Summer Shorts 37: “Booking Up” for 2019. Summer Reads.

Usually I have three to five books on the go simultaneously, all year-round. So, what makes sharing a “summer read” list such a special thing? Everyone seems to drum up their list as if it was the only time of the year they could ingest words, language, stories.

Winter reading happens of course, idyllically cozied up by a raging fire with a glass of wine. But because more people are in summer vacation mode with more perceived escape time, I guess it’s cool to dip in the pool of book reviews and discover the perfect stimulation, even if vacation is a string of morning coffee reading al fresco on weekends.

A 2016 article in Science Direct highlighted a summary abstract from a Social Science and Medicine study – A chapter a day: Association of book reading with longevity -which stated, beyond the point that book reading provided a survival advantage for older adults, that among several observations, books are protective regardless of gender, wealth, education, or health.

This would be a good time to pop in a snappy quote about the wonders of reading from some astute famous person. But I resist. Instead, here are the three summer reads tucked under my arm while I’m “booking up” for my autumnal list.

Unto Us A Son Is Given – Donna Leon

Inspector Brunetti mysteries set in Venetia are a gift that keeps on giving. Literally, as this year this was a birthday gift from a friend. If you visit Venetia sestieri as often as I have, you follow Brunetti knowing exactly where he is in each movement he makes, and sometimes if you stand in front of Chiesa San Lorenzo, you could almost swear he has spotted you from his office window.

Angels and Ages – Adam Gopnik

Subtitled A Short Book about Darwin, Lincoln and Modern Life. Unlike most biographies, this is really an essay, a mindful, brought to life today comparative study of two men, who were both born 210 years ago on the same day Feb.12 1809.

Big Mind – Geoff Mulgan

Subtitled How Collective Intelligence Can Change Our World. This I have been reading intermittently since 2018 so now starting it over again. Mulgan explores how organizations can leverage human and machine intelligence together, to better solve business and social challenges in a future that demands new ways of thinking. Geoff Mulgan is CEO of Nesta – an Innovation Foundation based in the UK. I’ve seen him speak twice in Toronto since 2012 and he’s brilliant.

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