Summer Reading

School’s out for summer, my friends. Not only are college students making their way back home (with bags full of dirty laundry for mom), but excitement tingles in the air as thousands of high school seniors make preparations for their final days. With all this graduating and homecoming, it reminds us all that summer’s only a rain storm away.

For most, summer means an absence of homework, but my stockpile of books has started to build. I’ve been hoarding a plethora of unread gold since last summer, thanks to my bad habit of never saying no to a pretty cover and a good synopsis while browsing one of my favorite bookstores.

Three of the books waiting on top of my bookshelf:

  1. The Killer Angels. Yes, this sounds like something Dan Brown cooked up, but Michael Shaara’s novel is about the Civil War. War books tend to make me run, but after a friend suggested this one, I couldn’t say no. What’s caught me so far: Rather than the time line of historical facts you’d normally encounter at the beginning of a war book, we get a list of fifteen prominent figures in the war, mostly generals and colonels, with descriptions not of their victories but of their fears, physical appearance and personal life.
  2. The Scarlett Letter. Oh, Hawthorne. His Blithedale Romance didn’t leave me on a happy note, and I expect the same from his most famous novel. I’m sure nothing ends well for Hester Prynne, but I’ll just have to see. (No spoiling it for me! I realize everyone else read this book in high school.)
  3. Sacred Hearts. Sarah Dunant wrote my absolute favorite book of all time, In the Company of the Courtesan. So, when I saw her third book, of course I bought it without even looking at the cover. I’m sure I’ll love it, being a sucker for the atmosphere and art of the Renaissance in Italy.

These are only the beginning, but I’d say an oldie, a newbie and a war novel sound like a great recipe for a summer reading cocktail.


Jenn Walker is a summer intern in our editorial department. She is currently an English major at Rhode Island College.