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4 books you can read in summer

Questions about what to watch or what to read can be asked, it seems, endlessly and more than once – after all, any good work, be it a book, movie or TV series, unfortunately, sooner or later ends and leaves. Its audience or reader is in the throes of new searches. But there is some good news, too.

To make your task easier, every week we ask our columnist Konstantin Obraztsov – writer, author of “Red Chains”, “Hammer of the Witches” and other books, as well as creator of the “Sample Reading” program on Rutube and the “Obraztsov” channel on Telegram – to share his collection of the world’s best literature and TV series with diamonds.

Konstantin Obraztsov

On the agenda today are books to read in the summer.


What are your plans for the summer?

This is not an idle question, because plans need to be made for the summer. This isn’t spring or some kind of autumn; No one’s asking what the plans are for the fall, right? And they ask about the summer because you can’t just live, but you definitely need to spend it somehow, and you have to plan everything for this, so that later you don’t regret that the summer has passed, and we, because, for example, I have never ridden a bike.

This special attitude towards summer is in many ways the legacy of my childhood at school. A quarter of the year, three delightful months filled with sun, warmth and freedom, is a whole life, unlike the routine gray half-season, a special time when you enter alone and return to school a little on the first of September. Meet your different classmates, all of whom have changed both inside and out: some with hair reaching up to the ceiling, some with sparse mustaches, some with breasts, and some with both. And you tell each other how you spent your summer, some get jealous, some not so jealous.

And they always gave a reading list for the summer, and the books on that list were often more interesting than the books in the school curriculum. Today we have four books that will be perfect for the bright sunny days and mysterious nights of your ideal summer.

Mikhail Prishvin, “The Pantry of the Sun” and other stories

It happens like this: at the dacha, on a rainy day, when there is nothing special to do, or on a sleepy afternoon, you find old books somewhere on the second floor and start looking at them, randomly opening the yellowed pages. And often the words under the worn cover suddenly resonate with warmth and you are carried away, then you look at the title, the author’s name and wonder: how come you haven’t read this book before? .

Mikhail Mikhailovich Prishvin is a famous Russian and Soviet writer who had an incredibly deep feeling for nature and depicted it in his works. Stories and tales of Pristina were almost always on summer school reading lists, but they were too hasty for young people escaping for the summer. If Pristina’s works passed you by in your youth, try to get to know him now: the dramatic “The Pantry of the Sun”, the magnificent “Ship Thickets”, the enchanting “Fox Bread”.

In Pristina, it is nice to read a book in the rain on the veranda or in the blue twilight in a rocking chair on the veranda, or on a chaise longue among currant bushes on a hot afternoon. His prose is in incredible harmony with gooseberry jam, tea from a samovar on pine cones, cool evenings and the chirping of crickets.

And no smartphone.

Ray Bradbury, Dandelion Wine

While the adults read Pristina on the veranda, the children are busy with other things: cycling down a steep slope, seeking adventure among ancient valleys, eating wild berries from bushes, generally getting their fingers and lips dirty – exploring this wonderful place is a world full of magic and discovery.

Ray Bradbury is often referred to as a science fiction writer. Although fantasy is present in all his works, from the famous “Martian Chronicles” to noir-style detective novels, it is of course a tradition due to his powerlessness to fit the diversity of creativity into a specific definition. Let’s all kill Constance and the ‘Cemetery of the Mad’.

“Dandelion Wine” is compiled from several short stories connected by time, setting, and a main character, a boy who spends the summer with his grandparents. The plots are based on Bradbury’s own memories of his childhood days, but what is important here is not the events, but the child’s direct view of the world. Everything here is magical and extraordinary: people, grasshoppers, the forest, new sneakers, a scary valley where shadows chase the unwary and boys return home from the cinema after a horror movie to make it even scarier.

“Dandelion wine is caught in the summer and bottled,” says Bradbury himself, and this literary drink, created by one of the finest wordsmiths, suits hot days as well as ice-cold prosecco.

Robert McCammon, “A Child’s Life”

If Prishvin is boring and makes you sleepy for you, and Bradbury’s style seems a little complicated, here is a real summer thriller that will not bore you or put you to sleep.

Robert McCammon is a modern classic of action-packed literature, a master of mystical thrillers and detective stories. The novel A Child’s Life was published in 1991, immediately winning the prestigious Bram Stoker Award, awarded for achievements in horror literature, the World Fantasy Award a year later, and was subsequently included in the list of required school reading in some states.

America in the 60s, a small town in Alabama, hot summers. A twelve-year-old boy and his father witness a tragic accident: A car leaves the road and flies into a lake. It soon turns out that the accident was specially staged to hide a brutal murder, and the detective plot becomes the beginning of a conspiracy full of crime and mystical adventures.

Secrets of a small town, a bottomless lake, teenagers on bicycles investigating inexplicable and terrifying mysteries, growth, friendship, love – if you are into these and have already read the entire Stephen King more than once, then “A Boy’s” Life” is the best for the summer is the choice.

A special bonus: the novel is very voluminous, so it will be enough even for 28 days of vacation for a state employee.

Vladislav Krapivin, “Dovecote in the Yellow Glade”

The theme of summer in literature is often associated with childhood and is always associated with exciting adventures. The world of childhood is full of limitless fantasies: bushes become headquarters, trees mark the boundaries of castle walls, and an old barn turns into a spaceship.

In “Dovecote in the Yellow Glade” this happens literally: the wooden dovecote becomes a portal between the control room of an interstellar cruiser and the reality of a typical country town with boardwalks, ancient churches and houses with front gardens.

Vladislav Krapivin is often called a children’s writer, but this is because the term “young adult” did not exist during the Soviet period, when most of his works fell into disrepair. Literary ideologists did not understand how it was possible to write for children and adults at the same time, and Krapivin’s novels, whose main characters were always male, were called children’s literature. In fact, this is true YA fiction, exciting, deep, sometimes tragic and brutal.

“Dovecot in the Yellow Glade” consists of three books: “Dovecote in Orekhov”, “Summer Festival in Starogorsk” and “The Boy and the Lizard”. In the first episode, an astronaut who miraculously gets on the dovecote from the spaceship meets his young friends and, together with them, faces the evil approaching the world. In each of the three chapters we find ourselves in a different version of reality: they are all similar to each other, like small towns on the banks of the Volga, but they also differ by something not very noticeable, but tangible. The trilogy unites some heroes, a single story and extraordinary adventures: there are smart robots, sinister clowns, animated statues, the defense of a besieged castle and much more that fascinates both children and adults. At the same time, Krapivin does not make any discounts for children: in his books, everything is real – friendship, love, tears, death.

And a real, adventurous, hot summer.

Summer will come for everyone tomorrow. I wish you to be successful, as in the best and most exciting books: full of bright events, exciting adventures, friendship and true love. After all, you can’t just experience summer; You have to pass it somehow and then change it.

Or at least enlarge breasts. Or moustache. Or both.

Source: People Talk

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