I read quite a lot in real life–I am blessed with a commute on public transport which allows me ample reading time, and I also like to read before I go to sleep. But summer reading–the luxury of knowing that you will have time and opportunity to dive into some good stuff–is something else.

Since I so rarely go to beaches–or at least ones where the wind will not rip a book from your frozen fingers–I’ll talk first about the book I’m taking to Atlanta. I know it seems odd to take books to an event where you leave staggering under the weight of give-aways, but that’s me. And this one is quite a hefty tome: Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens. I’ve been meaning to re-read this for years. I have vague memories of chilly, atmospheric descriptions of the Thames–the book opens with the discovery of a body in the river. It’s his last completed book, dark, tortuously plotted, and full of strange, weird characters.

If I were truly going to a beach, or having extended leisure time, I’d read the following:

All of the Malloren and the Rogues series by Jo Beverley. In order. Possibly with a flow chart to hand. That way I wouldn’t be so confused when the family descends in all their numerous glory.

Ditto Mary Balogh’s Slightly series. I think I’ve read most of them but in the most illogical order possible.

Byron’s letters–not the whole lot, I’d be at the beach for years and turn into a shriveled prune, but a good collection–any recommendations, anyone?

And that, I think, would keep me busy.