Summer Reading 2019: Book Culture on Broadway
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.
1. Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut: I've been wanting to read something Vonnegut for a long time now, but every time I was about to start one I would switch to a different book. I finally settled on Breakfast of Champions and it's the first book I'll be tackling this summer.
2. Feel Free by Zadie Smith: I definitely wanted something non-fiction in my list and recently a lot of people have been recommending Zadie Smith to me, and a co-worker mentioned she really enjoyed this book in specific. I am hoping that the fact that it's a collection of essays means I will get to see a wide range of her work.
3. Noir by Christopher Moore: I wish I had a better reason for wanting to read this book, but really the title just caught my eye. I read the first couple of pages and enjoyed it enough to want to add it to my list for the summer. (I am not a very complicated person.)
1. Hark by Sam Lipsyte: Recently, rather than sleep more, I’ve been gravitating towards writers that you can read even when you are very tired. Sam Lipsyte is one of those writers. You never really know where a Lipsyte sentence--or paragraph, chapter, or book--is going to go, but you can bet it will make you laugh, and you can’t laugh asleep.
2. Potosi: The Silver City that Changed the World by Kris Lane: I remember reading in Open Veins of Latin America that the wealth extracted from the Peruvian mining outpost Potosí by the Spanish Empire is equivalent to trillions of dollars in today’s money. The city was also the most cosmopolitan place in the new world circa 1600. I want to know more.
3. American Woman by Susan Choi: It's 2019, sure, but we still haven't figured out what the sixties mean. American Woman is Susan Choi's attempt to tell us, in the form of a fictional rendition of the Patty Hearst kidnapping. I recently read Choi’s new novel, Trust Exercise, which was excellent, and it made me want to circle back to American Woman, about which I may or may not have written a paper in college without reading it.
1. Orange World and Other Stories by Karen Russell: I have a confession to make: I already read this. I have to include Karen Russell here because she's just so good. Like her other collections, this is so well written it makes me forget that I really don't love short story collections. Highlights for me were "Bog Girl: A Romance" about a Scottish teenager who falls in love with a long dead girl, her body preserved in the peat (he takes her to a school dance), "Gondoliers," which, in my head, is just beautiful colors (fitting for Orange World) and "Black Corfu," a story that utilizes some of the creepier parts of Eastern European myth.
2. The Banished Immortal by Ha Jin: I've never read his fiction, but I usually like to sneak one piece of nonfiction on my Summer Reading list. This one looks too interesting to pass up, tackling the story of Chinese poet Li Po who, by all accounts, seemed like a rockstar of his age. Mystery, military rebellions, and I'm hoping a good deal of poetry comparing people to wine and moonlight.
3. Supercute Futures by Martin Millar: From the author who brought you Good Fairies of New York comes a new, Hello-Kitty inspired future. Listen, I don't love the idea of cuteness overload, but I am in for whatever Martin Millar writes. it's always weird, always snarky, always moves at a ridiculous clip. He writes like Kurt Vonnegut took speed and attempted to re-write a Neil Gaiman novel. This one is finally coming to the US in August and I'll be waiting with an unprofessional amount of impatience until then.
1. Bad Blood by John Carreyrou: Ah what could say "let's have some summer fun" more than reading about the rise and fall of Elizabeth Holmes!
2. Say Nothing by Patrick Radden Keefe: Craving some serious historical non-fiction and I think this will do the trick.
3. My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante (trans. by Ann Goldstein): I've been meaning to read this for years and I'm finally feeling that now is the time!
Happy reading! And if you're in need of more suggestions, check out what we read last summer!
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