Summer is officially here. For me that means time with family, vacations and Barbecues. I also love to take some time during these warm weather months to a get a little extra reading done. I love creating a reading list of books for the summer months. Books I can absorb in my lounger, with a tall cool drink while enjoying our few short months of semi-tropical weather in the Great White North.
I have been preparing my list of summer books, some of them genealogy/family history based books, some of them not so much. I do have other interests besides family history (surprisingly).
I think I need a few more to fill in the weeks ahead, so here is what’s on my list, if anyone has any suggestions I would love to hear from you.
What is on your summer reading list?
I usually like to read novels based on family history. I love to see how other writers have taken their ancestor’s stories and turned them into books. For this reason, I will be reading the following
Oh Beautiful; An American Family in the 20th Century by John Paul Godges - I have recently downloaded this to my Kindle. However, I understand the hard copy is a physically beautiful book. If you’re a book junkie, this might be one worth picking up.
Shaking the Family Tree: Blue Bloods, Black Sheeps and Other Obsessions of an Accidental Genealogist by Buzzy Jackson - Buzzy takes a look at her own family tree and the obsessive world of genealogists. I think I will find this one highly relatable.
The Journey Takers by Leslie Albrecht Huber - The author traces her ancestor’s journeys from Germany, England and Sweden to the US.
I will then turn my thoughts to historical fiction. For obvious seasons, as a family historian I like history. I know, historical fiction is not history, but it does transport you back to a time and place that we as family historians love to ponder and usually with a great story attached. From a writer’s perspective, I like to compare the writing of a family history story to historical fiction. I’m interested in marrying the two mediums. For this reason, my historical fiction read this summer will be...
Fall of Giants by Ken Follett - It’s a big book weighing in at 985 pages and the first in a trilogy so I will leave it at the one for now.
In addition, to encourage the writer in me.....
The Writing Life by Annie Dillard - this is not a how to writing book but more of the authors account of what it’s like to live day in and day as a writer, not as romantic as you think. Annie Dillard has written eleven books, including the memoir of her parents, An American Childhood; the Northwest pioneer epic The Living; and the nonfiction narrative Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. Based on the above novels, I think Annie Dillard represents a great learning example for family history writers. You can in fact get three of her most popular novels in a collection: Three by Annie Dillard; An America Childhood; The Writing Life, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek.
I have a few others on list, as part of my book club. Just some good fiction, I am currently reading The Kitchen House.
I also hope to get to The Kitchen Boy: A Novel of the Last Tsar- Author Robert Alexander re-creates the story of the final days of Nicholas and Alexandra as seen through the eyes of their kitchen boy.
Finally, Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand – A story about an unlikely relationship between a retired Major and a local shopkeeper of Pakistani descendant set in a small England town.
What’s on your summer reading list? Anything you would like to share.