The luxury of getting lost in books

Mmmm, summer! I grouse about the heat and humidity (you should have seen my hair yesterday …. ye gods), but having taken the semester off I'm positively flying through books. It's as though I've just crawled out of the desert – after days of wandering – and found a pond I've stuck my entire head in, and won't come back up 'til it's drained dry.

Relief!

I mentioned my sons are enthralled by the Tunnels series of books. I'd had the first around for months, ordered after I heard it billed as the successor to Harry Potter. I got about a quarter way through, and put it aside, likely for a school assignment. Ultimately, my son (youngest) picked it up to read for a school book report. And he was RIVETED.

This is my child who thinks video games are the reason for humanity's existence. And he loved Tunnels so much he literally begged me for the second installment in the series – Deeper. I bought it immediately, in hardback for goodness sake, and he blew through that faster than the first book. Champing at the bit for book three, I wrote and asked the publisher for a copy. Now he's reading that, but more slowly than the other two.

After my youngest fell so hard for Tunnels, he convinced my middle son to read it. Imagine a librarian (almost!) walking into her sons' room to find the two of them burrowed in books! It's a dream come true. That hasn't happened since the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books late last year.

My middle son, likewise, was riveted by the first book. By this point I was waiting by the sidelines, biting my nails. Finish already, thinks I! The book flew from his hands to mine. I started over, since I didn't everything I'd already read, and now I'm finished. I try not to sit staring at middle child, as he's ONLY HALF WAY through Deeper. I may have to use other means to get my hot little hands on it…

As you may have gathered from that little rant, this is a compelling series. Young Will Burrows and his father, a historian and archaeologist, literally dig tunnels in the earth. Their attempts vary in success, as his father uses his knowledge to locate probable sites of interest. One day, they stumble upon what appears to be a disused underground railroad station, abandoned approximately one hundred years ago.

Will, enlisting the help of his best friend Chester, spends hours after school digging around. After the two boys find themselves chased by mysterious men dressed in black, wearing hats and sunglasses, they know something is up, but not what. Soon after, Will's father disappears. Chester, naturally curious but not quite as courageous, agrees to help Will find his father, with reservations. The two soon find themselves in a predicament, taking them off on a journey long and strange, filled with danger …

I don't want to spoil the magic. Imagine the appeal for young people. Two boys of their approximate age investigate what appears to be a lost city, finding all sorts of buried "treasures" that are of curiosity rather than monetary value. With one parent lost, Will's mother inaccessible due to what may or may not be some sort of mental issues (it's spelled out more clearly in the books), and Chester's family not on the scene, the two are free to explore a lost world.

I've read, or am in the process of reading, several others. I don't want to make this a monster post, so I'll write briefly about the books I've finished in another post, and tell you I'm currently embroiled in:

The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters

Valeria's Last Stand: A Novel by Marc Fitten – Review

Sacred Hearts: A Novel by Sarah Dunant – Review

And have just checked out of the library:

The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work by Alain de Botton

Despair: A Novel by Vladimir Nabokov

Primates and Philosophers: How Morality Evolved by F.B.M. De Waal

Fingerprints of God: The Search for the Science of Spirituality by Barbara Bradley Hagerty

And, of course, the search for Deeper goes on …

And how is YOUR summer reading going?

4 thoughts on “The luxury of getting lost in books

  1. Actually the combination of summer plus a sizable TBR pile really jump starts me and I practically inhale books. So my summer reading is speeding along just nicely.
    I was always a summer luxury reader as a kid w/ school out and no homework I would hideout by the shady side of the house outside and read everything I brought back from my weekly library trip.

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  2. Yeay for summer reading!
    I think that feeling you describe about crawling out of the desert now that school is out is why I’m not yet ready for grad school. I’m enjoying staying out of the desert all year!
    Awesome to see your kids reading! That must be so rewarding.
    And then great line up of books! I’ve only read a little Nabokov — his stories and then Pale Fire — and I find him quite intriguing.
    My summer reading is still a matter of trying to finish the long dense books I have. But I’m looking forward to reading some light books this summer. It’s about time.

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  3. My summer reading is pretty much the same as my year-round reading so far. Just more books … Glad to hear about the Tunnels series, though; may have to add that to the TBR list.

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