A Summer Trip with Books
The hot summer could be cool in another way!
Spring, summer, fall, and winter. Summer has come again to tell us that half of the year has passed. In Korea, summer beings in June and lasts until August. The scorching sunlight could blind us, but most Koreans long for summer throughout the year. Students and office workers all wait for their summer vacation. Summer has a surprisingly charming point everybody loves as the season of relaxation. It makes you think of the color crimson red that resembles the sunlight under the sizzling weather, but it also makes you think of the color blue that recalls the cool waves of the ocean where we go to evade the summer heat. However, people are yet careful to go on a summer vacation this year, as the pandemic remains unsolved. Then, how about going on a “book-cation (book-reading + vacation)” with books filled with the summer vibe? Following is an introduction of charming summer books that everyone can love, and that will immerse readers in the summer scent.
Season of relaxation and vacation: Summer
The entire world has begun to actively vaccinate people, but it is yet too early to go on a vacation. Reading a book instead might be a good idea to soothe the frustration. Let’s have an indirect experience through books and recall memories from past trips and happily imagine trips we will go on in the future.
While people are craving trips these days more than ever before, the book Again, Travel (Anne’s Library) eases the craving for travel while allowing readers to sneak a peek at the writer’s wisdom toward trips. The writer traveled across the world for the past 20 years from European countries, including Italy, Switzerland, and France, to Peru, Bolivia, and Morocco. The beautiful moments from his 20-year-long traveling life were put into the book with lively photos and stories. How about selecting some tourist destinations before we can finally move around the world after the end of the pandemic?
“Journey was my life, and my life was a journey.” The book Reason for Traveling (Munhakdongne) is a complete collection of the writer’s travelogues, starting from his first trip to the latest one. The writer, who most eagerly wrote and traveled, questions himself what traveling is to him, what made him travel continuously, and why he travels and finds answers to each question.
People say that summer is a season of traveling, but is there be a way to be happy without leaving home? In the book If We Could Find Happiness Without Leaving (BookLife), the writer, who used to spend half a year in Korea and the other in another country, seeks ways to control the desire for happiness lost between leaving and staying. Quoting her words, “I think of how I can be my true self while I’m staying at home,” how about finding the meaning of summer vacation at home, the place where we find happiness in our daily lives? Just reading books and chatting with our family will make our summer vacation happy enough. A happy summer vacation could be right next to us.
Again, Travel, Reason for Traveling, If We Could Find Happiness Without Leaving
Inside our summer
How is summer used in works, and what feelings does it give?
The protagonist of the book Broken Summer (EunHaengNaMu Publishing) is a successful artist who recorded the highest auction price for his work on his birthday. However, his wife went missing on the same day, and he came across a novel she wrote while looking for her. The story begins here. Two close families who have become murderers and victims turn their backs on each other. The truth will be uncovered as a tale of revenge is set in motion against the backdrop of the incomprehensible powers of life – love and hate, will and fate, and coincidence. The story says that lost time can’t be recovered and asks what painful truth means to an individuals’ life. Let’s unravel the truth behind the summer 25 years ago, which the main character wishes to forget.
The Fourth Summer (Maum Seojae (Sam &Parkers)) is a Korean-style mystery thriller that will blow away your hot summer. The story tracks the hidden secrets going back and forth from the past and the present centering around two main cases. The case begins when Hae-Shim, a prosecutor specializing in sex crimes, gets a shocking phone call that his dementia-stricken father tried to rape an old lady. Animal instinct tells Hae-Shim that this is not a simple case, and he digs into his father’s past, looking for clues. The entire story pulls readers into the truth of what happened on that day and of the two sex crimes that are somehow alike and different at the same time. It lets readers realize that truth may not be visible with our eyes and that humans’ terrible, naked self, hidden deep inside, is another nature.
Meanwhile, the book Remember Our Summer (Woori School) is a young adult fiction featuring a coming-of-age story akin to the freshness of summer. San-Ha, who majors in video-making at a specialized high school, goes to a remote village by the mountain during the vacation and encounters Jung-Seo, a boy who lost his childhood memories. She goes step by step toward the mysterious story of the forest through his secrets. Let’s think about the meaning of sincere trust and understanding in this era while watching San-Ha and Jung-Seo build a friendship across different backgrounds.
Broken Summer, The Fourth Summer, Remember Our Summer
Readers tend to look for genre literature that can chill out the hot summer, such as mystery and horror.
Picture books about summer, which is just around the corner
Red sun, cool ocean, black sunglasses, and brown sandcastles. What would our summer be like in pictures?
Summer Vacation (Kookmin Books Co., Ltd.) is a picture book about an elephant family having a fun summer vacation on the one and only annual holiday from the zoo. The daddy elephant, swamped with a heavy workload, blows out air through his nose and sends his family to the sandhill on the beach. But not so long after, the family misses the daddy elephant. Would the elephant family be able to spend an exciting summer vacation altogether? Let’s read Summer Vacation, a picture book about a family’s love, a cozy summer vacation and the funny subject of snoring.
Meanwhile, My Summer, (Gloyeon) lets readers take a new perspective towards moments in life, when everyone is exhausted from the summer heat. The comma in the title means “pause.” It makes readers realize that dense trees are for shade to rest under, and the changed viewpoint towards the scorching heat becomes a red palette in the body. The thick, straight raindrops add beauty to memories forgotten due to the hot summer and let people think about the valuable meaning of summer through the change of viewpoint.
Another book, Granny’s Summer Vacation (Changbi Publishers, Inc.), offers both warmth and freshness. On a hot summer day, grandmother unexpectedly gets to enjoy a cool summer vacation through the conch her grandson gives her. The author contrasts grandmother’s house where she spends most of the time in daily life and the ocean for vacations, making the expressions throughout the book impressive. The wide-open composition and clear colors of the ocean, fine sands, and the grandmother's moments of relaxation and consolation are delivered to the readers, chilling the fiery hot summer.
Summer Vacation, My Summer,, Granny’s Summer Vacation
Summer in picture books is drawn differently depending on how the author imagines – it is sometimes cool, sometimes fresh, and sometimes warm.
There are a number of good spots to go on a “book-cation” in Korea. Regional libraries can be found in each town, not so far away, and numerous book cafes and unique bookstores are also waiting for customers where you can read books while enjoying a refreshing tea time. As the pandemic has given birth to various options such as “book-cations” offered by hotels and also online, you will be able to have an upgraded summer vacation this year. How would your summer “book-cation” be drawn in pictures, and in what colors?
Written by Lee Ji-Hyeon