OMG IT IS HOOOOOOOOOOT. Hardly surprising in summer, I know, but we’d lucked out here in the city with relatively balmy, dry weather. Then BAM! Today it’s going to be over 90 degrees (it was already 80 on my walk from the subway this morning) and so humid that every bit of clothing is sticking to me. It’s the kind of day that makes me eager to go to work just for the air conditioning!

Have you ever found that when it’s absolutely brutal out, a really well-written book set in the opposite climate can actually cool you down? I’ve just finished editing the new P.J. Parrish book, HEART OF ICE, which is set on Mackinac Island in northern Michigan–in November. The whole book is snow-ice-wind-snow-frozen lake. By the time I finished, I was wrapped in a shawl for warmth and trying to feel the ends of my fingers! Works the other way, too–nothing’s better than being curled up during a fierce snowstorm than reading a romance set on some balmy tropical isle (or in a sweltering jungle, if special ops romance is more your style!).

Summer also turns my mind to vacation, which is my best chance to read for pleasure! Whenever I go away for a week, I tell people how excited I am to read “only books with covers.” No manuscripts, no page proofs, just lovely books that someone else has worked on. Until now, I’ve been lagging in the 19th century–I would bring a tote bag full of books, and devour as many as I could. Many a hotel “library shelf” has benefited from my voracious reading habits, as I left each completed book there for future vacationers. But perhaps those shelves are destined to become a thing of the past, now that we’re in the era of the e-book. That makes me a little sad, to be honest–I love the serendipity of picking up a book you’d never thought of, simply because it was on a shelf at the beach somewhere.

What are your summer reading habits? Your favorite vacation reads? What are you looking forward to this summer?