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A dose of something light to bring levity to your summer reading

The Sunday Salon.com

A week or two ago, this woman asked me for recommendations on a light read. She said her book club always chose books on heavy subjects and needed a dose of something light to bring levity to her summer reading. I happened to be in the R’s, and my attention was immediately brought to Tom Robbins, even though our library doesn’t have my favorite by him:

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However, we do have several others by him, including Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas, which I thought might be a good start for her. I did warn her that he was, and is, “quirky” and a bit “off-beat” because I didn’t know if she’d appreciate his penchant for including lesbian scenes in his books (dude did write Even Cowgirls Get The Blues after all, which included multiple lesbian scenes). Qualifier: His books aren’t always about lesbians (in other words, that’s not the central part of the plots) and if they were, so what? You don’t have to read them, if you don’t like them. But folks in our small, insular community sometimes have their prejudices and I don’t want to rile them…well, not too much anyway.

So with those caveats, this past week she started toward me with one of his books, Jitterbug Perfume, in her hand. I thought she might be getting ready to attack me, because I had introduced her to something she considered “depraved.” Instead, she thanked me, which naturally made my day (one of those moments I thought, “Hey, this is why I’m doing this for minimal pay”) and also got me thinking about “light” reading.

What do you recommend when someone asks for a “light” read? What authors or books come immediately to mind? Today, I’ll be reading one of my favorite “light” authors (well, sometimes anyway), Donald E. Westlake, as I continue my way through his Dortmunder series and will be reading the 12th in the series, Ā Watch Your Back!. And last but not least, what are you reading today? Light or otherwise?

Also in the “light” category, I’ll be making my way through today’s Sunday Salon posts and also the Sunday Weekend Spotlight posts over at StudioThirtyPlus.

For today’s Moment of Zen, I’ll leave you with this song from the late Dan Fogelberg, which was based on a chapter in the book pictured above:

Peace out, y’all. Holla.

16 responses to “A dose of something light to bring levity to your summer reading

  1. Pingback: Book Review Blogs « Allison's Book Bag

  2. Hmmm–Tom Robbins isn’t literally on my shelf. šŸ˜› That would be weird. Thinking that Skinny Legs and All will be the next I read by him. Read it?

  3. Pingback: What Are Your Unexpected Reading Discoveries? « Allison's Book Bag

  4. Can I tell you how thrilled I am to see Tom Robbins on the blogosphere? He’s one of my favorite authors (despite not having read anything in about 8 years–last read Still Life) but I’ve only seen one other blogger talk about him in four years.

    Wouldn’t consider him light, though. Does that make me dumb? :-/ He books seem so heavy on the metaphorical that I feel I have to really pay attention or else I’ll miss some little gem in the writing. I loved Jitterbug Perfume–maybe my favorite. I really need to pull him off the shelf…

    • You can tell me how thrilled you are…oh, wait, you did, didn’t you? šŸ™‚ Nope, doesn’t make you dumb to not consider him light. His books can be heavy in that way, but as for the subject matter, they’re pretty light.

      You have Tom Robbins on your shelf? I’m watching Futurama. Somehow I imagine his head in a jar…weird. šŸ˜‰

  5. Pingback: What Are Your Favorite Reads? « Allison's Book Bag

  6. Anything “The Sweet Potato Queens” does it for me. I can pick up any of their books and be guaranteed a laugh out loud moment. Plus, they are more a series of essays anyway, so starting and stopping is never an issue.

  7. I always think of the Stephanie Plum series for light reads – but can’t recommend it to everyone because of language, racy scenes, and Stephanie’s sidekick being an “ex-ho” – her words, not mine. šŸ™‚ But they are full of hysterically funny characters and a hot love triangle. They’re brilliant on audio, too.

    Today, I finished Blackout by Connie Willis (so glad I have All Clear waiting on my shelf to start soon, as Blackout didn’t end so much as just….stop). I’m also reading The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness and The Soldier’s Wife by Margaret Leroy.

  8. I have to say that I’ve never read any Tom Robbins. So that’s just something else for me to check out.
    I agree with Hillary, for whatever reason, I think of chick lit when I think or light reading, or I think of some childhood classic, like Ronald Dahl or something like that. Who knows why.

  9. I dont know if it is just me but when I think of Light reading I think along the lines of chick lit and romances. I will now have to read that book since you got it into my head lol.

  10. I’m surprised she didn’t swat you just for being the instigator that you are. LOL! I have been surprised by how many people have enjoyed things I’m sure would have offended them. Best never to assume.

    I’ve been looking for lighter reads myself with my job getting pretty stressful. My current read, The Family Fang by Kevin Wilson, is pretty fun thus far.

  11. For light reads, I generally refer people to Cecelia Ahern or Sarah Addison Allen. (Bonus: both in the As, so no need to go too far!) With Ahern, her earlier books are better than the latter offerings (in my opinion).

    • I feel really out of it because I’ve never heard of either one of them. Now I’ll have to look them up when I go to the library. Thanks for broadening my horizons. šŸ™‚