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.

And if you're really feeling ambitious, check out what we're reading at Book Culture on Columbus, Book Culture 112, and Book Culture Long Island City, too!











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!

Breakfast of Champions: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385334204
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Dial Press Trade Paperback - May 11th, 1999

Feel Free: Essays Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143110255
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Penguin Books - February 5th, 2019

Noir: A Novel Cover Image
Email or call for price
ISBN: 9780062433992
Availability: Backordered - Please contact us for more details
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - April 2nd, 2019

Hark Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781501146060
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Simon & Schuster - January 15th, 2019

Potosi: The Silver City That Changed the World (California World History Library #27) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780520280847
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: University of California Press - May 28th, 2019

American Woman: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780060542221
Availability: Available for Special Order - Usually ships in 3-5 Days
Published: Harper Perennial - September 7th, 2004

The Banished Immortal: A Life of Li Bai (Li Po) Cover Image
By Ha Jin
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ISBN: 9781524747411
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Pantheon - January 15th, 2019

Supercute Futures Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780349419343
Availability: Not in Stock - Subject to Availability
Published: Piatkus - August 27th, 2019

Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup Cover Image
ISBN: 9781524731656
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Knopf - May 21st, 2018

Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385521314
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Doubleday - February 26th, 2019

Staff Pick Badge
My Brilliant Friend: Neapolitan Novels, Book One Cover Image
By Elena Ferrante, Ann Goldstein (Translated by)
ISBN: 9781609450786
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Europa Editions - September 25th, 2012