Bookworks Presents Today's Shelf Awareness for Readers

Bookworks Presents Today's Shelf Awareness for Readers

A few weeks ago, Shelf Awareness ran an article about a summer reading round-up with five great Southern bookstores, and one question struck me in particular: Looking back at your life of reading, do you have one book in particular associated with a certain summer?

When I think of summer reading, I think of childhood--wasn't it always sunny then? I would get up early, take a blanket, a book and an apple out onto the lawn, and plop down next to a pale pink climbing rose. There I'd read until it got too hot or my mom called me to come inside. I remember reading the Mrs. Piggle Wiggle books there, and Dr. Doolittle, and Enid Blyton's The Adventure Series (Kiki the parrot!).

I asked a few other people about their summer books. Cindy Heidemann, PGW sales rep, said hers is from the summer she was 12: "I read War and Peace and it colored the entire month of July. I saw Cossacks and Russian nobility dressed for balls and the threat of Napoleon everywhere I looked. Natasha and Andrei were more real to me than my family. I should read it again."

Kristin McConnell, Shelf Awareness sales manager, chose Watership Down, the summer before fourth grade: "It was the perfect book to read in the orchards during a week at Grandma's house." Our children's editor, Jennifer Brown, recalls getting lost in The Thorn Birds the summer before 10th grade, and "then having an argument with my (beloved) 10th-grade English teacher about my belief that it was 'literature.' Was it so different fromThe Scarlet Letter, I wondered--a man of the cloth getting involved with a laywoman. Ah, how innocent I was then. But it was the start of my journey to loving all kinds of literature and the need for 'fluff' as well as the weighty stuff."

We'll bring you more summer reminiscences in the upcoming weeks.... --Marilyn Dahl, editor, Shelf Awareness for Readers