way to begin a vacation. But you gotta' drive a safe car, my friend. :)

Thanks for the summer reading list. Lots of intriguing sounding books. I've made note of a couple of them.
Hmmm...romance with a talking polar bear. :)

I'm currently working on my list. It's very slow going because of my continuing problems with google-blogger. But I persevere. :)

Yvette said...

Meant to thank Simcha for the reading list. Sorry if I got things confused.
I meant well. :)

Ryan said...

The car was only about $500 so not too horribly bad.

I must say I'm grateful that Simcha put a mystery on the list. It and a few others are now going on my wishlist.

Simcha, Thank you so much for agreeing to help me out while I was away. I appreciate it more than you will ever know.