IMG_2067When I was at school, the last bell of the year signalled not only the beginning of the long summer holiday but also many weeks of reading. Back then, after months of set school texts, summer was a glorious time to read what I wanted.

Although those days are long gone, summer reading still has a vibe all its own.

It has special smells. Wood smoke from a campfire, the sweetness of roses from a neighbour’s garden and coconut oil on a beach.

It has special sounds too. The creak of a garden swing, the lap of waves against a sandy shore and the hum of the fans which lined the windowsill of my childhood library.

Summer reading was also about where I read. In a sleeping bag with a flashlight and by a camping lantern at a picnic table. Or on my grandparents’ porch in a small town that shaped me as both a person and writer.

It was in summer that I read my way through the children’s and young adult sections of my local library.

It was also when I delved into books with gilt-embossed covers given as Sunday school prizes to grandmothers and aunts many generations removed. Those moral tales penned for late Victorian girls were not standard reading fare in the latter part of the twentieth century but, although I wasn’t aware of it then, they taught me much about language and its use in fiction.    

While summer doesn’t give me the same lazy days to read as it once did, I still choose books for “summer” reads. From an author I’ve wanted to try, to a new release that’s caught my eye or an old favourite, summer is still the best reading time of year.

As I pull up my porch chair for this summer of reading, I have a varied mix in my to-be-read pile.

There’s Summer at Skylark Farm by British contemporary romance author Heidi Swain. I know Heidi through social media and my friend, Susanna Bavin, recommends this book as “feel-good” fiction. That sounds perfect for my summer palate.

I’m also looking forward to visiting Regency London in An Unsuitable Duchess, the debut book by Laurie Benson, a 2015 Golden Heart® sister.

IMG_2065Not least, there’s The Goodbye Quilt by #1 New York Times bestselling author Susan Wiggs. I know I’ll need tissues for this story of a mother whose teenage daughter is leaving home for college. 

Wishing you a happy summer and many reading adventures.

Do you choose books especially for summer reading?



  1. Jean Bull

    Happy summer reading!
    I’ve got rather more books on my to be read pile, and I’ve already strayed from it!!
    I loved What Katy Did and Little Women, again in their old fashioned brown or blue bindings under beautifully painted dust jackets, and I can smell my father cutting the lawn. The grass not him!
    I did enjoy zooming in on the photo and looking along your bookshelf too!

    • Jen Gilroy

      Thanks, Jean. Happy summer reading to you too! I also loved “Little Women” and the “Katy” books. Indeed, although you can’t see them in the picture, my “Katy” books are in the bookcase I shared in this post.

      Your comment about your dad made me chuckle!

  2. Sue Bavin

    How lovely that you have chosen Heidi Swain’s Summer At Skylark Farm as one of your summer reads, Jen. I hope you enjoy it. Your blog has made me think of going on holiday and the all-important question of which book(s) to take. That must be easier these days for people with Kindles, but I still love physical books.

    • Jen Gilroy

      I’m with you and still love physical books. However, my Kindle has expanded my TBR pile (thanks to the wealth of wonderful e-books out there) and also made taking reading material on holiday much easier. No more overweight cases! Wishing you a happy summer of reading. Thanks, as always, for supporting my blog.


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