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cecilia bedelia’s summer reading list

July 24, 2012

A lot of people choose to lighten their mental load during the summer months, and one easy way to do that is reading books that are on the fluffy side.  My idea of ‘light’ summer reading doesn’t fit the usual mold.  I’ve been know to hit the beach with easy reads such as:


 Les Miserables (Hugo)

In This House Of Brede (Godden)

The Shadow of His Wings (Goldmann)

Jane Eyre (Bronte)

The Three Musketeers (Dumas)

The Wild Blue (Ambrose)

The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Hugo)

Where The Birds Never Sing (Sacco)

North and South (Gaskell)

A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)

Love and War in the Apennines (Newby), etc.


Sometimes I’ll settle for an easier read and pick up something by Baroness Emmuska Orczy (The Scarlet Pimpernel) or Rafael Sabatini (Captain Blood, The Sea-Hawk).

This summer is no different.  Right now, I’m in the final hundred pages of Dostoyevsky’s The Idiot.   When I’m done with that, I think I’ll tackle the Pickwick Papers (Dickens), which has been sitting on my shelf for years.  Here is a list of other books on my non-traditional Summer Reading List:

Don Quixote (Cervantes)

Crime and Punishment (Dostoyevsky)

The Brothers Karamazov (Dostoyevsky)

Manalive (Chesterton)

The Grapes of Wrath (Steinbeck)


Wow.  That looks like an somewhat depressing list.  I know I won’t make it through all of those this summer, but the Pickwick Papers and Manalive should keep things from getting too dark.  Besides, reading such books while on a sunny, sandy beach isn’t nearly as depressing as when they are read during a bleak snowstorm*.  See, there is a method to my madness after all!


*Perhaps that is why I trudged begrudgingly through War and Peace (Tolstoy)!  Note to self: Don’t read Russian novels during February and March.  It only adds to the frustration.  Save them for beach days!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 26, 2012 8:23 am

    You have some of my favorites on your reading list! Dostoevsky is one of my great literary loves (do you have a crush on Alyosha Karamazov yet?) and I really like Grapes of Wrath too. I also wasn’t able to finish War and Peace until the weather turned warm again. Happy reading and let us know what you think!

    • July 26, 2012 9:27 am

      I powered through War & Peace, despite the late winter/early spring months, because I promised to treat myself by buying an electric tea kettle if I finished. :) It was a small reward, but it got me through!

      I haven’t started The Brothers Karamazov yet, but I’ll let you know what I think of Alyosha… ;)

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