Decoda’s Summer Reading 2019 – Christie
Date posted: August 14, 2019
At this time in my life my summer reading can be divided into two categories: books I will read and books I’d like to read but probably won’t manage to.
The first category includes books I’ll be reading with my almost five year old. A current favourite of mine is the Dory Fantasmagory series by Abby Hanlon.
These books are about a boisterous and imaginative youngest child whose wants, challenges and behaviours are familiar and hilarious. I have laughed so hard I’ve had tears rolling down my cheeks reading these books aloud.
We have also been enjoying the Curious Kids Nature Guide: Explore the Amazing Outdoors of the Pacific Northwest by Fiona Cohen, with beautiful illustrations by Marni Fylling.
The book is organized according to habitat: forest, beach, fresh water and urban parks/backyards. So far, we’ve scrunched our noses in horrified delight while reading about Owl Pellets, and marvelled at the machine-like nature of the Piliated Woodpecker (which we were lucky enough to hear and see on a recent trip to Pacific Spirit Park).
Every time we step outside we encounter one of the bugs or animals in the book and it’s fun to read a paragraph or two about them when we return home that day.
I’ll finish The Master of Petersburg by J.M. Coetzee, a story centered around Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s return to St. Petersburg to claim the body of his step-son. As in his novel Disgrace, J.M. Coetzee is unafraid to plumb the various distasteful sides of humanity, but he does so with tenderness and insight. I borrowed this book from the library and had to return it half-way through. I look forward to immersing myself in it again.
This summer I will finish the audio version of The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley. I read it as a high school student and have enjoyed listening to the audio book, brilliantly narrated by Davina Porter. It’s over 50 hours long and I can honestly say that my interest hasn’t waned once, even though this is my second time around. Actually a series of four books, The Mists of Avalon is a re-telling of Arthurian legends from the perspectives of the women, including the priestess Morgaine (Morgan le Fay in other tales).
My I’d like-to-read-but-may-not-be-able-to list includes Tin Man by Sarah Winman. I gave this book to my Mom as a gift earlier this year. She loved it and has passed it back to me. It’s a short book that touches on themes of love and disconnection. Any book that explores the complexity of human relationships is usually a winner with me.
I’ve also had a yearning to re-read Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyovsky this summer. This will always be a summer read to me. I first read it on a camping trip through southern British Columbia and Alberta. I have wonderful memories of sitting in the shade by a lake, completely oblivious to the mosquitos as I followed the evolving horror of Raskolnikov’s inner dialogue after his crime.