Lazy weekend poll ~ summer reading list, edition 11 :: Now Smell This

Welcome to our annual summer reading poll! (And we’ve done quarterly reading polls the last couple years, so if you want more recommendations, see fall, winter and spring. Also, you can help me out by telling me if you’d like to keep the reading polls going on a quarterly basis, or go back to once or twice a year?)

Author birthdays this weekend: Marcel Proust, Jean Kerr and Alice Munro on Saturday; Jhumpa Lahiri and Kevin Powers on Sunday.

The poll: please recommend a great book to add to our summer reading lists, and tell us what fragrance we should wear while reading it.

My recent reading:

I have read far fewer books the past quarter, although I’ve been working harder towards catching up on The New Yorker (and spending more time outside doing things, because hey, it’s summer).

On the fiction front, I am still reading Hilary Mantel’s The Mirror and the Light, which I started in spring 2020, and I might be at it for a long time yet. I cannot believe I have not given up, but it’s become a sort of grief therapy to read a few pages a week, and I will get to the end eventually. I will not assign a perfume to that one — it would be too sad to wear.

I did finish two books I had started towards the end of last quarter, Ford Madox Ford’s The Good Soldier and William Boyd’s Trio, and right now I am about halfway through The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma. I also finished another Howard Norman novel (I have been catching up on Norman for the past year or so), My Darling Detective, which might be termed a “literary mystery”, and would call for something dusky like Ormonde Jayne Ta’if.

On the non-fiction front, I read another book by Howard Norman, I Hate To Leave This Beautiful Place. I loved the book, but it needs something cheerful like Aftelier Candide so it doesn’t weigh you down.

On the mystery / thriller front, I read and enjoyed Elly Griffiths’ The Postscript Murders. I don’t know if this is part of a series or not, but it does have a character from The Stranger Diaries, which I own but have not read…did anyone read that one and like it?

Note: top image is The New Novel by Winslow Homer, 1877, via Wikimedia Commons.

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