Every summer I open a book and board the Hogwarts Express, returning to the wizarding world. For a few short months I gain the ability to travel through the story of the boy who lived. Though I wish it would never stop, the train cannot go on forever, and I am forced to exit the last page of the last chapter, closing the book for another year.
The summer holds a power over my reading life that I can't describe. Perhaps it's the result of spending too much of my childhood competing to read the most books during my public library's summer reading program. Or maybe I'm seduced by all of the shiny new lists that come out in droves every year, each website proclaiming its authority on all things books and assuring you that they have best recommendations for summer reading. But if I'm honest, it has nothing to do with nostalgia or my admiration of a good book list. It's because one summer I fell in love with Annie Proulx's Barkskins.