Grilling up Some Savory Summer Stories


By Keri English

As the summer heats up and we celebrate the solstice, end of school and start of pool days, heat-waves and pending family fun days, I am most excited about what to read next. The fact that this is the hardest choice I will be making for the month of July invokes a genuine giggle. Having time to ourselves is so precious—and should absolutely be filled to the brim with good books.

Recently an author said to me, “I’d love for you to read the new book. I’m sure your TBR pile is enormous though…” My response was simple: Bring it on! No pile is too tall for a summer without work!

So tomorrow I dive into a pile that starts with P.A. Milko’s A Fit for the Kings, as I could certainly stand to read about someone else’s family adventures for a while. I look forward to immersing myself in a world of nanny tales. After that I will be scooting over to Madman’s Monster since I loved Blood Harvest and can’t wait to escape to book two and see what’s next. And then I will probably switch up genres to Blue Jeans and Coffee Beans because I keep thinking about De Maio’s latest open beside my iced latte—a divine combo I think!

We just came back from four days in Maryland where I got my trad-pubbed fix on Beautiful Ruins and Ann Patchett’s Run and now it’s looking like quite the indie summer. Perhaps most thrilling is the prospect of having all day tomorrow to dawdle over Howey’s Shift. I had such a blast reading Wool at night because it provided the best dream material, so this should be extra fun with book two and my already wacky pregnant imaginings in the night. After Shift, I’ll be looking for some chick lit to tote to the park and laze under my favorite tree. Looks like there is plenty to choose from there and room still for some paranormal treats to creep into the air conditioned evenings with covers pulled tight.

It’s not just the extensive time to read that I’m savoring this summer; of course having the quality time to write is simply exquisite. As I count down to the little one’s arrival I am also stocking his bookshelf and feeling a different kind of inspiration. I think about how he will respond to my writing as he grows up. Will I write him stories—of course! Will he think the funny parts are funny and the sad parts are sad? Will he be my best and worst critic all in one? Given the way we handled our own parents’ ideas I venture towards a yes for all of the above…and I’m ok with that. As long as he knows we support his creative process it’s all good. Especially since his creative process is beginning—it must be with all the kicking going on.

This coming weekend we will be heading to the beach for an outdoor wedding and some sun and surf. I’ll be the one with the giant hat under the even bigger umbrella. My nose will be in a Kindle for sure, but it will also sport some SPF 50 and will certainly not need to report to work on Monday. For this I am eternally grateful and will be sure to let you know which titles kept me up till the wee hours.

Till next week, I wish everyone happy reading and don’t forget your SPF 50!

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