Summer Reading 2018: Book Culture LIC
It's finally here, our favorite time of the year: summer reading season! There's just something about the warm weather that gets us excited to get lost in a good book, whether it's a classic that we're revisiting (or finally getting to!) or that new book we've been hearing so much about. Here, then, are some of the books we're looking forward to reading this summer.
1. KL: A History of the Nazi Concentration Camp by Nikolaus Wachsmann: Is it awful of me to say that I am excited to read KL: A History of the Nazi Concentration Camps? This book is a detailed look into the formation of concentration camps and the experiences of a range of individuals. From everything I've heard about this book, I'm in for an enlightening and undoubtedly horrifying read.
2. Maurice by E.M. Forester: "Dedicated to a Happier Year", The dedication alone has me intrigued, not to mention that Forester would not let this be published until after his death. Set in Edwardian England and dealing with sexuality, class and politics it's sure to be a good one.
3. Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters: After hearing Sarah Waters speak about Tipping the Velvet on the BBC, I decided to move this book to the top of my list. I've read most of Waters other books and thoroughly enjoyed her beautiful writing and cannot wait to start this one. For some reason I'm imagining Dickens's Great Expectations but with lesbians...we'll see how that goes.
1. Lorca: A Dream of Life by Leslie Stainton: Federico García Lorca was an early 20th century Spanish poet. I picked up a used copy of this biography at a bookstore in Atlanta, Georgia in December. Though, it is huuuuge and so I never actually got a chance to dig into it. I’m hoping this summer I can.
2. Seam by Tarfia Faizullah: My best bookseller buddy Gabby lent me this and I trust her with my life. Faizullah combines poetry and interview to tell the story of Bangladeshi women who despite their government issued war hero status, are still exiled from their families.
3. Now by The Invisible Committee (trans. by Robert Hurley): This is a book of political philosophy written by an anonymous group of French activists who have published a lot of essays and books in the past decade. I’ve read their book To Our Friends, and it blew my mind! I know that Now will be even crazier because it will include responses to more current events so I’m real excited to get started.
1. Dear Cyborgs by Eugene Lim: I've only heard great things about this slender novel from Queens-based author Eugene Lim, so I've finally grabbed a copy to take to the park and devour in one sitting. Seems like just the right mix of absurd, incisive, and fun.
2. Trip: Psychedelics, Alienation, and Change by Tao Lin: Is it even summer if you don't disassociate from reality for a week or two?
3. Awayland by Ramona Ausubel: After reading the first story in the collection in which a cyclops posts his profile to a dating site, which was wholly as brilliant as it sounds, I have to finish the rest of this collection (and I can't wait).
1. Cult X by Fuminori Nakamura (trans. by Kalau Almony): Nothing screams "summer" quite like a thriller about religious cults.
2. The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner: Maybe not a beach read, but definitely an intriguing premise. I really enjoyed The Flamethrowers, so I'm interested to see how Kushner's writing has progressed since then.
3. There There by Tommy Orange: Based on what I've heard, this is a debut not to be missed!
1. The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner: I recently read an interview with Rachel Kushner about this book and it absolutely blew me away. In The Mars Room, Romy Hall is sentenced two consecutive life sentences in a California prison for killing her stalker. The Mars Room draws on prison abolitionist beliefs and questions not only the prison and criminal justice system, but the easy logic of innocent versus guilty.
2. Registers of Illuminated Villages by Tarfia Faizullah: I just finished reading (and re-reading) Faizullah's first poetry collection Seam and I'm so looking forward to combing through her newest collection. Faizullah writes with such piercing honesty and creates language where it feels like there could possibly be none. More personal than her previous collection, Registers of Illuminated Villages explores the death of her sister, an eating disorder, her faith, and sexual desire.
3. If They Come for Us by Fatimah Asghar: I've been eagerly awaiting Fatimah Asghar's first full-length poetry collection and it's almost here! Asghar is not only an incredible poet, she also happens to be the co-creator of the Emmy-nominated web series Brown Girls (check it out!) Her work explores South Asian diaspora, cycles of violence, and grapples with navigating sexuality and race as someone who was orphaned as a child. This poem alone should convince you to be hyped for the book too.
1. The Howling by Gary Brandner: Always forgot it was a book first. Like so many great things...
2. The Road to Jonestown by Jeff Guinn: Been waiting for this to come out in paperback. Time to get nuts.
3. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood: What am I doing working at a bookstore without having read this? My bad! Rectifying the situation this summer.
Recent blog posts
- Best 18 of 2018: Book Culture on Columbus
- Preorder Lisa Gornick's THE PEACOCK FEAST
- Best 18 of 2018: Book Culture on Broadway
- Best 18 of 2018: Book Culture LIC
- Best 18 of 2018: Book Culture 112th
- Columbia University Press Party
- National Book Awards 2018
- University Press Week 2018
- Q&A with author Diana Senechal
- The Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction 2018 Shortlist