Seven (Eccentrically) Themed Reading Lists for Summer

I don’t know about you, but my To Be Read List doesn’t need more entries. It’s already massive, unwieldy, and intimidating. With summer officially here, though, it’s natural to dream of sunny days spent lingering over crisp new books. Warm weather adds a refreshing quality to the act and art of reading. Why not take advantage of that fleeting feeling as frequently as possible?

What would you read this summer, if you had nothing but free time?

With this in mind, I’ve compiled seven themed reading lists. They include some of my favourite books, as well as intriguing looking ones that are new to me.

Let’s go!

“It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.”-Oscar Wilde


  1. The Ghost and Mrs. Muir by R.A. Dick (BAS BLEU #UJ5352)-$14.95.
  2. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins (DOVER)-$7.95
  3. The Secret Rooms: The True Story of a Haunted Castle, a Plotting Duchess, and a Family Secret by Catherine Bailey (DAEDALUS BOOKS #52583)-$4.98
  4. Beowulf Translated by R.K. Gordon (DOVER)-$2.50
  5. The Tempest by William Shakespeare (DOVER)-$2.50


  1. Excellent Women by Barbara Pym (BARNES & NOBLE)-$12.10
  2. Wild Strawberries by Angela Thirkell (BAS BLEU #UK0172)-$13.95
  3. The Technique of the Love Affair: By a Gentlewoman Edited and Annotated by Norrie Epstein (Amazon)-Prices Vary
  4. Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons (BARNES & NOBLE)-$13.22
  5. The Owl Who Liked Sitting on Caesar by Martin Windrow (BAS BLEU #UJ7662)-$17.00


  1. A Glastonbury Romance by John Cowper Powys (BARNES & NOBLE)-$23.99
  2. The Outermost House-A Year of Life on the Great Beach of Cape Cod by Henry Beston (BAS BLEU #UH5742)-$15.29
  3. The Razor’s Edge by W. Somerset Maugham (BARNES & NOBLE)-$11.23
  4. Just Kids by Patti Smith (BARNES & NOBLE)-$9.75
  5. My Wars Are Laid Away in Books: The Life of Emily Dickinson by Alfred Habegger (BARNES & NOBLE)-$16.39


  1. 1000 Years of English Literature: Revised Edition by Chris Fletcher (DAEDALUS BOOKS #41150)-$4.98
  2. Novel Destinations: Literary Landmarks from Jane Austen’s Bath to Ernest Hemingway’s Key West by Shannon McKenna Schmidt & Joni Rendon (BAS BLEU #UC0592)-$20.00
  3. All in a Word: 100 Delightful Excursions into the Uses and Abuses of Words by Vivian Cook (DAEDALUS BOOKS #41068)-$3.98
  4. 501 Must-Read Books Edited by Emma Beare (DAEDALUS BOOKS #52189)-$7.98
  5. 500 Words You Should Know by Carolyn Taggart (BAS BLEU #UJ8942)-$16.95


  1. Venice and Food by Sally Spector (DAEDALUS BOOKS #51698)-$6.98
  2. Edible French-Tasty Expressions and Cultural Bites by Clotilde Dusoulier (BAS BLEU #UJ5212)-$20.00
  3. The First American Cookbook: A Facsimile of “American Cookery,” 1796 by Amelia Simmons (DOVER)-$5.95
  4. In Search of the Perfect Loaf: A Home Baker’s Odyssey by Samuel Fromartz (BAS BLEU #UJ7402)-$26.95
  5. Rufus Estes’ Good Things to Eat: The First Cookbook by an African-American Chef by Rufus Estes (DOVER)-$10.95


  1. American Isis: The Life and Art of Sylvia Plath by Carl Rollyson (DAEDALUS BOOKS #44201)-$5.98
  2. Arthur Miller by Christopher Bigsby (DAEDALUS BOOKS #23095)-$4.98
  3. Daphne Du Maurier and Her Sisters by Jane Dunn (BAS BLEU #UJ0352)-$15.99
  4. Armageddon in Retrospect by Kurt Vonnegut (DAEDALUS BOOKS #52347)-$5.98
  5. Among the Janeites: A Journey Through the World of Jane Austen Fandom by Deborah Yaffe (DAEDALUS BOOKS #42528)-$4.98


  1. Early Poems by William Butler Yeats (DOVER)-$3.50
  2. First Figs and Other Poems by Edna St. Vincent Millay (DOVER)-$2.50
  3. Arms and the Man by George Bernard Shaw (DOVER)-$2.50
  4. Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen (DOVER)-$2.00
  5. Cinderella’s Big Score: The History of Women in Punk Rock by Maria Raha (Barnes & Noble)-$15.42
  6. Punk Rock Writers Journal Illustrated by Wendy MacNaughton (Barnes & Noble)-$9.95


  1. Too Fond of Books Tote Bag with Quote from Louisa May Alcott and Art by Nishan Akgulian (BAS BLEU #UJ6551)-$14.95
  2. THIS (AMAZON)-$25.97

What books are on your perfect summer reading list?

17 thoughts on “Seven (Eccentrically) Themed Reading Lists for Summer

  1. I’ve been reading a lot of thrillers recently, Lars Kepler in particular. Now that I’ve got that out of my system I was wondering what to order next. So I’m so happy to read your lists with lots of good ideas and old favourites. Merci πŸ™‚


  2. These are some fantastic lists! The Technique of the Love Affair sounds like a really spicy treat.

    I’ve loved Cape Cod for years and my parents rent a house there for 4-8 weeks most summers. One of the houses they used to rent had The Outermost House on the bookshelf. Each year I said I would read it on one of my visits to them. Each year I wouldn’t. Now, they rent a different house. Maybe it’s time I just went ahead and bought it, huh?

    Anyway, I could go on and on about some of these choices. But I’ve got my day job to do!


    • The Technique of the Love Affair is a fun, fun book. I bought a copy on clearance at B&N years ago.

      The Outermost House is one of my all-time favourite books. I’m actually re-reading it now. It’s had a huge impact on me. So, yeah, just go ahead and buy a copy already!

      Please do go on and on. I want to hear what you think. You can even come back later, when you are not on the clock. πŸ™‚


  3. The Ghost and Mrs. Muir was the first love story I ever read as a young teen. I loved that book. Thanks for reminding me.


  4. Today I finished reading “How to be Black”. I ordered it from the library because I saw a photo of Rachel Dolezal holding it. It was terrific.

    Next up: Westward the Night by Beryl Markham, a small collection of Checkhov plays, and a book on the Hollywood Studio System. I’m going to be a real braniac come the fall!


  5. Pingback: June Round-Up: Eight Cool Posts | A Small Press Life

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