Summer Reading 2022: 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.
Alina's Reading List
- Lapvona by Ottessa Moshfegh
You can always count on Ottessa to bring on the weirdness, and this one - reportedly - is her weirdest one yet. I'm ready to be taken on a wild trip with this one.
- Ghost Lover by Lisa Taddeo
Lisa Taddeo has so far explored female rage and female desire in a novel Animal and a non fiction book called Three Women. This time she's coming back with a book of short stories that are said to be fearless and ferocious . I already know I'll love it.
- The Idiot by Elif Batuman
I feel like I'm the last person on earth who hasn't yet read this award winning novel. I'm planning to finally get to it this summer as the sequel novel called Either/Or is coming out at the end of May! Sequels in the literary fiction world are so rare, I need to prepare myself for this hype train.
Felisa's Reading List
- Walking on Cowrie Shells by Nana Nkweti
This story collection is a mix of fairytale, literary realism, horror, fantasy, magical realism, and more to tell the stories of a diverse set of people connected to the Cameroonian diaspora. I am so excited to read something without really knowing what to expect from one story to the next, that keeps me off-balance, and is just an incredibly unique voice. I've heard nothing but raves about it.
- The Cabinet by Un-Su Kim
Most of what I've heard about this book can be condensed down into "bizarre reality/sci-fi that doesn't take itself too seriously, but at the same time manages to have something to say about humanity" and that really just checks all my boxes. I've had a craving for more since watching Everything, Everywhere, All At Once and this feels like it will satisfy that craving.
- The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte
I love the Bronte sisters and have been meaning to get into Anne's work for awhile. As opposed to her sisters' gothic romanticism, her prose is said to be very realist with her introducing this novel (considered to be one of the first feminist novels) with the quote, "When we have to do with vice and vicious characters, I maintain it is better to depict them as they really are than as they would wish to appear." It sounds dark and real and everything I could want from Anne.
Alix's Reading List
- Machines in the Head by Anna Kavan
I love anything surreal and vaguely obscure, and Kavan's short story collection seems to fit the bill. Plus it's sci fi, and I've been on kind of a sci fi kick lately.
- The Wild Iris by Louise Gluck
Similarly to my sci fi kick, I've also been on something of a poetry kick. I've never actually read Louise Gluck, but I love Richard Siken and she wrote the foreword for Crush, so I'm eager to dive into her stuff.
- In the Eye of the Wild by Nastassja Martin
Usually when I read nonfiction, its historical in nature. Branching out into anthropology (and from the sounds of it, memoir) is something new for me but adjacent to my interests. I don't actually know too much about this book, but I'd like to go into it a little bit blind because the little information I do have makes it sound exhilarating.
Ali's Reading List
- Lake Lore by Anna-Marie McLemore
I love the eerie, magical wonder in stories surrounding lakes. This book takes magical realism and fantasy, combines them with the other-worldly "under the lake" contrast of air above and water below, and tells the story of two non-binary teens who realize just how much those lines can start to blur.
- Only a Monster by Vanessa Len
Monsters? Check. Romance? Check. Forbidden love? Maybe...? Or maybe a team-up and take down the original crush/monster slayer sort of story? Who's to say. As someone who unironically loved Romeo and Juliet in high school (okay maybe it was because I read for the part of Juliet and my crush read for Romeo) I'm so excited for the potential ill-fated lovers' story, but with monsters.
- Life Between the Tides by Adam Nicolson
"The sea is not made of water... go to the rocks and the living will say hello." I really look forward to reading this stunning, illustrated book that is part animal rights exploration and part poetic curiosity about the world of the ocean and beyond. Taking place in the tidepools of western Scotland (my favorite country), Nicolson studies the life of creatures including prawns, mollusks, and crabs (one of my favorite animals, but don't make me pick!), using the guidance of Virginia Woolf, T.S. Eliot, Heraclitus, and more.
Mae's Reading List
- Dracula by Bram Stoker
Apparently it's hot Dracula summer and I'm the only one left who hasn't read or is currently reading Dracula. It's been on my list for a while, as a lover of gothic and fantasy lit, but now I feel I have to read it!
- Kaikeyi by Vaishnavi Patel
I've always loved mythology retellings and also books with pretty covers, and this is both! Most of the mythology I've read is European, so I'm really excited to branch out a bit.
- Sandman by Neil Gaiman
Anyone who knows me knows how big of a Neil Gaiman fan I am. I've read pretty much everything of his except the Sandman comics, graphic novels having never been my forte, and I feel it's time for me to fill this gap in my Gaiman knowledge.
Rachel's Reading List
- Either/Or by Elif Batuman
I read Batuman's novel The Idiot earlier this year and was mesmerized by how honest, funny, and smart it was. I loved living vicariously through the narrator Selin, who is navigating her freshman year at Harvard in the mid 90s, trying to better understand the world and herself. Batuman's newest novel is supposed to be a sequel of sorts, that picks up in Selin's sophomore year, so I am really looking forward to seeing how her character develops.
- Maria, Maria and Other Stories by Marytza K. Rubio
I mean, just look at that cover! But seriously, this collection sounds so cool. It's got brujería, vampires, and a "tropigoth family drama set in a reimagined California rainforest." I'm not exactly sure what that last part means, but I'm excited to find out!
- Out There by Kate Folk
I read Folk's story 'Out There' when it ran in The New Yorker and it was so strange and memorable. I've been trying to pick up more short story collections lately, so this is definitely on my list.
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