What are you reading this summer?
I have started so many posts for this blog in my head over the past few months. A post about My Age of Anxiety, which I actually finished ages ago and would probably have to reread at this point to properly write about. A post about Mary Szybist’s Incarnadine and another about Leslie Jamison’s The Empathy Exams. Then there’s that whole pile of posts about children’s books that is just waiting for me. But — alas! — time has not been on my side this year. I am in the midst of multiple major life changes happening simultaneously (leaving school! starting a business! buying a building for said business! selling a house! buying a house! moving the entire contents of one house to the other!), and so I have had to give myself over to all those concerns for now. And yet: it is still summer, and for anyone who has the itch to read, summers are sacred ground. If I have to stay up until two a.m. to sneak in some chapters, I’ll do it. There’s always coffee come morning.
Although I typically gravitate toward nonfiction essays and poetry, summers for me are just synonymous with novel reading. I started the summer off with John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars, which Jessica wrote about here. It’s been on my list since Jessica’s review, but the release of the movie finally spurred me into action. I am also aiming to read Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch, which has gotten such an amazing response, Eleanor Catton’s The Luminaries, and Meg Wolitzer’s The Interestings. But because it’s currently in my house and has been patiently sitting bedside for a good couple of years at least, Jeffrey Eugenides’ The Marriage Plot is next in line. I also like to reserve a spot for a classic novel that I haven’t read yet. I am thinking this might be the year for John Steinbeck’s East of Eden. Yea? Nay? I also would like to check out Rebecca Mead’s My Life in Middlemarch, which, while not a novel itself, is entirely about one, so it still fits the bill. I heard a great interview with Mead on the NPR Books podcast and am eager to see that book through her eyes.
What are you planning to read this summer? Please send us your recommendations! Summer is young, and our appetites insatiable.
I also really want to read My Life in Middlemarch! And you’ve reminded me to add The Empathy Exams to my to-read list. Some other names on the list, though I’m not sure which of their many books to start with: Annie Dillard, Anne Carson, Alice Munro. And my book group wants to dip into YA, so our next selection is The Hunger Games.