Mike Uncorked: Summer Time Reads and Needs!

Mike Uncorked: Summer Time Reads and Needs!
By Mike Butler

READS: Summertime is one of my favourite times of the year to catch up on my reading. Now, granted, I read all the time but when the days are sunny and you’re on vacation, lounging by the pool, sipping iced tea, or swinging in the hammock, there’s nothing better to pass the time than writing (in a journal or letters to a friend), or reading a terrific book. Here are some reading selections to seek out for the summer months.

New in paperback and worth checking out are Stephanie Coontz’s The Way We Never Were, Anne Enright’s The Green Road, Sophie McManus’s The Unfortunates, Lena Andersons’ Willful Disregard, Amy Stewart’s Girl Waits With Gun, Robert Galbraith’s (J.K. Rowling’s) Career of Evil, Pamela Erens’ Eleven Hours, Sally Mann’s Hold Still, or William Finnegan’s Pulitzer Prize winning Barbarian Days. Some wonderful new literature for your summer list could include The Versions of Us by Laura Barnett, Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld, Bettyville by George Hodgman, Maestra by L.S. Hilton, Your Song Changed My Life by Bob Boilen, Ramie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo, and Lab Girl by Hope Jahren.

Wanna do a book binge? Whether you enjoy sports or not, I highly recommend taking a bit of your summer and reading some of sports journalist George Plimpton’s re-issued classics Paper Lion, One for the Record, Mad Ducks and Bears, Shadow Box, Out of my League, Open Net, or The Bogey Man. How about a mystery binge with Agatha Christie? I was just in Mexico and took along three Christie classics Dead Man’s Folly, They do it with Mirrors, and The Murder of Roger Ackroyd and I recommend all three. You could also dive into some of my other Christie faves including A Murder is Announced, The ABC Murders, Death Comes as the End, Cat Among the Pigeons, or The Moving Finger. You really can’t go wrong with an Agatha Christie!

After performing in the play Tuesdays With Morrie, based on Mitch Alboms’ bestselling book, I decided to revisit Morrie and some other Albom novels including For One More Day, The Five People You Meet in Heaven, The Time Keeper, and The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto. They’re all worth looking into for inspirational and fast-paced reading. Pop by some of the fantastic book nooks we have in the Valley including The Box of Delights Bookshop, The Odd Book, or Rainbow’s End Books and Discs (Wolfville); Books Galore (Coldbrook); Reader’s Haven (Windsor); The Inside Story (Greenwood); or Blue Griffin Books (Middleton). Tell them Mike sent you and enjoy these novel ideas!

NEEDS: What do you NEED to do this summer? Spend more time with family? Have that Yard Sale you’ve desperately tried to have for the last five years? Travel a bit? Spend more time with friends or by yourself? Spend time outside meeting fitness goals? Take the opportunity over the next few weeks to make a list of some summer goals and start each day with the motivation to complete something on that list. Summertime in the Valley is overflowing with places to see and things to do. Last summer, with one of my best friends, I took about 16 day-trips to various cafés and inlets in the province just to spend time with her and see what the province had to offer for fun hangout spots (keep an eye out soon for a coffee shop article). It was a wonderful adventure and this summer we’ll do something similar. Do you need to shake things up a bit? Do you need to step out of a rut and try something fun? Make this summer special by feeding those needs! Enjoy!