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CGG Book Club: Summer Days & Summer Nights


Today’s entry of the CGG Book Club is all about love! Which is apt, because summer is a fun time for romance, even if spring often takes the credit for love being in the air.

Curtis Sittenfeld Eligible

First up, I recently devoured Curtis Sittenfeld’s Eligible. If you’re unfamiliar with Curtis Sittenfeld, she’s a wonderful writer – her coming-of-age book Prep still ranks amongst my faves – that’s earned particular accolades for her book American Wife, a fictional take on Barbara Bush. Her latest reworking is a unique one – a modern day retelling of Jane Austen’s legendary Pride & Prejudice. And if you don’t know that story? In a nutshell, it’s about five unwed sisters, their meddling mother who wants to marry them off to save the family estate, and a plucky heroine named Elizabeth Bennett who defies the expectations of one Fitzwilliam Darcy.

Those who’ve read (and loved) Austen’s original will especially delight in this retelling, as you see how Sittenfeld bends the original tale to suit modern-day calamities (Chip Bingley, for example, is now fresh off a season on a Bachelor-style show in his hunt for a wife, the titular Eligible). The sisters are aged up, with chill beauty Jane cresting at 40 and pursuing pregnancy via sperm donor, Liz rocking the independent working woman thing in NYC with a hotshot magazine writer job and a (pseudo) married boyfriend, Mary being a grisly possible lesbian / eternal student, and Kitty and Lydia being obnoxious millennial types, buried in their phones and doing crossfit. With Cleveland taking the place of rural England and Darcy stepping in as a wealthy, handsome, yet altogether awkward and stilted doctor, even if you know the story it’s still a trip from start to finish. The super short scene-length chapters help too, as you’ll constantly tell yourself just one more chapter! And then end up reading a dozen.

Summer Days and Summer Nights

My next book, Summer Days & Summer Nights, is pretty much the definition of a hot summer read. It’s actually a sequel to another book I featured on this blog in one of my holiday-themed posts My True Love Gave to Me. Only, it’s really not (with one exception). Intrigued? Read on!

What’s The Buzz?: This book, like its mate My True Love Gave to Me, is a short story anthology featuring a dozen stories by some of today’s brightest young adult writers. Edited by Stephanie Perkins (of the lovely Anna & The French Kiss series), the books are great if you’re into a particular author and desperate for new content between books, or if you simply like the short story medium. While all the stories in Summer Days & Summer Nights are once again about teenage love, the twist this time is the season of course. The first book centered on the holiday season, whereas the self-explanatory title of this one takes you into the lazy hazy days of summer love. Cotton candy kisses and campfire cuddles abound!

What’s The Plot?: Summer Days & Summer Nights has 12 different stories that totally run the gamut of style and concept. For those looking for an off-the-wall romance, Libba Bray’s ‘Last Night at the Cinegore’ is a genuinely terrifying story of unspoken feelings set against the possible end of the world, while Cassandra Clare’s ‘Brand New Attraction’ takes place in an eerie, semi-magical carnival. Sci-fi fans will dig Veronica Roth’s ‘Inertia’, which takes place in a surreal dreamscape, or Lev Grossman’s ‘The Map of Tiny Perfect Things’, which spins a Groundhog Day-style story. Of course, there’s plenty of classic romances that take place in typical summer settings – Tim Federle’s ‘Souvenirs’ is set in a tourist trap theme park, Leigh Bardugo’s ‘Head, Scales, Tongues & Tail’ drifts along in cottage country, Jennifer E. Smith’s ‘A Thousand Ways This Could All Go Wrong’ is tied to a summer day camp, ‘Jon Skovron’s ‘Love is the Last Resort’ centers on the guests and employees of a posh summer resort, and Nina Lacour’s ‘End of Love’ is a mix of summer school and a camping excursion. Honestly, between the writing styles, settings, and tone of each romance, there’s bound to be at least one story you love.

How Summery Is It?: Easily ☀☀☀☀/4 suns! The entire book’s only really connective tissue is the fact the stories are about love, and they’re about summer. Admittedly, compared to the Christmas entry into this short fiction anthology series, there’s definitely a bit more of a bittersweet vibe – after all, you generally associate ‘summer love’ with a short-term, temporary romance that sets sail with the warm weather. But even when the stories take a sadder approach, you’ll likely stir up some fond memories of your own summer flings.

What’s That You Say About a Sequel?: So as I mentioned above, Summer Days & Summer Nights isn’t really a sequel. Yes, both anthologies are edited by Stephanie Perkins, and yes, the conceit is the same (a dozen stories about teenage romance tied by a seasonal element). But you most definitely don’t need to one to read the other. On the plus side, if you read one and love it, chances are you’ll enjoy the other one. As a fun Easter egg, however, there is one element of clear continuity. Editor Stephanie Perkins contributed one of my favourite stories in the first anthology, about a girl named Marigold that is dealing with a grim Christmas in a new apartment. That is, until she meets a boy named North who works at a Christmas tree farm and takes the time to help her out. Well, this book picks up months after their encounter, giving you an update of where they’re at, and it’s honestly one of the best stories in the book – whether or not you read the other one!

Who Should Read This Book?: As I mentioned above, if you like short stories? Read this. If you like young adult fiction? Read this. If you liked My True Love Gave to Me? Read this. If you just want to reminisce about summer love? Well, you get the picture. You’ll enjoy Summer Days & Summer Nights, I promise!

Want to win a copy of Summer Days & Summer Nights my friends? Here’s how to enter for your shot at nabbing this easy breezy summery tome.

1) First & foremost: you must be a subscriber to the Canadian Gift Guide to enter this giveaway. It’s as simple as finding ‘The Gift of Gab’ box in the righthand column and dropping in your email or clicking follow. Then, tell me in the comments below by August 14, 2016 – why are you interested in reading Summer Days & Summer NightsAre you familiar with any of the authors that contributed to this anthology? 

2) Entries are limited to one per person / per email address / per household (or more if you score bonus entries). A random draw will be conducted on or around August 15, 2016 to select the winner, who will have 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen in their place.

3) Entries are limited to Canadians that have reached the age of majority in their province. Quebec is not eligible for this promotion.

4) Bonus Entry: Follow Raincoast Books on Twitter, tag them and me (@cdngiftguide) in a Tweet about why you want to read this book! Post a link to your Tweet below in a separate comment to earn yourself an extra entry into the draw.

5) Bonus Entry #2: Add this book to your to-read list on GoodReads, and leave a link back to the page it’s on below in a separate comment to earn yourself another bonus entry.

6) Bonus Entry #3: Follow me (@cdngiftguide) on Instagram and share the cover of this book in your own post, tagging me and Raincoast Books, telling us why you’d love to read this book. Post a link to your photo in a separate comment below to earn yourself an extra entry.

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Comments
49 Responses to “CGG Book Club: Summer Days & Summer Nights”
  1. aketch says:

    No, I am not familiar with these authors. I am very busy this summer and would love to read the short stories in Summer Days and Summer Nights.

  2. Heather Swanson says:

    A great book to read on my veranda I am not familiar with the authors.

  3. With two broken ankles I could really do with light reading

  4. Audrey Skinner says:

    I love the idea of 12 stories in one book. I am not familiar with these authors.

  5. Jennifer L. says:

    I’m looking for some good books to read at the cottage later in the summer. This would be great. No, I’m not familiar with these writers.

  6. Shelagh says:

    I’m not familiar with these authors, but after days spent running around in the sunshine with my two kids, a short story is about as long as I can keep my eyes open for, at night! This would be perfect.

  7. Lindsey says:

    I have never heard of any of these authors, but I am always looking for something new to read!

  8. Susan says:

    I read a wide cross-section of literature so I think I would enjoy Summer Days and Summer Nights. It is always great to be exposed to authors that are new to me!

  9. Joan G. says:

    I’m interested in Summer Days & Summer Nights because during the summer I love short stories – hard to find time to read a full book in a reasonable time frame. I don’t recall having read any of the authors books previously.

  10. Aimee says:

    I’m not familiar with the authors. But I’d really like to read.

  11. Sue says:

    Sounds like fun, light reading for the summer! I’m not familiar with the authors either but trust that this will be a great read!

  12. cookie3 says:

    None of these authors are familiar to me but I love the concept of a bunch of short stories in a book.

  13. Kim K says:

    I love reading short stories, thanks for the giveaway

  14. AnnieP says:

    I would love to read Summer Days and Summer Nights because it features twelve love stories which sound perfect for vacation reading. I have read books by two of the authors: Veronica Roth’s Divergent series and Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series. I would love to discover the other ten YA authors

  15. I’m interesting in this book because these type of anthologies always seem to be good – they’re also super popular. I’m familiar with Clare and Bardugo, so I’m excited to read their entries!

  16. aclily19 says:

    I’d like to read it because short stories are best for reading in the backyard. I don’t know any of the authors though.

  17. Anne Derkat says:

    I am not familiar with any of the authors in Summer Days and Summer nights but I like short stories and new authors so would love to try this one.

  18. Sue Amaral says:

    Hi there,

    Is there something I’m doing wrong when I try to enter a contest. I post my comment under “Tell me what you think” with my name and email and it doesn’t appear – even days later :(.

    Sue

    ________________________________

    • Hey Sue – the first time you leave a comment it needs to be vetted by myself! I’ve been unable to check in on the blog in a few days so apologies for the delay, your comments should show up now.

  19. intensev5 says:

    I need a good read during vacation on the beach. I love love stories. I recognize Cassandra Clare as one of the authors.

  20. Shelley N says:

    I am interested in getting this book for my sister-in-law as she adores love stories. I am not one for love stories so I would not likely read it myself.

  21. Would love to win this because sometimes I prefer quick reads over reading a series. I am a big fan of Leigh Bardugo, Libba Bray, and Veronica Roth!

  22. Anne-Marie Tvete says:

    I am a subscriber. I am not familiar with any of the authors but I would like this because I like short stories. I rarely seem to get the time to really get into a longer novel and have to keep starting from the beginning.

  23. I love a good light read. Something you can pick up and put down. Just seeing the authors names I’m not familiar with any of them. I’m better at remembering book titles than authors though.

  24. Holly says:

    I’m looking for a new book to read!

  25. diane says:

    I’m not familiar with these authors but I do like short stories so this is for me.

  26. janicour says:

    I have read Cassandra Clare’s most popular book is City of Bones .

  27. Paula R says:

    I have read City of Bones and really enjoyed it and would look forward to reading this book

  28. Paula R says:

  29. marla says:

    im interested in reading this because it sounds like a super fun read

  30. Denise Hicks says:

    looks like good reads

  31. katydidit21 says:

    I really enjoy short story collections.

  32. Erin Lewis says:

    I’m not familiar with the authors but looks like a great short story read.

  33. Jennifer Ouellette says:

    I am not familiar with the authors but love short stories i’ve been extremely busy since spring my holidays are coming up I would love to have something new to read.

  34. Silvia D says:

    I am not familiar with any of the authors, would love to read the book because it looks interesting and would be nice to have a new book to read!

  35. Jordan Oatway says:

    Even though i am not familiar with the authors I would love to read this interesting book 🙂

  36. janine willingham says:

    would love a new book for the summer read

  37. Wanda Bergman says:

    I am a subscriber. I’d like to read this because the author is new to me.

  38. I’ve devoured all of Stephanie Perkin’s novels, and I love, love, love many of the authors included in this anthology (Libba Gray, Veronica Roth, Cassandra Clare, etc.). So treating myself to these snippets of summer romance would be a nice way to take a break.

  39. doreen lamoureux says:

    I have not heard of any of the authors but I am bad with remembering names. LOL
    You got me at Off the Wall Romance….. this has my attention. 🙂
    I subscribe by email already
    dorcontest at gmail dot com

  40. Sherry K says:

    I am not familiar with the authors, but do like to read short stores, specially during the summer.

  41. litldods says:

    This book sounds great, I haven’t read any in this series but am always looking for new books to check out!

  42. Lisa S says:

    I have read Veronica Roth before and really enjoyed her. I love discovering new authors and anthologies are so great for that…

  43. Wanda Bergman says:

    I am a subscriber. I’d love to win because I love anthologies and haven’t read this one yet.

  44. aly3360 says:

    I find anthologies very exciting since they hold so many wonderful and different stories inside. I think they’re a great way to get aquainted with many authors quickly to find ones I want to read more from. I’d love to take a read through Summer Days & Summer Nights.

  45. Megan Young says:

    I am not familiar with any of the contributors but who doesn’t love a good love story!

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