Summer Reading 2019: Book Culture 112

If you're anything like us, you always kind of enjoyed the summer reading you had to do in school. Luckily for you, we've found a way to turn "kind of" into "really" using one simple trick: set your own reading list! Here you'll find the books that our booksellers have decided to try and tackle this summer. This is strictly for participation credit, there will not be a test, we promise.

And if you're really feeling ambitious, check out what we're reading at Book Culture on Columbus, Book Culture on Broadway, and Book Culture Long Island City, too!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kyle

1. Glass, Irony, & God by Anne Carson: After finishing her Autobiography of Red in just a few sittings I'm inspired to follow her intensely smart and grounded whimsy into her other work.  Her writing is both so well-read and researched in the ancient world but she's unafraid to meld it with modern thought, love, and innovation.  A true documenter of the length of humanity.

2. American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis: While he can be an idiot on the issues of today, his ability to capture a specific era of a city or a moment of youth is among the best I've read. Less Than Zero was one of my favorite reads this year along with The Rules of Attraction when I was in college, so I'm excited to finally step into his messed up 80s New York.

3. L'Arabe du future 4 by Riad Sattouf: The final installment of Sattouf's playful but harrowing graphic novel series about growing up in Syria, Libya, and France was released this year and not only will it draw (lol) one of my favorite stories to a close, it will also help me accomplish my New Year's resolution of reading more French!  The first three are also translated into English - I can't recommend them enough. [Editor's note: the fourth volume will be released in English this fall!]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cara

1. System: The Shaping of Modern Knowledge by Clifford Siskin: A bit of a break with tradition for me, but it's time to more officially pursue my interest in the architecture of space (modern dancer alert, sorry!). This book explores system (for my intents and purposes, organization of space) as a genre influencing and influenced by modern knowledge, rather than as a fixed constant, which opens whole new avenues for theorizing how a body navigates space. How exciting!!!!!!

2. Sing to It by Amy Hempel: And a return to tradition--what short story collection by a wonderful female author have I not yet read? Ah yes, Amy Hempl's first collection in over a decade, adorned with a striking cover and the enticing scent of raw genius.    

3. Journey to Mount Tamalpais by Etel Adnan: I was first introduced to Adnan through her poetry collection Night, which parses life into tiny, digestible verses. Now I want to devour this essay, which promises more of her mind-melting exploration of art, nature, life, and the bleeding edges that connect them.     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nick

1. Baron Wenckheim's Homecoming by László Krasznahorkai (trans. by Ottilie Mulzet)​: I mean...a new novel from László.  What else is summer reading for?

2. Accomodations by Wioletta Greg (trans. by Jennifer Croft): I just got an ARC of the upcoming Wioletta Greg novel and (if I can wait) this will be a wonderful summer read. Swallowing Mercury was one of my favorite books of 2017, it has been a long wait for a follow up!

3. The Remainder by Alia Trabucco Zerán (trans. by Sophie Hughes):  "A coffin, a camera, a bollt of pisco." What more do you need to entice you? How about the first English translation of the debut novel awarded the Best Literary Work Award from the Chilean Council for the Arts?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Caitlin

1. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas (trans. by Robin Buss): I'm going to France this summer for a wedding (what a glamorous life we booksellers lead), so I decided it's time for me to read some classic French literature. I was deciding between this and The Three Musketeers; naturally, I went with the much longer one. After all, if you're not reading a book that doubles as a dumbbell, are you even doing summer?

2. The Old Drift by Namwali Serpell: You would think that someone who's just publically committed to reading a 1,200 page book this summer would avoid adding another behemoth to her list, but here I am! I am a sucker for a big multigenerational epic, and after reading the ecstatic reviews this book got, I was sold. 

3. Beyond the Pale by Elana Dykewomon: Those who know me will not be surprised to know that I initially pulled this one off the shelf because of the author's last name; and they'll be even less surprised to hear that, upon finding out it was about Jewish lesbian immigrants to the Lower East Side, I bought it immediately. Coming in at under 400 pages, I'll zip right through this one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zofia

1. Sex and Rage by Eve Babitz: After recently reading Eve's Hollywood, a deliciously audacious collection of essays by the brilliant Ms. Babitz, I wanted to get my hands on everything she's written. Having never read this renowned novel originally published in 1979, it naturally falls at the top of my list for my summer reading. And of course, nothing says summer reading like a tale of youth, reckless abandon, and what may come of it!

2. Under My Thumb by Rhian E Jones and Eli Davies: With the subtitle Songs That Hate Women and the Women Who Love Them, this book caught my eye while perusing the stacks quite a while ago and hasn't left my mind since. Like many modern women, I find myself contemplating the music I was raised on and how the way I listen to it changes with time. I'm not entirely sure what this book will have to offer in regards to those thoughts, but I can't wait to find out!

3. In Praise of Disobedience by Oscar Wilde: I've always been an enormous Wilde fan, but as I'm working on a wacky new piece of theatre(-ish) exploring Wilde's social significance and relationship to pop culture then and now (follow @oscaratthecrown on Instagram and Facebook to find out more!!), this particular collection of his works is just begging to be read. With in depth annotations accompanying each of the various pieces in this look at Wilde's writings from 1891, I cannot wait to dive even further into one of the greatest minds of all time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Patrick

1. America's Kingdom: Mythmaking on the Saudi Oil Frontier by Robert Vitalis: My idea for this summer is that I’ll read actual history books, not just ideological primers on how to read them. And oh, look: here's a history of the CIA team-up with America's oil companies that lead to the Saudi-US alliance, and its author is a history professor who was radicalized reading DuBois. Tasty.

2. The Life of Captain Cipriani by C.L.R. James: A summer of history allows me to do something I already really like doing: beginning with beginnings. TypeeRoderick Hudson. The original Scarface. CLR James’s first polemical biography isn’t just the on-ramp heading for Black Jacobins. It’s also a first book!

3. The Professor's House by Willa Cather: Not a first book. Not a history. A momentary curiosity brought me to “Paul’s Case” in one of those out-of-fashion anthologies that gather the great American stories in hardcover. There’s no need to wonder why I would be reading Cather. Raid your parents’ library and read “Paul’s Case!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Devon

1. Mostly Dead Things by Kristen Arnett: This debut novel is gunning for the title of 'most anticipated book of the summer'. A struggling taxidermy shop run by a protagonist who might best be described as a lesbian hot mess? Sign me the #$%& up.

2. How to Behave Badly in Elizabethan England by Ruth Goodman: Cultural historian extraordinaire Ruth Goodman's at it again! I love the way Goodman captures the spirit of an era by examining the day-to-day joys and agonies of ordinary people, or, in this case, louts.

3. Miss Marple: The Complete Short Stories by Agatha Christie: I'm a recent Christie convert and cannot get enough Miss Marple. Planning to spend at least part of this summer solving murders in St. Mary Mead with my favorite amateur detective.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Josh

1. Proxies: Essays Near Knowing by Brian Blanchfield: Memoirs and essays like this are about the only nonfiction you'll catch me reading. I heard about this collection from a good friend, briefly looked through it, and knew I would love it.

2. The Overstory by Richard Powers: This is the second year in a row that I've had a book on my TBR pile for far too long, and then it wins the Pulitzer. I'm very excited to see what the hype is about these weird connections between humans and trees.

3. My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottassa Moshfegh: I'm slow on the hype train with this one, but my fiancé was on top of it, loved it, and said there is no way I wouldn't like this book.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Katie

1. Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor: Set in a post-apocalyptic Africa with a magically gifted female protagonist, this book is right up my alley. It's also currently in development at HBO with George R.R. Martin producing, so summer feels like the perfect time to get ahead of the next Game of Thrones!

2. Die Volume 1: Fantasy Heartbreaker by Kieron Gillen: Gillen (writer of The Wicked + the Divine) has described Die as "goth Jumanji," which of course immediately hooked me. This fantasy role playing game gone wrong looks dark and decadent at the same time, and I'm dying to check it out.

3. White is for Witching by Helen Oyeyemi: I always love a big spooky old house and family mysteries being uncovered! I enjoyed Oyeyemi's Boy, Snow, Bird, and I'm looking forward to exploring her other works this summer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cody

1. Cruising: An Intimate History of a Radical Pastime by Alex Espinoza: So many amazing books have come from UNNAMED PRESS in the last couple years (I loved Arcade and Paper Man). Alex Espinoza’s Cruising is due out this June and I was lucky enough to score a copy early. It’s a history of an art performed in the shadows, across time and place, by men of all manner of backgrounds. I can’t think of a better time to pay homage than the summer of Stonewall 50.   

2. Eight Will Fall by Sarah Harian: I cannot wait to tear into this new fantasy adventure from writer Sarah Harian. In a world where magic (drawn from emotion) is illegal, eight young Empaths are tasked to kill a god in an underground realm. But as they make their descent, and the challenges get harder, it becomes clear to Larkin that they were never meant to return!
*Disclaimer: Sarah and I have known each other for a long time and I once beat her in a Lord of the Rings dice based board game in a mall in San Francisco on a choir field trip in high school.

3. Eve's Hollywood by Eve Babitz: I’ve had this stunning NYRB classic on my shelf for too long! She is a captivating character whose novels and writings are enduringly in fashion. This is the summer I read about Eve’s Hollywood, and perhaps a few others from my ‘books by someone from or generally about California’ shelf.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jenna

1. Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture edited by Roxane Gay: I want to read this book of essays this summer in hopes of finding validation and empowerment. I feel like womyn and femmes today, despite the MeToo / Time's Up movements, still constantly doubt the legitimacy of their experiences of assault/abuse.  This book is going to change the game. What grabs me most is that it's a compilation of essays, speaking to the fact that there is not one voice/perspective that determines what counts as assault.  I can't wait to talk about it with friends/family/you!

2. Three Lives by Gertrude Stein: I want to read as much Stein as I can (this summer & in general).  She's one of the few that succeeded in disrupting the boys club of English literature.  Stein dismembers the master's house using the master's tools and renders something unique & true. Anyone who accomplishes that I'd say is worth several summers of study.  

3. Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl by Carrie Brownstein: This memoir grabbed me with its first paragraph.  It's so good.  I picked this book up a year ago and have thought about that paragraph ever since.  I love Brownstein for Portlandia & Sleater-Kinney and I am psyched to finally get to experience part of her journey. 

 

Happy reading! If you're in need of more ideas, check out what we read last summer!

Glass, Irony and God (New Directions Paperbook) Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780811213028
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: New Directions Publishing Corporation - November 17th, 1995

American Psycho (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780679735779
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Vintage - March 6th, 1991

The Arab of the Future 4 Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9781250150660
Availability: Not Yet Published
Published: Metropolitan Books - November 5th, 2019

System: The Shaping of Modern Knowledge (Infrastructures) Cover Image
$22.00
ISBN: 9780262534673
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Mit Press - September 8th, 2017

Sing to It: New Stories Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9781982109110
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Scribner - March 26th, 2019

Journey to Mount Tamalpais Cover Image
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9780942996012
Availability: Backordered - Please call or email for more details
Published: Post Apollo Press - August 1986

Baron Wenckheim's Homecoming Cover Image
$29.95
ISBN: 9780811226646
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: New Directions Publishing Corporation - September 24th, 2019

Accommodations Cover Image
By Wioletta Greg, Jennifer Croft (Translator)
$15.95
ISBN: 9781945492235
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Transit Books - July 2nd, 2019

The Remainder Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781566895507
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Coffee House Press - August 6th, 2019

The Count of Monte Cristo Cover Image
By Alexandre Dumas pere, Robin Buss (Translated by), Robin Buss (Introduction by), Robin Buss (Notes by)
$16.00
ISBN: 9780140449266
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Penguin Classics - May 27th, 2003

The Old Drift: A Novel Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781101907146
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Hogarth - March 26th, 2019

Beyond the Pale Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781504052917
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Open Road Media - October 2nd, 2018

Sex and Rage Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781619029354
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Counterpoint LLC - July 11th, 2017

Under My Thumb: Songs That Hate Women and the Women Who Love Them Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9781910924617
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Repeater - October 17th, 2017

In Praise of Disobedience: The Soul of Man Under Socialism and Other Works Cover Image
By Oscar Wilde, Neil Bartlett (Introduction by)
$22.95
ISBN: 9781788730334
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Verso - November 13th, 2018

America's Kingdom: Mythmaking on the Saudi Oil Frontier Cover Image
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9781844673131
Availability: Not in Stock - Subject to Availability
Published: Verso - March 2nd, 2009

The Life of Captain Cipriani: An Account of British Government in the West Indies, with the Pamphlet the Case for West-Indian Self Government (C.L.R. James Archives) Cover Image
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9780822356516
Availability: Not in Stock - Subject to Availability
Published: Duke University Press - August 18th, 2014

The Professor's House (Vintage Classics) Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780679731801
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Vintage - October 31st, 1990

Mostly Dead Things Cover Image
$24.95
ISBN: 9781947793309
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Tin House Books - June 4th, 2019

How to Behave Badly in Elizabethan England: A Guide for Knaves, Fools, Harlots, Cuckolds, Drunkards, Liars, Thieves, and Braggarts Cover Image
$28.95
ISBN: 9781631495113
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Liveright Publishing Corporation - October 30th, 2018

Miss Marple: The Complete Short Stories: A Miss Marple Collection (Miss Marple Mysteries) Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9780062073716
Availability: Not in Stock - Available for special order
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - April 12th, 2011

Proxies: Essays Near Knowing Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781937658458
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Nightboat Books - January 4th, 2016

Staff Pick Badge
The Overstory Cover Image
$18.95
ISBN: 9780393356687
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - April 2nd, 2019

Staff Pick Badge
My Year of Rest and Relaxation: A Novel Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780525522133
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Penguin Books - June 25th, 2019

Staff Pick Badge
My Year of Rest and Relaxation Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780525522119
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Penguin Press - July 10th, 2018

Who Fears Death Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780756406691
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: DAW - June 7th, 2011

Die Volume 1: Fantasy Heartbreaker Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9781534312708
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Image Comics - June 11th, 2019

Staff Pick Badge
White is for Witching Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781594633072
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Riverhead Books - February 4th, 2014

Cruising: An Intimate History of a Radical Pastime Cover Image
$21.99
ISBN: 9781944700829
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Unnamed Press - June 4th, 2019

Eight Will Fall Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781250196644
Availability: Not Yet Published
Published: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) - November 26th, 2019

Eve's Hollywood Cover Image
By Eve Babitz, Holly Brubach (Introduction by)
$17.95
ISBN: 9781590178904
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: NYRB Classics - October 6th, 2015

Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062413512
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Harper Perennial - May 2018

Three Lives Cover Image
By Gertrude Stein, Ann Charters (Introduction by)
$16.00
ISBN: 9780140181845
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Penguin Classics - May 1990

Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl: A Memoir Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780399184765
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Riverhead Books - October 25th, 2016