Okay, now that you’ve recovered from Canada Day festivities, it’s time to start planning beach dates and weekends at the cottage! Can you guess what the common denominator is for all summer excursions? If you guessed beer, you’re probably right, but we’re thinking books and plenty of ’em! And with the newly opened Fort York Library right next door to Library District, you have no excuse to not read more this summer!
Take a gander at our summer reading list so far.
The Vacationers, Emma Straub: Everyone needs a beach read in the summer, and a beach read about people going to the beach is even better. This book follows the Post family on their trip to Mallorca, one of Spain’s Balearic Islands (not as party-centric as Ibiza, but still a hotspot). Their tapas and tennis excursions are a welcome change from their Manhattan lives and all the stress that comes along with them, but like any other good beach read, there’s lots of family drama in this book. Can you say family secrets?!
This is Where I Leave You, Jonathan Tropper: This is one of those books that makes your family look sane, regardless of how screwed up you think they are. The book follows the Foxman family as they sit shiva for the family patriarch for an agonizing 7 days. Having the kids and their eccentric mother under one roof for a full week equals some awkward, hilarious, and relationship-testing scenarios. The characters – including a Howard Stern-esque shock jock who stole the main character’s wife – are memorable, and the fact that the book is being into a movie with Jane Fonda, Jason Bateman, and Tina Fey makes it all the more worth reading.
Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, Jenny Lawson: Who says social media people are boring? Not us. Blogger Jenny Lawson recounts her ridiculous childhood growing up in rural Texas, and while you might think some of the stories (taxidermied rats! Farm animals following her to school!) are fake, she provides photo evidence to prove it all really did happen. Definitely the biggest laugh out loud book of the past few years, and a must-read for anyone who thought their parents were embarrassing. Trust me, compared to Lawson’s parents they were a walk in the park.
Wild, Cheryl Strayed: This book made the book club rounds a couple years ago, but if you didn’t read it then now’s your chance to sneak it in before Reese Witherspoon plays the author on the big screen. The book is a memoir of the author’s time spent hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, but more importantly it’s a reminder that your summer camping trips should involve more “glamping” and less giant 100-pound backpacks. A great read for all the wannabe adventurers out there, or anyone who wants to walk on the wild side without leaving their lounge chair.
The One and Only, Emily Giffin: This book is the latest from chick-lit bestselling author Giffin, but it’s a bit heavier than the usual fluff. It ties in one girl’s love for sports and an old crush, and we’re not kidding when we say old. You’ll find yourself really relating to the main character and cheering for her through her ups and downs. Also, we like to consider ourselves really clever and can usually guess where the story’s going, but were surprised with how it ended and we know you will be too. It’s a quick read, perfect for the beach!
Boy, Snow, Bird, Helen Oyeyemi: Grab this book if you like fairy tales – because this is an interesting and fascinating echo of the classic Snow White story. Secrets within secrets, plots within plots, it’s a story that will have you wanting to tell all your friends to read but not sure of what to tell them because it’s a little confusing. Nonetheless, we couldn’t put it down! We also didn’t like the main character, Boy, but we won’t tell you anymore. This read requires a little bit of your focus because of the many different plots and mysteries so save it for a rainy day at home.
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, Gabrielle Zevin: This book was written for anyone who loves books, has worked at a bookstore or a library and understands the love someone has for books. It’s a bit of a sad book but it still makes you happy at times, and you can’t help but fall in love with A.J. Fikry, the story’s protagonist. Actually, you’ll end up falling in love with many of the story’s characters, if not all of them. It’s just the way that Gabrielle Zevin writes! It’s a bit of romance, a bit of adventure and gives plenty of reference to literary figures like Edgar Allan Poe.
Did we miss any great summer reads for 2014? If we did, let us know below or on Twitter! We might do a part two of this summer reading list in August!