I’m a seasonal reader. There are books I would love in winter that absolutely will not do in summer! With the end of our school year approaching on Friday, I’m craving books that are light and deep. A splash of humor could also be warranted. Seemingly impossible to meet all these demands, I assure you that it can be done. These are the ten books you want in your beach bag this summer!
The Girl Who Never Read Noam Chomsky by Jana Casale
College student. Writer. Coffee shop. Boston. I loved this book from the first page when Lena is trying to flirt with a guy in a coffee shop and is incredibly awkward about it. The start of the novel made me grateful to be far past my early 20s, the time of trying on various personas before finally settling into your own skin and becoming fully yourself. The novel follows Lena through the rest of her life, almost achieving a birth to death arc. It’s full of humor and enough literary references to fill my soul to the brim!
You Think It, I’ll Say It by Curtis Sittenfeld
This is the beach read for smart people! It’s a collection of short stories that will make you laugh and yet are relevant and true. Curtis allows readers to glimpse into the lives of interesting people at posh parties, in taxi cabs, and at yoga studios. It is a book of short stories for readers convinced that they hate short stories!
State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
The book that made me love Ann Patchett, a book I’ve read four times, and the first selection for my summer book club this year! Dr. Marina Singh travels into the Amazon after hearing about the death of her fellow researcher who was trying to discover the status of a fertility drug under development by their company. Her path crosses with Dr. Annick Swenson, a former mentor and adventures happen. Many people hated the ending, but I found it absolutely perfect!
Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan
Manhattan Beach, by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jennifer Egan, begins with the great depression and then drops readers into World War II. Anna is twelve at the start and lives a split life- at times accompanying her father on mysterious business deals and staying at home with her mother and severely multiply impaired sister at others.
Suddenly, we are in World War II. Anna’s father has disappeared and she fights back by working in a factory, taking care of her sister, and trying to become the first female diver. Ghosts from her past reemerge as she tries to connect the dots and determine what actually happened to her father. She is the truest example of grit!
This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel
A lovely story about a family doing life the very best they know how. I won’t tell you more, just read it!
Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burnes
One summer, 14-year-old Will’s grandmother dies and three weeks later his grandfather announces that he’s getting married. Not only is he getting married, but the woman is half his age! Of course, the entire town starts gossiping about the marriage and the story is both hilarious and touching.
Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
Gilead is a book well loved by President Obama and is one to read with a pen in hand as the language is musical and the quotes are numerous. Gilead is a letter from an old, dying man to his young son- only seven at the time of the letter. If you like this book, there are others in the series although any of them could also be a stand along novel- I actually read Lila first!
The Secret History by Donna Tartt
A murder told in reverse. A group of classics students at an elite, East Coast college commit a murder, but why? Every person I’ve gotten to read this book has loved it!
The River King by Alice Hoffman
I haven’t read this novel since AP English, but I’ve always had a secret desire to attend boarding school and absolutely love any novel that takes place at one. Along the same lines as “The Secret History”, a body is found at a prestigious boarding school and the whole town becomes involved trying to discover what happened.
Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
Last but not least, summer is the perfect time to re-read the Harry Potter series. I assume this needs no further explanation 😉
What books do you recommend for summer?