Writing is like being able to put life into a snow globe. It takes the things that are too big and scary and reduces them into a form that I can put away when I want and look at from a distance. It also takes all that’s good in life and captures it into something I can take out when I want and look at close up and keep forever. It makes the bad things into something I can hold…and the good things into something I can hold onto. Both help so much that I need that little souvenir of life.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Improper Poll: Summer on a Shelf

Val the Victorian recently mentioned the books we read every summer. This, and Ray Bradbury’s recent death, reminded me I haven’t recently read the book that is to me the consummate book of summer, Dandelion Wine. In fact, it’s quite possibly my all-time favorite book. What’s odd is that I can never remember exactly what it’s about—just the feeling it gives me, the taste of it. Each time, I get something new. To me that book is as magical as summer itself.

I had no idea there was a film in the making until I looked for pictures. A movie could be wonderful, but the true beauty of this book is in the poetic writing.

The dandelion wine is truly a taste of bottled summer, “…the balm of sun and idle August afternoons, the faintly heard sounds of ice wagons passing on brick avenues, the rush of silver skyrockets and the fountaining of lawn mowers moving through ant countries, all these, all these in a glass.”

The yearly dandelion wine is “summer caught and stoppered” to be put on shelves “…row upon row, with the soft gleam of flowers opened at morning, with the light of this June sun glowing through a faint skin of dust” so that in the winter, “…snow melted to grass, the trees were reinhabitated with bird, leaf, and blossoms like a continent of butterflies breathing on the wind.”

Alas, the book was over far too quickly.  I might just take it out again in winter. To be read in little sips. What’s your favorite summer read?


  1. Earlier this summer I read "The Hunger Games" and the two other books in the series. Are they books I can envision reading again? Probably not.

    I am blown away by the poetry of Bradbury's lines. I can see why it's a favorite.

  2. Alas, I now have too many books stacked up awaiting my time-constrained eyes. But another old favorite I used to re-read every summer was A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.

    There's something summery about Francie sitting on the fire escape, a glass of water and bowl of peppermints by her side, cracking open a book out of alphabetical sequence in her quest to read every tome in the library.

  3. I'm not sure about "summer favorite" but I am reading Picoult's - Sing You Home, then next will be Between the Lines. I just read a memoir, Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? and a favorite children's book I just read (it became one of my favorites after reading it) is: Crazy Hair by Neil Gaiman (the guy who spoke at that University)... he writes all kinds of things. Sorry, this is kind of long. But I'm definitely going to add Dandelion Wine to the reading stack!

  4. Though I haven't read if for a long time, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn popped into my mind too, even before I read Val's comment. I think that I am going to need to find a copy of it.

    Right now, I am reading through a pile of Friends of the Library books that cost me .50 to $1.00. I bought about 20 of them; fun cheap and I am learning so much.

    I'll keep my eyes open for Dandelion Wine though, Tammy. Thanks so much for stopping over to say hi.

    Kathy M.

  5. Sioux, I'm one of those adults who loved The Hunger Games series. I would definitely reread them!

    Val and Kathy, I've never read it! Added to The List....

    Lynn, am getting ready to start my first Picoult. And have 3 memoirs stuck to my computer via Post-It. What's one more? I love children's books, too!

  6. Oh, I sooo want to read this book! Sounds delicious! And you, my writing friend... "to be read in little sips." You've got your own magic ; )

    Me, on the other hand? I'm reading "Fifty Shades" HA!

  7. He certainly knows how to paint a visual, doesn't he? Lovely.
    As for a summer read...I started Cheryl Strayed's Wild. It's got me hooked.

    Critter Alley


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