Saturday, June 4, 2011

Summer Reading (and Watching)

Scott D. Parker

What is it about the sun and heat that makes us want to read and watch something different? I'll admit that I trend towards seasonal reading. When it's winter, I like British mysteries and thick, dense books that engage the brain. Dickens is among my favorites at that time of year.

But when the weather turns warm--or hot, since it's already hit 100 here in H-Town--something churns and turns in my brain. Gone is Dickens, gone is "intellectual" reading. Hello to entertainment of a different sort. Action. Adventure. Thrills. Chills.

As we are now in the first official weekend of summer, I'm looking across this wide, broad swath of three months of sunny joy and I'm loving what I see. Turner Classic Movies is running "Creature Features" AKA Drive-in Double Features every Thursday. On 9 June, on of my all-time favorites is airing: "Them!" Giant ants! Before we have Cowboys vs. Aliens, I've got the complete series of "The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr." cued up for the wife and I.

On the music front, I just discovered a new album by saxophonist James Carter. It's a Concerto for Saxophone and Orchestra and a separate piece entitled Caribbean Rhapsody. I've heard segments on NPR Music and, boy, I have to tell you, you can feel the summer sun on your face when you hear this music.

Bookwise, I've got a few on the list. The new James Bond novel, Carte Blanche, by Jeffrey Deaver lands this month. Jeff Abbott, a fellow Texan who I discovered last year with Trust Me, is back with Adrenaline. Both Jeffs are visiting Houston's Murder by the Book this summer as is Megan Abbott and Duane Swierczynski for Noir Night 2011.

I know I'll discover more along the way. Last week, I stumbled on to my current history book, Dominic Sandbrook's Mad as Hell: The Crisis of the 1970s and the Rise of the Populist Right. And, as soon as my wife finishes it (it is her book after all), I'll read through Jeremy Wade's River Monsters book.

What are some of the books you are looking forward to this summer? Do you change your reading habits when you are more likely to visit a beach rather than the ski slopes?


JJ Stickney said...

I'm really looking forward to Megan Abbott's new book and dipping into THE BIG BOOK OF ADVENTURE STORIES Edited By Otto Penzler.

Dana King said...

I rarely look far ahead for what I'm going to read. When the TBR pile gets low I look through notes, blogs, and my Amazon wish list and reload. The time of year doesn't make any difference to me.

John McFetridge said...

Love Briscoe County Jr.

Scott D. Parker said...

JJ - Holy Moley! I didn't know about the Adventure Stories book. That cover is gorgeous. Thanks to you, it is now on my wish list. When's Father's Day again?

Dana - I so love your type of reading. It's spontaneous. My wife reads the same way. Me? I'm too into lists of books that I may never get to.

John - Me, too. So, when I got the DVD, I showed my wife the cover. Meh was the reaction. Then, I read the synopsis--including the Orb and the SFnal stuff--and that got her interested. She likes Firefly, let's see if she likes Brisco.