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The Sunday Salon: The Pleasurable Challenge of Reading by the Lake

Happy Sunday, everyone!


This post is coming to you live from my family’s cabin in northern Wisconsin. It’s my first weekend at the lake this summer, and I am loving it. We have spotty cell phone reception, at best, so I’m not even sure if this is going to post… I guess we’ll see!

Picking books for the lake is a pleasurable challenge. I don’t like to bring books that I’m going to feel obligated to review since, frankly, I sometimes read after drinking a margarita or two. And I don’t normally like difficult books, since I end up putting them down for a swim or a nap pretty frequently.

This weekend was especially difficult because I started the weekend without a read-in-progress. Last Thursday night I finished reading the stylish and beautiful Everything Beautiful Began After by Simon Van Booy, but didn’t have time to start another book before I left right after work on Friday. I was totally adrift, trying to pick a variety of books to fit my mood without knowing much about any of them… quite the dilemma!

I ended up packing three options: Running the Books by Avi Steinberg, Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (because I’m sort of in love with the trailer for the new movie), and Rules of Civility by Amor Towles. I whippes through Rules of Civility yesterday, and I’m hoping to make progress on Running the Books before my drive home.

With that, I’m off to enjoy the sun!

What are you favorite books to read by the lake?

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • susan June 24, 2012, 9:15 am

    Sounds like a great place to read, especially with a margarita …

  • bermudaonion (Kathy) June 24, 2012, 9:17 am

    Your weekend sounds divine to me!

  • softdrink June 24, 2012, 9:57 am

    Ahh, margaritas, books, and sunshine…sounds perfect!

  • Esme June 24, 2012, 10:56 am

    Sounds perfect to me-I agree with you there are books for the beach and books you must concentrate to read.

  • Amy June 24, 2012, 12:45 pm

    Such a beautiful setting and lovely place to read! Enjoy! I have heard that that area of Wisconsin is really pretty. I’m only familiar with Sheboygan and Madison (my dad grew up in WI).

    I feel similarly about what to read when I go to the beach or a relaxing setting such as your lake…that’s the time when I read books that some call chick-lit or Persephone books.

    I adored Everything Beautiful Began After. I’m so glad you read it and enjoyed it. Van Booy’s writing is beautiful. I haven’t read Rules of Civility yet, but want to!

    Enjoy the reat of your weekend.

    • Kim June 26, 2012, 6:59 pm

      It really is a beautiful area. I didn’t appreciate it when I was a kid, that is for sure. I love reading “fluffier” books by the lake, whether they’re fiction or nonfiction. It’s nice to find something to dip in and out of.

  • Helen Murdoch June 24, 2012, 1:39 pm

    Sounds like a fantastic weekend of reading and relaxation! What do you use on your phone to blog?

    • Kim June 26, 2012, 7:00 pm

      I just used the regular Wordpress app you can download. I did draft part of the post before I left, then just filled in some extra details and added the photo from my phone. I wouldn’t want to type an extensive post on it, that’s for sure.

  • Jessica @ Quirky Bookworm June 24, 2012, 2:08 pm

    How pretty!

    I don’t like reading outside much, because normally it’s too bright. But I guess Wisconsin is probably different than Arizona. 🙂

    I’d probably go for a fun, cozy-ish mystery, or maybe a light-hearted memoir. Bill Bryson or Deborah Crombie come to mind.

    • Kim June 26, 2012, 7:01 pm

      Yes, in the shade it’s usually pretty nice. Most of our yard is shaded, so it’s not too hard to find a place to read without the light being a problem.

  • Kailana June 24, 2012, 2:45 pm

    Sounds like a wonderful time!!! I miss having a camp. My parents had one, but it got sold when my parents got divorced.

  • Savvy Working Gal June 24, 2012, 3:58 pm

    I don’t like reading anything I may want to take notes on while on vacation or at the beach. This usually rules out most nonfiction.

    Enjoy your break. I bet you need it.

    • Kim June 26, 2012, 7:01 pm

      Yes, anything I’d take notes with is out. I’ve tried that before, and I just end up losing my pen or something silly like that.

  • Megan June 24, 2012, 5:38 pm

    I hate when I finish a book just before the weekend, then I end up wasting most of my quality reading time trying to pick out something to read and then stuck in those introductory still getting into the story pages. It’s even harder if I’m headed out of town because then I “have to” pack way more books than I could even dream of reading. 😉

    Hope you had another lovely day of lakeside reading!

    • Kim June 26, 2012, 7:02 pm

      It was so frustrating! I was trying to pack light because it was only going to be a short trip, but without having a book in progress I just didn’t know what I’d want to read or if the books would be any good!

  • Jeanne June 24, 2012, 7:19 pm

    I still have a few paperbacks passed on to me by a friend who gets them from her mother that I will toss into a beach bag and not worry if they get wet or I don’t have time to finish them during the trip. Mostly they’re romance and mystery novels, so very easy reads.

    • Kim June 26, 2012, 7:03 pm

      Nice! I try to bring books that I don’t worry about getting wet if we’ll be on the boat, but this time I kept my library books safely on shore.

  • Amelia June 25, 2012, 1:22 pm

    I really enjoyed Running the Books.

    When I sit by the pool I normally take something light to read. I want it to be a book that I can get distracted from and easily slip right back into with out having to skim back to remember what I was reading.

    • Kim June 26, 2012, 7:03 pm

      Yes, that’s exactly it — books that can survive distraction.

  • Stephanie June 25, 2012, 5:34 pm

    I’ll join you all by the lake with a book and a margarita. 😉

  • Maphead June 25, 2012, 8:35 pm

    Looks incredibly relaxing. Have a great time! Can’t wait to read your review of Running the Books.

  • Mandy June 25, 2012, 10:46 pm

    I have this exact dilemma this coming weekend, when I’m going up to my family’s cabin with my college girl friends. I got a bunch of YA books at the American Library Association conference this past weekend, so I think I’m going to read through a few of those. 🙂

    • Kim June 26, 2012, 7:04 pm

      I bet YA would be perfect. I don’t have many of that genre on my shelves to pick from, but I have quite a few lighter fiction options I usually choose from.