Best Of: Summer Reading
I get a little jealous of high school students every time I pass the summer reading section at Barnes and Noble (which, yes, if you’re wondering is fairly often). Color me nostalgic, but I’m always in the market for a good book recommendation, mandatory or not. Unless, of course, that book happens to be Moby Dick- in which case I would sooner subject myself to reading The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Computer Programming.
In the spirit of literary enlightenment, I’ve rounded up a short list of this season’s most buzz worthy books:
1. “How Should a Person Be?: A Novel from Life” by Sheila Heti
Shout out to every person who still buys those weird, paper bound things formerly known as books for turning me on to this novel. I’ve seen countless commuters toting this vibrant red book all over the city. After her marriage falls apart, the narrator re-examines, through new love and artistic experience, a way to build her life up once again. An innovative and refreshingly relatable read, this book is impossible to put down.
2. “Wild (From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail” by Cheryl Strayed
Read this if only because Oprah told you to. This memoir chronicles the author’s solo hike from California to Washington after overwhelming life circumstances prompted her to do so.
3. “Gold” by Chris Cleave
Cleave, already infamous his hauntingly poetic novels Incendiary and Little Bee, is releasing his newest book this July. This is a story whose backdrop coincides with the 2012 Olympics, but is rooted in a familial context that is sure to be emotionally gripping.
4. “The Beginner’s Goodbye” by Anne Tyler
Simultaneously funny and poignant, this novel reflects on human losses and finding a way back from grief.
5. “The Next Best Thing” by Jennifer Weiner
Weiner’s latest novel, available in early July, is sure to be a compulsive read. With her signature blend of humor and humility, Weiner’s characters and plots 3never disappoint.
I promise all of these are easier to tackle than Melville’s whale of a novel (ha- see what I did there?) and will be great companions on those long, low-key summer nights.