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DISCUSSION & BOOK SIGNING: Meet local author Donna Harrington-Lueker author of Books for Idle Hours

  • Ink Fish Books 488 Main Street Warren, RI United States (map)


Books for Idle Hours focuses on the birth of the publishing phenomenon we today call the “beach read” in the last quarter of the nineteenth century.

Drawing on book reviews, readers’ diaries, and publishing records, it traces the ways in which nineteenth-century readers, authors, and publishing houses came to frame summer reading not as a disreputable indulgence, but as a respectable pastime and a welcome respite, especially for women readers. It also examines the development of a new genre—the American summer novel—which uses summer resorts as settings for the action and which was adopted by some of the most popular authors of the period, including William Dean Howells and Stephen Crane.