Reading Cycles of Summer


So happy to see our one sunflower bloom yesterday… early in the summer a deer ate most of the plant, but it came back! (Photo all rights reserved!)

I haven’t been reading much lately. Summer has been busy with gardening and dog training and outside fun and (most importantly) time with my daughter who was doing an internship in Maine and living with us while she did. I loved having her home and the freedom of summer to do whatever the day brought, but I didn’t do much reading. I wasn’t too worried—I do know that my reading always seems to go in cycles—but when first one writer friend, then another, asked what I was reading and I came up completely blank, I realized it had been so long I couldn’t even remember what I’d read last.

By the way, I clearly wasn’t blogging this summer; I haven’t posted a blog since the beginning of the year! Actually all my writing was in a lull this summer, my focus on other things, and I have a blog on Writer Unboxed about that on Monday.

The busy-ness all ended a few weeks ago when my daughter went back to medical school, then summer extended by a visit from my son and new fiancé. We talked and laughed and cooked good food and made ice cream together and spent time in the garden. MEH (My Engineer Husband) took the week off and went hiking with our son and fiancé in Acadia National Park and was joined in garden weeding duties by them as well.

After they left and MEH went back to work, the house seemed very quiet and felt really empty. (Turns out even a very vocal and energetic rescue hound can’t fill the void of my favorite people.) I wasted a couple of days with all-day news TV binges, but when that got too depressingly repetitive, I turned to Amazon and ordered a few new books.

This morning I picked up my Kindle to read. I started with Tell The Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt and was immediately hooked, but I also looked at another book I’d downloaded, a time travel novel: The Jane Austen Project by Kathleen A. Flynn. I was immediately drawn into that one, too. After that I have The Outsiders, All Our Wrong Todays, The Weight of Ink, and about 100 or 1000 or one million more books I want to read.

Oh, and I remembered the last book I was reading (my Kindle reminded me), and maybe that’s one of the reasons I took the break… I really didn’t like it very much and probably won’t finish it. Enough said.

Does your reading go in cycles, like mine does? How was your summer and how did you spend it?



  1. Micky Wolf says:

    Great to receive your post, Julia. Sounds like a fabulous family summer!

    My reading goes in cycles as well. Reading–and the summer–were both impacted by unexpected health issues. Again. However, I’m hopeful to be getting back on track in the near future. My initial focus as I regain my energy has been to finish editing and polishing my novel.

    Interesting that you mentioned you really didn’t like the last book you were reading. My last one was one of those, a hardcover, no less. It was a bestseller. I tried, but just couldn’t get into it. Which is one of the best reasons for publishing a diversity of writing styles and topics, eh? 🙂

    Aside from that…having experienced the beauty of Acadia National Park and Maine in the past (and hope to again next year) it seems the experts are predicting a phenomenal blaze of color for the upcoming fall. Enjoy!

    • So sorry to hear you’ve had health issues, but I’m glad to hear you’re hopeful about getting back on track. I’ll be thinking of you. Thank you for reading, and here’s hoping for a lovely fall. Take care, Micky!

  2. Julia — So glad to have received an email notice that you posted.

    I finished reading “Tell The Wolves I’m Home” on July 2nd and gave it a five-star review on Amazon and Goodreads. My reading isn’t cyclical, it tends to be full-speed-ahead year round (that’s due in great part to the fact we haven’t owned a television for over 37 years).

    Summer’s been great. “Note to Self” has won six literary honors—Woot Woot! And my next book is slated for publication on July 10, 2018.

    • Glad to hear you liked Wolves!! I am enjoying it so much, too. I’m impressed with no TV. And can definitely see how it would free up time in all kinds of ways, reading included. HUGE congratulations on your honors AND the new book, Laurie!

  3. I love seeing you in my RSS feed! (Blogging seems to have slowed down for everyone lately.) It sounds like you had a really lovely summer, and I’m glad. It’s important to soak up some good life. <3 My reading tends to boom and bust as well. It depends on how excited I am about my current book(s) as well as what's going on in the rest of my life. I try to always be reading something, but I don't sweat it if the going's slow for a while. 🙂

    • Thank you, Annie! I loved the summer (this fall is a hard change at times), thank you! It’s nice to meet another boom or bust reader… and someone who doesn’t sweat it. <3

  4. Happy to see your post, Julia! Sounds like you had a delightful summer. I’m happy to hear that you went hiking in Acadia. 🙂

    I also read your post on WU. I sympathize with your decision. I have two “trunk” novels. I think it comes with the territory. Like you said, there are no wasted words. It’s all fodder for future projects.

    P.S. You may not know I have a new website. I’m linking up below since my old site is now dark.

    • I did have a lovely summer — hope you did as well. As for WU, I *forgot* about “trunk novels” or would’ve used that. Such a great description, so much more romantic. And yes, fodder, too.

      PS I’m off to check your new site!! (That’s another thing on my list, I may need to pick your brain. Hope the writing is going well; we should catch up!)

  5. I love it when I put one book down and pick up another. But for some reason if there’s a little gap then it becomes a bigger gap, then I have to find time all over again when it hadn’t been an issue before. Currently, I play a game on my phone when I get in bed at night. I need to get back to real reading.

    • You know, that’s exactly it! Not only the gap part and finding time again, but also the game part. I have a game I play at night (instead of reading), and I need to get back to real reading too! Thank you, Kenya!!

  6. It’s wonderful spending time with the kids when they come home. I’m so glad you had great times together. My eldest moved into his own apartment a few weeks ago, and the younger one just started his senior year of high school. These precious moments are not lost on me as we countdown our one year until we are empty nesters.

    • Ah, so you understand, Karen! The time seems to go so quickly…awareness makes it easier for me (I think). It feels like a transitional time for a long time, though. Here’s to happy reading (and writing) in the meanwhile.

  7. Nina says:

    I just finished All Our Wrong Todays. It was SO good!

  8. Leah says:

    I recently read “Tell The Wolves I’m Home” and loved it. So good!

  9. Jamie Miles says:

    I joined a Hot Fiction book club at an independent bookstore up in Athens. I’ve read four books with them. It’s helped me add current novels to my reading, which usually consisted of books I bought at Goodwill. Most of the time, it’s things I recognize and probably wanted to read at one time or another and never did. Right now, I’m reading Joshilyn Jackson’s latest, The Almost Sisters. She came out here from Atlanta and gave a reading/talk as part of a Middle School Program (a grant) that brings authors to Morgan County. This is the third book of hers, I’ve read. It’s interesting reading it after hearing all the themes, and symbolism and why she put them in this book. xoxo

    • Hi Jamie! This comment got locked in my blog — to which I’d (gulp) LOST THE PASSWORD it had been so long since I’d blogged. I’m back now and contemplating every month commitment to blogging in 2018. How about you, still blogging?

      That’s so cool you joined the Hot Fiction book club, such a smart way to stay current. See you in the accountability group 🙂