Summer Memories in Books

It’s summer and most people are planning at least some time off to relax. And most book dragons (or worms) will agree that having a good book helps to relax. Instead of coming with yet another ‘best summer reads’ post, I wanted to change things up and talk about the books that are part of my summer memories.

Harry Potter

I know, I know. Let’s not talk about the author, but the joy the books brought. I have them now and won’t spend more money on her either. But I really enjoyed the anticipation of a new book in the series. So much that I asked my father to drive me to a midnight release so I could take the new book with me on vacation the next day. My mom made me promise to not finish the book that same night. It was hard to do, but I managed. I still finished the 700+ book only three days later.

It’s hard for me to imagine my teen summers without this series and this is mostly nostalgia speaking. I’ve reread them multiple times since then and the first books especially aren’t really that good.

Chrestomanci series by Diana Wynne Jones

I read the Dutch translations of most of Diana Wynne Jones’s books and borrowed them from the library. But the Chrestomanci series in particular was a series I always looked for. They were bright pink with glitter and foil on the cover, and for nine-year-old me; it was glorious. The stories itself, too. I wanted to go to Venice and experience carnival. I wanted to go to an enchanted mansion and uncover its secrets. It was like having mini holidays as you read, escaping to a faraway place that you could only dream.

These were the books that kept me up late at night, and if the sun woke me at 6 in the morning, I’d continue reading again. If my parents ever found out I spend so much time reading and so little time sleeping, I never knew. They never said anything about it or punished me. No, my mom always made sure I had plenty of books to devour. She would take me to the library once a week or once every two weeks since we could borrow more during the summer break. I’d get home with a stack of ten books. And still, this series stood out the most.

The Martian by Andy Weir

Ok, technically, I didn’t read this during summer, but it was during my sun vacation early in the year. It was 31 degrees Celsius which feels like plenty of summer to me. It was the first vacation with my now-husband and we were both excited for the movie. I read the book in two days’ time and he read some pages with me when he looked away from his own book. I definitely liked the book more than the movie. Another viewer mentioned that the movie looks like a promo film for NASA, which I agree with. The added parts which weren’t in the book and only pressed the importance of the organisation. I think it’s great and amazing work they do, but they shouldn’t use this as a way to promote their own name. That kind of defeats the purpose, in my opinion.

It’s not a typical summer read, but it’s exciting and keeps you wondering. I’m glad I had the time to finish it so quickly.

Honorable mention: Donald Duck

We (me and my siblings) all read Donald Duck and every family holiday we would get a Donald Duck pocket book. All of us got different books so we could trade after we finished reading them. I read so much Donald Duck when I was younger, but this tradition in particular was one that I have fond memories of. (Not the fighting over who actually owned which book or who could read the weekly magazine first.)

Which books are connected to your summer memories? Please share your memories in the comments!

5 thoughts on “Summer Memories in Books

  1. Paeroka says:

    I read a horror book by a German author during one summer. What stuck most is the one CD I had been listening to while reading it. I still can’t listen to the songs from that album (it was a mixed one with charts hits) without getting chills.

    Another summer break, I basically disconnected from my friends (who noticed, but didn’t actually mind) just to spend these six weeks reading. I don’t even remember what I read. But I do remember that I felt full of energy after this time.

    During an autumn vacation, I had brought three books with me – for one week. I’d read through them all after two days or so. So my mum and I went to a book store, I asked for advice, told them I’m a fast reader etc. and the woman suggested what became my favourite book (The Light Bearer from Donna Gillespie). I think she mainly took it because it’s a female protagonist, and a very very thick book. 😉

    Back to summer vacations: We used to buy one new “Lustiges Taschenbuch” for our summer vacation. It’s with stories of the Ducks and Mickey Mouse. And I usually took older ones with me as well when I was younger. I loved rereading comic books. As an adult, I’ve stopped doing it, but I did buy one once when we were on a research congress. :p

    • Tessa Hastjarjanto says:

      You’re never too old for comics I used to listen to the same cd’s over and over again while reading books and I can remember a lot of details from those books when I listen to the songs. So I totally get what you mean with your horror story!

      My mom also picked up books for me just because they had a dragon in the front and were super thick xD

  2. Bhagpuss says:

    Diana Wynne Jones is one of my favorite authors. If you haven’t already, you really should try the rest of her stuff – she wrote a lot and it’s almost all very good indeed. I’d particularly recommend Fire and Hemlock, which someone I once knew did indeed re-read every summer. DWJ also wrote the Howl’s Moving Castle books, of course, which I only got around to reading last yezr. Still haven’t seen the movies.

    The very first novel of hers I read was Witch Week, which I got as a review copy when it came out in the 1980s. It’s basically the template for the entire Harry Potter series. If you want something Potterish without the unfortunate JKR baggage, that’s a great read but best of all is Rainbow Rowell’s loose trilogy Fangirl, Carry On and Wayward Son. That’s Potter done right! (and yes, the early Potters are really quite poor and the later ones are really poorly edited even though the writing improves).

    My own summer read used to be Voyage of the Dawn Treader, which I read every year as we came out of spring into summer. I was thinking of reading it again just last month. And I read Samuel Delaney’s Dhalgren on three different summer holidays. I left it on a beach in Barcelona one night and had to buy another copy when I got home to finish it.

    • Tessa Hastjarjanto says:

      I read a few of DWJ, including Howl’s Moving Castle, but not Witch Week. I’ll check that one out.

      Voyage of the Dawn Treader was actually the only Narnia book I couldn’t get through. I don’t like seafaring themed books that much (which is why I wrote a 10k short story with the theme *roll eyes*).

      It’s always unfortunate to lose books while traveling. I’m still afraid I’ll forget my ereader on the plane or something so I check thrice if I have it xD

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