As summer looms, reading lists are starting to appear:
- 100 Books for your Summer Reading (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
- 10 Essential Books for a Thought-Provoking Summer Reading (The Atlantic)
- The Ultimate Guide to Summer Reading (Refinery29)
- Best Summer Books 2015 (Publishers Weekly)
- Cool Books for Hot Summer Days (New York Times Note: this list has kicked up some controversy: to wit, Slate‘s “The NYT‘s Summer Reading List is All Books From White Writers, and That’s Not Its Only Problem,” which not only lists complaints but also offers an alternative list of its own).
Here’s a list of books that are on my own list or that I would recommend for others. First the books I’ve already read and recommend:
- Revival (Stephen King). The novel follows its protagonist Jamie Morton from childhood through adulthood exploring the nature of religion, addiction, and friendship. I can’t say more without fear of spoilers, but if you like King even a little, this is a must read.
- Americanah (Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie). The story of a Nigerian woman who moves to the United States to attend college and her struggles with her own identity and her relationship to her homeland and family.
- Everything I Never Told You (Celeste Ng) The multi-generational story of a family comprised of the son of Chinese immigrants, his ambitious white wife, and their children. This book is haunting and beautiful and devastating.
- Wolf Winter (Cecilia Ekbäck) If the summer heat is getting to you, you might choose this historical novel set in the mountains of Scandinavia in the early 1700s as settlers face the harshest winter in memory while trying to figure out who or what killed one of their neighbours.
- The first two books of The Red Rising Trilogy, Red Rising and Golden Son (Pierce Brown). If you like dystopian science-fiction, do yourself a favor and meet Darrow, the protagonist of Brown’s trilogy who embarks on a journey of both self-discovery and social revolution that takes him from his home deep in the mines of Mars into the heights of his society both in society and space. I can’t do these books justice without spoiling them, so I’ll stop there.
Now for (at least part of) my own list:
- Unbecoming (Rebecca Sherm) A staff recommendation from Shakespeare & Company (A side note: Wolf Winter was also one of their recs)
- The Festival of Insignificance: A Novel (Milan Kundera)
- The Familiar (Mark Z. Danielewski) MZD has a number of fans among the ProfHacker crew, and I know we’ve all been waiting for this title with baited breath, though it’s 880 pages does give me pause.
- The Buried Giant (Kazuo Ishiguro) Long-awaited novel from the author of Never Let Me Go and The Remains of the Day, both of which I loved.
- Find Me (Laura van der Berg) If her novel is half as good as her short stories, I can’t wait to read it.
- The Blazing World (Siri Hustvedt).
Stay tuned for Open-Thread Wednesday, where we ask you to share your lists!