Making This Summer a Page Turner
Summer schedules are in full-blast mode, and a healthy mix of fun and chaos often takes families from sports to parks to pools and everything in between. Along with sunscreen and snacks that don’t melt in the heat, books are a must-have for leisurely afternoons or downtime between games. Not only is a good book a great alternative to mindless screen-scrolling time, but it sets a great example for kids that a good story can add to anyone’s summer adventure.
A Hot Reading List
Not all necessarily in the just-released category, the below are a few options for readers of any genre this summer and will keep you engaged while passing time at the pool, on road trips, or in the airport terminal.
A Bit Beachy: Typically based in Nantucket, even Elin Hilderbrand’s book covers want us to escape to a beach with lounge chairs and striped umbrellas. A sweet, compelling, and heartfelt story about a mother’s love, Golden Girl is a quick and easy read with beautiful character development that is easy to come back to when busy schedules don’t allow for hours of uninterrupted reading time.
Sun & Suspense: True suspense lovers don’t wait until Halloween season to enjoy a good mystery or story with a darker flare. Ruth Ware is a go-to for suspense that stops short of scary. All of her books involve an engaging mystery with twists and turns that make you want to turn the page. Her most recent, The It Girl, takes you to Oxford and a murder that haunts a friend group years after they left their college years behind.
Traveling Tales: Those of a certain age will associate Andrew McCarthy with his roles in Pretty in Pink (Blane – swoon) or St. Elmo’s Fire (the struggling writer), but he is an accomplished author and recently came to Kansas City to discuss his book, Walking With Sam. A heartfelt memoir about his 500-mile hike along the Camino de Santiago in Spain with his 20-year-old son, this story is a beautiful tribute and introspection into the relationship between parent and child and will make you want to hold onto those summer days with your kids a little tighter.
Stranger than Fiction: Killers of the Flower Moon is the true story of the murders of an Osage Nation family as part of a plot to possess their land. A story you must read to believe, there’s no doubt why it was made into a movie set to be released later this year. Part history and part mystery, this story will keep you engaged no matter where you take it this summer.
Books, Authors & Learning – Oh My!
Local Reads: Parkville Coffee is known for its great coffee, quiche, and adorable local author book nook in the upstairs sitting area. An author herself, owner Kristin Helling has started hosting monthly local author readings and signings at the coffeehouse for those looking for a new book. These informal events are a great way to learn about interesting reads, support local writers and grab a latte at a beloved Parkville business. Follow Parkville Coffee on social media to keep up to date on events.
Libraries: Libraries are known for their summer reading programs to entice kiddos to keep up with their reading during school break, but afternoons at the library aren’t just for kids. Have a vacation planned that needs some research? Want to keep your kids’ brains engaged and in learning mode? Incorporate reading into a weekly routine where you research a place, event, or other bucket list item and discuss it over dinner. It can make a trip to the library a little smoother if there’s a game plan and something to look for.
If you want to add a little Zen to your summer routine, the North Kansas City Public Library is offering yoga sessions, including weekly yoga in the park sessions throughout August, as well as sewing and crafting classes. This is the time to stop reading about new hobbies and actually try them! If you have an inner artist waiting to come out, they will also be hosting a tiny art show for folks of all ages to showcase their work.
Freebies: Looking to do something a little different this summer? Build a Little Free Library in your neighborhood and ask for your neighbors’ help keeping it fully stocked. Or, how about a weekly poolside book chat with friends to help the hours pass while the kids cannonball one another and toss a beach ball around?
There’s a lot of summer left so make these next few chapters the best!