Summer Reading

As anyone who knows me will attest, reading is my favorite thing to do.  Talking about books is a close second.  We are spinning into that season that seems synonymous with reading, and I’m eager to know what is on your bedside table.  Please share books you’ve recently read and loved, and what is next in your queue.

I’ve been reading a lot of fiction lately, and also I finally read – and adored – Cheryl Strayed’s WildDani was not wrong when she said it was going to be a huge book, and one that would touch people deeply as well.

My stack currently holds the following but I would really love to know what you recommend:

Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury (I worship the man, and somehow, oddly, have never read this)
The Selected Poems, Wendell Berry
I Couldn’t Love You More, Jillian Medoff
Virgin Time, Patricia Hampl
The Writing Life, Ellen Gilchrist
Memory Wall, Anthony Doerr
Gone, Cathi Hanauer

I can’t wait to hear what you’re reading!


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26 Comments

  1. Posted June 18, 2012 at 4:57 am | Permalink

    Oh… I’m reading Wild right now. What an amazing book. But after that, I’m dying to hear what other readers have to say! I am leaving for the beach soon, and always feel such pressure to choose just the right book. Not too hard, not too easy, page turner?

  2. Posted June 18, 2012 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    I’m so glad “Memory Wall” made your list! I just loved it. I think I’ve already give you my list, but I just finished and really enjoyed “Imagine: How Creativity Works.” “Running in the Family” is next in my pile, as is “Quiet,” which I just gave to Maikael for Father’s Day. “Wild” has been on my list for awhile.

    admin Reply:

    Adored both Quiet and Wild. I suspect you will too!

  3. Posted June 18, 2012 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    I’m reading the Mistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin and it is fabulous. Of course now I want to check out Wild, lol.

  4. Posted June 18, 2012 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    I just finished Poser: My Life in Twenty-three Yoga Poses by Claire Dederer. Whether you practice yoga or not, it’s a great read and definitely falls into that “not too fluffy, not too heavy” kind of category. The author seamlessly weaves together stories from her current life as a wife, new mom and writer with stories from her childhood, all through the lens of her yoga experiences. It’s funny, honest and easy to relate to.

    admin Reply:

    I loved Poser too and totally agree with your characterization of it!!

  5. Posted June 18, 2012 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    That’s a great list. I need to add WILD to mine.

    My pile currently includes:
    THE CARE AND HANDLING OF ROSES WITH THORNS,
    STATE OF WONDER, THE ENCHANTMENTS, RESTORATION, and THE UNVANQUISHED.

    Happy Reading!

  6. Posted June 18, 2012 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    Highly recommend a novel called The Good Father by Noah Hawley. I just couldn’t put it down.

    Am reading Capital by John Lanchester right now and love this one, too. I’m totally hooked.

    And don’t forget about The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D by Nichole Bernier. Another great read!

    In my pile are Canada, Arcadia, The Underside of Joy, and many more. Happy reading, Lindsey.

  7. Posted June 18, 2012 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    I just finished Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn which was, and I am not exaggerating, one of the best mysteries I have ever read (and I have read my fair share). If you love a twisted tale where nothing is as it seems, this is definitely a book for you. I am also on a bit of a nonfiction bender these days. I just finished The Nine (Jeffrey Toobin), and loved it so much that I had to buy the rest of his books too, so on my nightstand are Too Close to Call, A Vast Conspiracy, and The Run of His Life. Also there and waiting to be read are all 13 books in Vince Flynn’s Mitch Rapp series. I have a major weakness for CIA spy novels. What can I say…my tastes are pretty eclectic 🙂

    admin Reply:

    I love eclectic tastes! I went through a science fiction phase and people were always surprised to hear that – but I think there’s a lot of value in trying different genres!

  8. Posted June 18, 2012 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    I just finished WILD. Let it be, indeed. Her intense brand of wild thoughtful honesty is a treasure and a gift.

  9. Susan Todd
    Posted June 18, 2012 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    Just finished Silver Sparrow, The Underside of Joy, The Statististical Probability of Love at First Sight, Father of the Rain, and The Story of a Girl – all of which were very good. Currently reading The Lost Memory of Skin, which is really making me think!

    admin Reply:

    I loved the Underside of Joy. Will check out the others!

  10. Connie
    Posted June 18, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    I am reading Gone Girl and loving it… just hate that I actually have to get some sleep at night, otherwise I could read it in one sitting.

  11. Posted June 18, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    I am so flattered that you included I COULDN’T LOVE YOU MORE on your TBR list! I love your website and refer to your reviews often to see if we agree (I am a HUGE fan of Darin Strauss and in fact met him for the first time last month. How great is HALF A LIFE?). We (you and me, not me and Darin) also have a lot in common: I moved around a lot, I’m a natural redhead (I color it brown b/c the red is brassy and turns orange/gold, which is heinous), my daughter is almost ten, my writing is overtly honest, and I’m obsessed with reading. I recently read WILD, and thought it was remarkable. I’m currently reading GONE GIRL and love, love, love it. Here’s my TBR list:
    1. The Forever Marriage by Ann Bauer
    2. Arcadia, Lauren Groff
    3. State of Wonder, Ann Patchett
    4. Beyond the Beautiful Forevers
    5. The Uninvited Guests
    6. Let’s Pretend this Never Happened
    7. In One Person, John Irving
    8. Home, Toni Morrison
    9. Canada, Richard Ford
    Again, thank you for including me. I’d love to hear what you think of the book.
    Yours,
    Jillian

  12. Carey
    Posted June 18, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    Light Years by James Salter. A stunning novel about a marriage and the passage of time…some of the most gorgeous, breathtaking prose I’ve ever read. This book really stayed with me and is a book I’ll return to. A lot of the writers I admire, including Jhumpa Lahiri, cite it as a powerful influence on them and their work. I also recommend Come to the Edge by Christina Haag, a beautiful memoir of her relationship with JFK Jr.

  13. Posted June 18, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    I tend to do my annual re-reads in the summer. So I will re-read THE ONCE AND FUTURE KING, by T.H. White, and POSSESSION, by A.S. Byatt — my two favorite books. My daughters and I will also read the LITTLE HOUSE books together again. Since one of my girls is 17 and the other is 15, I feel like this is a major coup!

    My list also includes:
    MISTRESS OF THE ART OF DEATH
    MASON’S RETREAT
    IODINE
    A WORLD UNDONE
    CITY OF FORTUNE
    IF WALLS COULD TALK

    I just need to stop — this list could go on forever!

  14. Posted June 18, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    Yeah! I really love posts and comments like these! I’ve already commented but wanted to respond about Poser which is just up the alley of what I am looking for (terribly constructed sentence but you know what I mean!) because I’ve already read and loved it! Am going with a Kindle for this beach trip so I just down loaded I Couldn’t Love You More and Gone Girl. I’m sure I won’t be able to resist the temptation to add a few more before we leave 🙂

  15. Posted June 18, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    I’m working my way (very slowly) through Don Quixote–I’ve always wanted to read it. I’m amazed at how post-modern it feels–Cervantes plays a lot with being very self-referential about his authorship and the “reality” of the story. However, it’s looong, and not something I really identify with (very male (the treatment of women in it makes me sigh), very adventure story), so it isn’t grabbing me like other classics have.
    On the other pole, I’m reading the latest from Elizabeth George. Nothing like a good mystery to take the edge off.

  16. Posted June 18, 2012 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    racing through gone girl. though i’ve had to stop in order to make dinner.

    great read. 1/2 way through + will probably finish tonight.

  17. Posted June 18, 2012 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    I am VERY excited to add two titles to the list that have not been mentioned…unless I missed them. The House at Tyneford and Mr. Rosenblum Dreams in English are extraordinary stories by Natasha Solomons. They sucked me in immediately and I couldn’t put them down. I cannot wait until she writes her next.

  18. Posted June 18, 2012 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

    On the docket for this summer:

    1. Bringing Up Bebe – Druckerman (almost finished)
    2. Under the Banner of Heaven – Krakauer
    3. The Hiding Place – Ten Boom
    4. The Fault in Our Stars – Green
    5. Moneyball – Lewis

    I’d like to get to some theology too, Borg or Crossan, but I’m not sure it will happen…

  19. Tracy
    Posted June 18, 2012 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

    So happy to know someone else has Silver Sparrow on her list — I bought it on the spot at Muse/Markeplace after taking a class with its amazing amazing author, Tayari Jones. After that, The Count of Monte Cristo, which I am ashamed to have never read, but have vowed to read with/before my 14-yr-old, who has it for a summer reading assignment.

  20. Posted June 18, 2012 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    Oh! My stack is so high, and yet at the pace I’m going, I think I might be reading Massey’s “Catherine the Great” for years. It’s one big book. My first pleasure history read!

  21. Posted June 19, 2012 at 2:11 am | Permalink

    I love reading what others are reading! Are you on Goodreads, Lindsey?

    I just finished Alibis: Essays on Elsewhere, as well as J. Courtney Sullivan’s Commencement. I also enjoyed Susannah Conway’s This I Know on grief, creativity and love. Have yet to pick what’s next from my long to-read list, but the comments in this post are really helping!

  22. Robin
    Posted June 19, 2012 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    I hope everyone on the planet reads “Wild.” Certainly everyone who has ever grieved.

    I’ve been enjoying Gail Caldwell’s “Let’s Take the Long Way Home: A Memoir of Friendship.” It’s been good for me to read about the life of a single childless woman, since that was so nearly my life.

    I also greatly enjoyed the fact of “Lift.” How nice to have a tiny memoir book! Just a little helping of her life.

    I just read Joyce Maynard’s “Labor Day” because my son is going to to be an extra (“boy on bike in background”) in the moving filming here in Massachusetts. It was lovely, a real surprise to me.

    I liked “An unquenchable thirst: following Mother Theresa in search of love, service and an authentic life” and VERY VERY much liked “A hope unseen: an American Odyssey from the inner city to the Ivy League.”

    And I thank you for all of your suggestions!

  23. Amy Cook-Wright
    Posted June 19, 2012 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    I’m reading House of Stone by Anthony Shadid. Anthony tragically died this past year, and it is amazing feeling him come back to life in this memoir. Anyone who is drawn to family history/culture and kinship ties will love it. It is deeply moving.

    http://anthonyshadid.com/house-of-stone-a-memoir-of-home-family-and-a-lost-middle-east/

  24. Posted June 19, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    I’m reading Caring for Words in a Culture of Lies by Marilyn Chandler McEntyre – so thoughtful and powerful. The Fault in Our Stars is on my list, as is The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D, and the work of Scott Russell Sanders, who I heard speak at a writers’ conference last week. Such great suggestions here!

  25. Amy
    Posted June 20, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    I love these posts! I just started the Unfinished Life of Elizabeth D and also have on my kindle BLOOM by Kellie Hampton. I could not finish The Tiger’s Wife or The ARt of Fielding but before that LOVED HEaven is HEre by Stephanie Niebs (also a blobber) and The Baker’s Daughter by Sarah McCoy.

  26. Amy
    Posted June 20, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    Duh, Stephanie is a blogger (not a blobber). Sorry for typo! I also just finished Chris Matthews’ bio on Jack Kennedy which was good.

    admin Reply:

    LOVED that typo, blobber! I read Bloom too – let me know what you think! Another blobber. xox