Summer Reads

I’m not one for compiling lists of what I am going to read ahead of time, because I value too much the freedom and spontaneity of a vast sea of choices each time I finish a book, and often the reading experience will lead me on to the next thing.

Like reading Barbara Kingsolver’s ‘Prodigal Summer’ straight after ‘The Namesake’. How could I know that after listening to the group discussing the book I would have a conversation with a local poet about the beauty of sentences and Jhumpa Lahiri’s essay and that she would tell me I must read Kingsolver’s book.  It was sitting on the shelf unread and thus I abandoned all other reading ideas and jumped straight into it.

100 years on, Titanic Belfast Museum

But I do love looking at the lists, always feeding into the mental TBR list, noting books I might wish to read or to keep an eye out for.

I could say I have intentions for summer, like the two Titanic inspired books I bought on a recent visit to Titanic Belfast, the excellent museum opened in March this year.

‘A Night to Remember’ and ‘And the Band Played On’ also seem appropriate companions to Charlotte Rogan’s ‘The Lifeboat’ which I have on kindle.

To help you decide, I wanted to share this excellent flowchart designed by to encourage students to find a book of their choice, there are 101 books shown, inviting readers to consider fiction versus non-fiction, classic or contemporary and many other options.  I keep coming across it and there’s something appealing about viewing images of covers rather than just a list of titles, so enjoy and I hope you find something for your own summer read!


So do you plan your reads or are you open to the spontaneous?
Summer Reading Flowchart

Via and USC Rossier Online

50 thoughts on “Summer Reads

    • I think all those things feed into my mental list too, but when I choose the next book, it might coincide with whats already on the shelf, a visit to the library or bookshop or some review or conversation I’ve recently had. Or some synergy with the book just read which leads me onto the next one. Love the process though.


  1. Brillant post!! The post is very informative.I plan my reads on my mood. I have plenty of books on my shelves that I haven’t read yet. I also can’t resist buying new ones. I think I’ll reread East of Eden for sure. It’s my favorite Steinbeck. I’ll also be testing out two e-books this summer. I’ll be doing two Book Blog Tours – one in July and the other in August. I’ll definitely alternate between light reads and heavier ones. I look forward to seeing what you finally decide to read this summer. Good luck with that. It’s like loving candy and being in the candy shop with 3€. Difficult!! They’re all so good and they’re so many of them. Not to mention, there is so little time. 🙂


    • Sounds like me Didi, with the occasional bookclub book thrown in, although I’m not really a member of a club, more like a drop-in occasionally if I am free since they meet in the middle of the afternoon 🙂

      Good on you for taking on the Blog Tours, I’ll look forward to reading about them when you post. Candy shop indeed!


  2. What a really cool flow chart! By the way I too loved ‘Prodigal Summer’, and after reading it I spent a long time trying to find other books which generated a similar atmosphere and reading experience….still looking……..


    • Couldn’t resist starting it straight away Edith and think I’m a little sunburnt today as a result, page turning at the beach, (half shade, half sun) instead of applying suncream 🙂 Yes, isn’t it great the flowchart?


  3. Great post Claire…love the chart. I always make random lists of what I’m going to read and never stick to them. For now I’m going to take a leaf out of your book and just go with the flow… 🙂


    • I don’t actually write any lists but discuss what I might read next with a couple of friends and it invariably changes because something more exciting comes along or something I’ve had for ages, but suddenly must be read!

      Definitely Jen, be spontaneous and let yourself be carried away by the freedom of not having a set plan! There’s always more to the story then, that exciting something that inspired you to change your mind that you can share 🙂


    • So pleased that there is an excellent Kingsolver book I havn’t read, in fact, I have still to read Animal, Mineral, Vegetable, interesting that that line is actually mentioned in Prodigal Summer. Glad you are enjoying the chart, hope you find a good summer read from it or do you already have plans?


      • I’m not one of life’s planners really so I will definitely read one or more from the list over the summer! Am also planning to do some re-reads – definitely Le Grand Meaulnes and Madame Bovary on my list but apart from that it’ll all be spur of the moment stuff!


    • Love that idea Nelle, take a walk to find the perfect summer read. Now that you mention it, I am seeing two people walking on it at the same time, would be interesting to see who ends up with the same book with 101 on offer 🙂


  4. I’ve come across this in a number of places now but haven’t yet had time to explore it. A pleasure for Sunday morning, perhaps? ‘Prodigal Summer’ was the first Kingsolver I read and was completely bowled over by it. I do hope you enjoy it as much as I did.


    • Perfect for a Sunday read Alex, pity its not been reproduced in a newspaper, it would be good to see the entire image in one view.

      Am loving ‘Prodigal Summer’ thanks, a great day reading at the beach today, the book now has reminders of that too 🙂


  5. I love the infographic! I am currently reading Margaret Dilloway’s “The Care and Handling of Roses with Thorns.” Then I’ll continue through my stack.


  6. I read books chosen by my bookclub, books recommended by my mom, and cheap books I find in the discount shelves. Did you know the dollar store carries books?! I discovered an amazing German author Daniel Kehlmann there. Also books propped up by the librarians, Goodreads, and of course, favs in a series. thank goodness for the constant new supply!


  7. Fantastic chart, although midly depressing knowing there is so much out there that I won’t be able to read it all in a life time. Your blog makes me happy again though.


    • Well, not all of it necessarily will match up, and it is only those that present themselves along with a few words that shout out ‘you must read this’ that one needs to indulge in, for me books are a kind of fashion, some I am happy to just know about without the need to try them on for size 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s