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Summer Reading

Aug 6, 2012

by Cate Fitt handmade and vintage goods

My high school summer reading lists were carefully chosen and printed by the school on small booklets with card stock covers. Since I love to read, I happily met the reading requirements within the first week or two of summer vacation. As a writing procrastinator, the related book reports were a different story, ignored until my mother pushed me into writing them the day before school began.

I enjoy fiction with a sense of place and time, plenty of humor, and strong minded characters. This summer, I have been enjoying authors who have been on my favorites list for many years. Here are this summer’s book reports, handed in early for a change.

[1. Vintage Wedding Photo from CoolVintage 2. Challah Oil Painting from MartinCline 3. Silver Hand Stamped Ring from TheBeadGirl 4. Girl Watercolor Painting from ANKarabin]

Faye Moskowitz writes of her life: growing up in small-town Michigan with her immigrant family, marrying, then moving to Washington, DC, to find a new vocation – teacher and writer. And the Bridge is Love has recently been reissued by The Feminist Press.

[1. “Orchard in the Summer” Signed Print by AaronThompsonPhoto 2. “Trouble on my Mind” Embroidery by WaterPenny 3. “The Serpent of Good Fortune” Print by TriciaScottStudio 4. Mother Maybelle Vintage Photo from KimVintage]

Lee Smith has written some of my favorite novels. Set in the Blue Ridge and Smokey Mountains, they are vivid tales of musicians, professors, mountain folk, and young women finding their way to a different life. This summer, I am reading Mrs. Darcy and the Blue-Eyed Stranger, a compilation of Smith’s old and new short stories.

[1. “Creeping Terror” Original Drawing by HeartPumpArts 2. Needle Felted Foot by TheGreedyCrocodile 3. Hermes Protection Key Chain by GurlyGirl 4. Miniature Ancient Roman Vessel by Kivaford 5. Ancient Rome Wine Coasters from BuckarooBear]

Not only has Lindsey Davis created Falco, a wisecracking detective in first century Rome, she has given him an intelligent and brave girlfriend, Helena. This series has slyly given me a much greater understanding of a time and culture that had never particularly interested me. Their families and the Emperor are the impetus for adventures all over the Roman Empire.

[1. Vintage Georgette Heyer Book from TheLuckyFox 2. Black Leather Wristband by VdeuxAccessories 3. Antique French Plate Set from VintageFrenchLinens 4. Vintage Figurine from Franz66]

Georgette Heyer! No summer is complete without rereading a favorite or two of her many witty and lighthearted “Regency Romances.” Her descriptions of clothes alone would almost be enough to merit a read, but her insightful writing and silly romps take me on a frothy vacation of the mind. These are not cornball bodice rippers but perfect bonbons that never leave you feeling as if you have over-indulged.

What books are you reading this summer?

Hebrew Ring - Handstamped Ring - Silver Ring - Hebrew Text - CHILD OF GOD - Eco Friendly Metal - Depression Story Ring - Baptism - R4025
Hebrew Ring - Handstamped Ring - Silver Ring - Hebrew Text - CHILD OF GOD - Eco Friendly Metal - Depression Story Ring - Baptism - R4025
$76.00 USD
Girl, Watercolor Monoprint Painting
Girl, Watercolor Monoprint Painting
The Serpent of Good Fortune Print
The Serpent of Good Fortune Print
$16.50 USD
Creeping Terror (original drawing, 2011)
Creeping Terror (original drawing, 2011)
Miniature Ancient Roman Vessel in Green Glass
Miniature Ancient Roman Vessel in Green Glass
Vintage Georgette Heyer Cousin Kate book
Vintage Georgette Heyer Cousin Kate book
RESERVED FOR CASSANDRACLARE French Antique Plates Set of 4 Rebus Theme c. 1800 to 1825
RESERVED FOR CASSANDRACLARE French Antique Plates Set of 4 Rebus Theme c. 1800 to 1825
Vintage Figurine of 18th Century Costumed Couple in Orange Red and Green Handpainted from Occupied MidCentury Japan.
Vintage Figurine of 18th Century Costumed Couple in Orange Red and Green Handpainted from Occupied MidCentury Japan.


  • QsDaydream

    Quincy from QsDaydream said 4 years ago

    Wonderful suggestions! Thank you for sharing! :)

  • WinsomeGreen

    Christa from WinsomeGreen said 4 years ago

    Cate, you're a girl after my own heart with those Lee Smith novels, set in the mountains. I can't wait to pick up Mrs. Darcy and the Blue-Eyed Stranger. (Love me some short-stories, anyway!) xo

  • LilBeeDesigns

    Lillian Bolster from LilBeeDesigns said 4 years ago

    The Tennis Partner by Abraham Verghese Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling East of Eden by John Stienbeck Oh Jerusalem by Laurie R. King (two of the books are book club selections)

  • VeraVague

    Vera and Victor Vague from VeraVague said 4 years ago

    i just re-finished the Little House series :) it was perfect timing.

  • CafePrimrose

    Amanda Gynther from CafePrimrose said 4 years ago

    Interesting choices.

  • volkerwandering

    Jess from volkerwandering said 4 years ago

    Such neat items!

  • VoleedeMoineaux

    Hillary De Moineaux from VoleedeMoineaux said 4 years ago

    I like this!

  • TreadleLady

    Donna Kohler from TreadleLady said 4 years ago

    I recently read A Moveable Feast by Hemingway and see it's very much like the 20s in Midnight in Paris. I'm obsessed with that movie! More Hemingway is waiting to be read.

  • LivingVintage

    LivingVintage from LivingVintage said 4 years ago

    Interesting picks! Summer reading lists seem an unnecessary punishment to me.

  • tereskaanna

    tereskaanna said 4 years ago

    i am re-reading barbara kingsolver's book, prodigal summer. a feast for the mind and the senses!!! amazing writing focused on feminine strength and characters waking the fine line between societal norms and self-fulfillment. AMAZING!

  • WingedWorld

    Vickie Moore from WingedWorld said 4 years ago

    Thanks for the wonderful mini book reports and recommendations for summer reading! I've been indulging in some Babar classic children's books, and I have Jhumpa Lahiri's story collection “Unaccustomed Earth” on my nightstand. Her novel “The Namesake” is one of my favorites. “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” would be another of my summer recommendations.

  • ElaineMari

    Elaine Mari from ElaineMari said 4 years ago

    I'm reading "Lee Krasner: a Biography" this summer during my lunch breaks in the back yard and on the beach. I have been on a artists' biography kick. I love to read, especially about women who are painters, during my studio day. It gives me a lift and inspiration to keep on painting.

  • Sabina82

    Sabina82 said 4 years ago

    I am currently reading The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley. Next up: To Say Nothing of the Dog, Blackout, and All Clear all by Connie Willis, The Passage by Justin Cronin, and The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi. Eventually I'll finish the Song of Ice and Fire books too...but I like to take time off in between reading those epically-long novels and indulge in something a little different.

  • WintergreenDesign

    Christa Cunningham from WintergreenDesign said 4 years ago

    Interesting choices... Sabina82... I just finished "The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie"... I LOVE LOVE LOVE Alan Bradley : ) My next read is Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

  • Sabina82

    Sabina82 said 4 years ago

    I'm about halfway through. Flavia is a new hero of mine. :)

  • mazedasastoat

    mazedasastoat from mazedasastoat said 4 years ago

    I've started re-reading the Discworld books by Terry Pratchett... it's going to be a giggly summer!

  • iammieCLAYshop

    iammieCLAYshop from iammieCLAYshop said 4 years ago

    Love the story and picks!

  • kristinasmiley

    Kristina Smiley from CreativeEndeavorsKS said 4 years ago

    Georgette Heyer's books are excellent reads for romantic historians like me. I have a couple of her books on my Kindle and read them often.

  • londonviaparis

    Jenny B from BasilandBones said 4 years ago

    Cute article! I just finished A Million Suns by Beth Revis (I like the story but the characters miss the mark for me), and now C.S Lewis' Out of the Silent Planet. And as a teenager, Summer reading was tossed out; it became All Year reading :)

  • thefrontera

    Johanna N. from thefrontera said 4 years ago

    Super like!

  • thriftstore

    thriftstore from thriftstore said 4 years ago

    Love this!

  • caseysharpe

    Casey Sharpe from caseysharpe said 4 years ago

    I managed to do a two sides of the same coin reading list this year: I picked up Lev Grossman's The Magicians and The Magician King, and then followed it up by rereading the Chronicles of Narnia (which I hadn't read since I was a small child and had them read to me!) The two series were a great match, since Grossman's two books are such an homage to Narnia.

  • HoneyThistle

    Wei from HoneyThistle said 4 years ago

    I'm placing a hold on some Falco books asap, they sound intriguing & I've always loved a good mystery. I finished Roald Dahl's Going Solo recently and loved it :)

  • tereskaanna

    tereskaanna said 4 years ago

    a golden age is another amazing read. set during the bangladesh war for independence, it follows the family of a strong and determined woman. AMAZING first novel.

  • CaramellyBurn

    Caramelly Bee from CaramellyBurn said 4 years ago

    I love this! :))

  • BambuEarth

    Amber from BambuEarth said 4 years ago

    One of my favorite books of all time is Where the Red Fern Grows. Thanks for reminding me of great historical pieces of literature. ♥♥♥

  • Win1985

    Rowina Panchu from SweetCandyStuffs said 4 years ago

    LOVE IT!!

  • Yarns

    Liz from Liliyu said 4 years ago

    Lovely. Maybe a few mentions of some of the novelists on etsy too?

  • mattyhandmadecrafts

    Matejka Max from NattyMatty said 4 years ago


  • LittleAppleNY

    Dione from LittleAppleNY said 4 years ago

    Thank you for the suggestions. I just finished David Mitchell's "Cloud Atlas." I can't recommend it highly enough---it's a beautifully-written masterpiece.

  • christinek302

    christinek302 said 4 years ago

    Anything by Jhumpa Lahiri is a worthy read - she's my favorite. I'm almost finished with and liking very much Sue Miller's The Lake Shore Limited - intriguing. Hemingway fans might like the historical fiction novel about his first wife: The Paris Wife. It really captures the era in which he lived. And my book club is set to read Swamplandia. I'm going to check out many of the recommeded reads listed here. One of my favorite books of all time is The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Klay. It's long, but fabulous. I finished it about a year ago and still miss the characters.

  • LittleWrenPottery

    Victoria Baker from LittleWrenPottery said 4 years ago

    I haven't picked a book out for summer reading yet! I like reading Sci-Fi and Fantasy, its nice to find the time to read longer books over the summer holidays : )

  • heathermarielee

    Heather Lee from BooksForBreakfast said 4 years ago

    I recently purchased a collection of antique leather-bound Dickens and summer reading has been all about Uriah Heep, Micawber, Oliver, and Pickwick.

  • baconsquarefarm

    baconsquarefarm from baconsquarefarm said 4 years ago

    Wonderful to see all the book readers in here, I personally am not hooked on reading but our daughter has the reading gene and this makes me happy, you can travel all over the world in a book and what you learn from them last's a life time. Happy Summer Reading everyone. :)

  • TheBloomingHare

    Gretchen Ellen Powers from TheBloomingHare said 4 years ago

    I really enjoy reading! I tend to lean more towards the classics. Among my favorite authors are: Charles Dickens Lewis Carroll J.M. Barrie John Keats It's nice to see so many fellow readers! Hope everyone gets a chance to read a new favorite this summer!

  • karicreates

    Kari McNew from KariCreates said 4 years ago

    Kate, Your pictures would make any book report more interesting. = )

  • worksofwhimsy

    worksofwhimsy from worksofwhimsy said 4 years ago

    I just bought 2 items that are featured in this post! That's the first time I've ever done that. This summer I've read The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown and a few junky mysteries that will go unmentioned.

  • beluga2020

    Talia Stone from TaliaStone said 4 years ago

    I love Georgette Heyer too, but I picked something a little more serious for my summer reading and loved it. Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese.

  • accentonvintage

    accentonvintage from accentonvintage said 4 years ago

    I just finished Barbara Kingsolver's The Poisonwood Bible about the Congo in the 60's and I'm now reading Michael Ondaatje's In the Skin of a Lion, a love story in the 20s-30s Toronto..

  • DecadesOfVintage

    DecadesOfVintage from DecadesOfVintage said 4 years ago

    Fabulous piece. O love your pairing of fabulous etsy items with books.

  • Elanor1420

    Emily Lunsford said 4 years ago

    i've read "Major Pettigrew's Last Stand" by Helen Simonson and "Out of the Silent Planet" by CS Lewis so far this summer. Both excellent reads, I highly recommend the 'Major' if you are an anglophile like me!

  • xZOUix

    Zoui from XZOUIX said 4 years ago

    summer reading, autumn reading, winter reading, spring reading, bus reading, train reading, waitin' at dentist reading, school reading, pub reading, ANY PLACE IN THE UNIVERSE READING :) i just love reading and this is such a great article, thank u for posting it guys! :::-) i just finished reading old catcher in the rye (haha,yeah:) and now there are two other books lyin' on my bedside table- ♥ Thoreau's Walden & Town and the City by Kerouac ♥ :)

  • carolannolson

    Carol Olson said 4 years ago

    beautiful! takes me back to my summers of reading. Oh I need to get back to that....

  • breadandroses2

    breadandroses2 from breadandroses2 said 4 years ago

    The photo of Mother Maybelle Carter and a young June Carter Cash is fantastic! Iconic.

  • jewelry56

    Lynnette from jewelry56 said 4 years ago

    Thank you for this info. What is your favorite Regency Romance novel? I will read it first.

  • sunkissedsisters

    Graebelle Campbell from SunKissedSisters said 4 years ago

    Thanks for sharing. We are always looking for something new to read!

  • katelynsphipps

    Katelyn Phipps from katelynphippsphoto said 4 years ago

    Good selections :)

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