Summer Reading List 2014

Since the summer means beach trips, longer days, and (typically) a little more downtime than usual, so it tends to mean I get to spend more time reading. Score!

I’m a member of an awesome book club which keeps me up to speed on some of the latest and greatest in the literary world (to date, we’ve read Gone Girl, a heartbreaking memoir by tsunami survivor Sonali Deraniyagala called Wave, and B.J. Novak’s book of short stories, One More Thing, all of which have been excellent), but wanted to put together a list of a few more books to add to the line-up this season.

I’ve done a little research, and the following sound like they have the potential to be pretty great:

Looking For Alaska by John Green. As I’ve said before, I’m a big John Green fan, both as an author and as a person. (Watch his inspiring Butler University commencement address here for proof of him being an awesome person.) And I can’t wait to see the movie based on his incredible book The Fault In Our Stars. With all that in mind, it was a no brainer adding this novel to my summer list.

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What’s Important Is Feeling by Adam Wilson. I’m a sucker for good short stories, and this 12-story collection by Adam Wilson sounds right up my alley. Per Amazon, “First-person narrators tell of ambition, personal failure, and loss. People die, jobs are lost, and dreams dissolve under the grind of daily life. Wilson’s use of language can be ironic and satiric, sometimes sparkling with humor even as it stabs at the peculiarities of American culture” I’m in.

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Sleep Donation by Karen Russell. Kevin and I listened to the Audible version of Karen Russell’s Vampire in the Lemon Groves a little while back and were captivated by her storytelling. This novella, about a world in crisis when people begin to lose the ability to sleep, promises to be equally engaging and thought provoking.

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Cutting Teeth by Julia Fierro. This recently released novel, chronicling a trying Labor Day weekend of 30-something parents in Long Island, got great reviews, like this one from the Boston Globe: “Cutting Teeth sings with beautiful sentences, masterfully crafted scenes, and a deeply imagined inner life for each character…a fresh perspective on the journey of parenting that is at once modern and timeless.”

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Visible City by Tova Mirvis. This book doesn’t sound especially uplifting (it follows the stories of three New York couples who are unhappy with their lives), but I read a Real Simple review about this book that caught my eye. The reviewer noted that “through these characters’ feelings of fear, regret, and discontent, I was reminded never to lose sight of what brings me happiness.” I like that idea. So I’d like to read this book.

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Peace Like A River by Leif Enger. I’ve wanted to read this book for a while now, and I feel like this summer’s the perfect time to do it. Set in 1950s Minnesota, the narrator tells a life-changing story as he recalls it from childhood.

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Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls by David Sedaris. I like reading Davis Sedaris books. But I LOVE listening to David Sedaris read his own writing, so that’s probably the route I’ll take with this essay collection of his. I’m laughing already just thinking about it…

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Note: Alas, I can’t put Amy Poehler’s first book, Yes, Please, on my summer reading list since it comes out in October, but you better believe it’s already pre-ordered on Amazon. I love me some Amy.

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What other reading recommendations do you have for me, friends?

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