Summer Reading Shelf

The most fun (and time-consuming) part of setting up my new apartment was unpacking about 380 books! I decided on a smaller to-be-read shelf for the new space, accompanied by a lovely photo of me and my dashing friend Sam.


Left to right:

Barkskins, by Annie Proulx
Treeborne, by Caleb Johnson
The Turner House, by Angela Flournoy
The Farming of Bones, by Edwidge Danticat
A Year in Provence, by Peter Mayle (one I re-read every summer)
Like Water for Chocolate, by Laura Esquivel (another favorite to re-read)
Five Quarters of the Orange, by Joanne Harris
Year of Wonders, by Gwendolyn Brooks
The Steady Running of the Hour, by Justin Go
The River Wife, by Jonis Agee
Pachinko, by Min Jin Lee

Summer is a fantastic time to read, and I have found myself wanting to read multiple books at once– one stays on my bedside table, one is in my school bag or the passenger seat of my car so that I can dine al fresco or take a break from coffee shop writing to read a few pages. Is there anything better than a book and a beer in the sun?

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I’ve just started Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter, and I’m drawn in by the momentum of his prose. Here’s an example:

To pitch here is to live. People pitch their kids into good schools, pitch offers on houses they can’t afford, and when they’re caught in the arms of the wrong eprson, pitch unlikely explanations. Hospitals pitch birthing centers, daycares pitch love, high schools pitch success . . . car dealerships pitch luxury, counselors self-esteem, masseuses happy endings, cemeteries eternal rest. . . It’s endless, the pitching– endless, exhilarating, soul-sucking, and as unrelenting as death. As ordinary as morning sprinklers.

The book is, so far, about movie stars and love in the 1960s in a tiny corner of Cinque Terra, Italy, with a corollary plot in contemporary Hollywood. Anyone need a fun summer read? Shop your local indie bookstore

What are you reading? What should I add to my list this summer?