Summer Magic: Or What I’ve Read

Summer is sacred reading time. This was certainly true when I was a kid yearning for tall stacks of books and uninterrupted hours of discovering new worlds.

I have never lost that sacred feeling. In fact, I think summer is when I get the most of my reading done these days. By reading, I mean I listen to books on Audible. I never imagined I would become a book on tape person—I hated them when I was younger. Now, I see the virtue in a good narrator. I pop on books while I commute, clean, or when I need to decompress.

This summer, I have wound through Leigh Bardugo’s books. I started with King of Scars. Years ago, I read the Shadow and Bone Trilogy in which she conceptualizes magic as the “small science” where “like calls to like.” That line has stayed with me over the years and is certainly present in King of Scars where the principle characters are all dealing with various levels of trauma and loss. What they pay attention to grows. That is a powerful lesson, one I see playing out around me all the time.

After King of Scars, I jumped back to another of Bardugo’s books the gitty Six of Crows. Badugo’s Grishaverse is compelling because there are glimpses or whispers to her other books. The world feels real as characters from the different series brush against or walk past each other. I’ve started Crooked Kingdom, the sequel to Six of Crows. Bardugo’s world building is a siren song—I feel the pull back to the Grishaverse when I am not listening. Her characters feel familiar, real, complex.

Andrea Gibson’s collection Take Me With You ,which is their collection of short lines and phrases from previous work, broke me of my Audible routine. Bonus: there are whimsical illustrations. I read this book out of order, settling on pages that spoke to what I needed that day, in that moment. (So, maybe this is also an instance of “like calls to like” but without such obvious displays of magic.)

I finally finished Sarah J. Maas’ Throne of Glass series. Maas’ Throne of Glass was the first audiobook took a chance on way back in 2014. I didn’t want to say goodbye to Aelin and her companions in Kingdom of Ash.

There are still a few more weeks of summer before the semester starts. I hope to find time to finish Crooked Kingdom and start Kiersten White’s And I Darken.

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