Summer Reads

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woman reading book on beach

Whether it’s Nook, Kindle or iPad, hardback or paper, library or bookstore — we can never get enough great stories. So as summer starts to wane, we at Fifty is the New share some recent good reads. What we did on our summer vacation, literary style.


This summer reminded me of my girlhood, when every Saturday I checked out 11 books (the maximum allowed) from the Pasadena Public Library, and returned them a week later for another near dozen. Two I liked:

Wesley the Owl: a Remarkable Love Story of an Owl and his Girl by Stacey O’Brien. Mandatory reading for animal lovers!

The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery: a romp through France’s bourgeoisie told by two razor-sharp wits whose lives collide in a fancy apartment building in the 5th arrondissement.


Summer for me means sun, sand, sea, and books, lots of books, and though I now live in the mountains I still make time for long, slow days and words that make my heart sing.

I am, for the dozenth time, re-reading Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. This delicious froth of manners and misunderstanding within the Bennett family is a perfect summer distraction from our modern miasma.

I’ve also started Pompeii by Richard Harris, the historical fiction of the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius. Sounds like a potboiler, yes? Read more