My turn

Summer is a time for recreation, relaxation and readihg

2013-07-21T00:00:00Z Summer is a time for recreation, relaxation and readihgBy Bill Vargo Times Columnist
July 21, 2013 12:00 am  • 

I marked it on my calendar, June 19, the day the yard looked perfect. It won’t get any better than this.

We had another week or so of good, wet weather and as quickly as you can snap your fingers, Mother Nature just turned off the spigot. No more rain, no more cool nights, just plain hot and hotter.

All of this brings me to the main point of this rambling - reading. My family will find time this summer to visit the Highland branch of the Lake County Public Library, probably three times a week.

There, we will find books and videos, of course, but also the paperback exchange and a selection of books and magazines for sale. I’ve picked up a few of those over the last year or so, even finding a selection by one of my favorite authors, Mitch Albom.

There is a section of classic novels near the front that I find it fun to look through; a sort of challenge to me to see how well-rounded I am. The short answer is that I am not as well-rounded as I thought I was.

When I come home to a cool house and an hour of uninterrupted solitude, I put the ceiling fan on and position myself near the air conditioner vent. Then I devour whatever reading material I can find.

I am currently reading David Donald’s book "Lincoln," about the 16th president’s struggles through the Civil War, keeping his nation and his political allies from tearing each other apart.

Then I will read something light, probably Elizabeth Berg or Tom Robbins. The point is to use these lazy days of summer, when there is no homework to check and no grass to mow (it isn’t growing anyway), to expand your horizons.

We participate in the summer reading challenges for my youngest son, Sam. Really, he doesn’t need encouragement to read, he is never very far from a book or a comic. The very act of keeping his mind active throughout the summer will continue to build his vocabulary and lead to in school. He has his own pile of books, a pile that never goes down, just gets rearranged.

Sam and Matt will soon pull us along to the new Griffith branch library on 45th Avenue. Matt will go directly to the videos, probably World War II titles, while Sam will head for the books on animals or whatever strikes his fancy.

I’ll find the New Release section and probably be intrigued by some book I hadn’t heard of yet. On the best seller list now are some interesting titles. The Astronaut Wives Club by Lily Koppel chronicles the 50 year friendship of the wives of the Mercury Seven astronauts. I would probably pick up the The Boys in the Boat by Daniel Brown about a group of University of Washington rowers training for the 1936 Berlin Olympics.

All told, I will have to reluctantly pass on all of the new titles and settle for writing the titles on a scrap of paper that I will carry around with me for months afterward. I’ll eventually get back to each title.

I have to go, I have a few pages left and a stack of other books to get through before summer is over.

The opinions are solely those of the writer. He can be reached at

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