Summer Reading List
Hooray! Summer reading season is officially here. I have strong feelings about summer reading. It should be fun, light, and it most definitely shouldn’t feel like homework.
Here is a round-up of books that I’m planning to read this summer. I would love it if you read along with me. Let’s share notes and have a conversation. No book reports or quizzes, I promise!
Summer is also a great time to start a soThis monthly membership and join the bookish conversation. I’ve included the books we will be reading and chatting about this summer. You can learn more about soThis and get started here.
Without further ado, here’s the list.
SOTHIS BOOK CLUB PICKS
June: The Personal Librarian by Marie Benedict & Victoria Christopher Murray
This book has been called “historical fiction at its best.” It tells the story of an extraordinary woman and shares the lengths she must go to preserve her carefully crafted white identity in the racist world in which she lived. I found it to be an easy and fascinating read.
July: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Summer is the perfect time to read (or reread) this classic novel. Dust off your copy from high school or download the audiobook. Pour yourself a gin cocktail, and read along with us in July!
August: This Time Tomorrow by Emma Straub
I celebrated Memorial Day weekend by crushing this brilliant book. I loved it, and I think you will, too. Bonus points if you love NYC (especially the Upper West Side), the ‘90’s, and don’t ever want to say goodbye to your dad.
The Golden Couple by Sarah Pekkanen and Greer Hendricks
You can usually rely on this bestselling author duo to deliver a page-turning thriller with a twist. (If you haven’t read The Wife Between Us, add it to your list.) Their new novel follows wealthy Washington suburbanites who seem to have it all…until they don’t.
The Latecomer by Jean Hanff Korelitz
This is the latest book from the author of the blockbuster literary thriller The Plot. This novel has been called “a marvelous story full of plot twists, intricacies, and depth in events…perfect for fans of character-based novels such as those by Sally Rooney or Lauren Groff.” Sign me up!
La Familia Grande by Camille Kouchner
This French bestseller poignantly explores the history of incest and suicide in an illustrious French family. When this moving memoir was originally published in France in 2021, it sparked an important conversation about the attitudes and laws that have so often allowed influential men to evade consequences for their crimes. The writing is spare, honest and raw. You feel like you are reading someone’s diary, and can’t really believe what is happening.
The Caretakers by Amanda Bestor-Siegal
This riveting debut novel is set in a wealthy Parisian suburb. It is centered around a group of au pairs, one of whom is arrested after a sudden and suspicious tragedy strikes her host family. It’s a dramatic exploration of identity, class, and caregiving. I already started it and I can’t wait to see where it goes.
MEMOIR + PERSONAL ESSAY
Happy Go-Lucky by David Sedaris
If David Sedaris writes it, I will most certainly read it. And, I will prepare to literally LOL. In this new collection of essays, he captures what is most unexpected, hilarious, and poignant about the current state of affairs: the pandemic, politics, racial inequality, and more.
Mean Baby by Selma Blair
Selma Blair is exactly my age, and I grew up watching her in movies like Cruel Intentions and Legally Blonde. I was shocked to hear of her MS diagnosis and I am curious to learn more about how she is living with this chronic illness. Her memoir has been called a “vital reminder that the hectic glitter of the exterior rarely reflects the hard-earned wonder of the interior.”
41 – Love by Scarlett Thomas
As a former tennis junkie, I can’t wait to dig into this darkly funny sports memoir about tennis (obvi), a mid-life crisis, exercise addiction, and how to grow up when you really, really don’t want to. Yes, please.
Young Mungo by Douglas Stewart
Oh, did Douglas Stewart’s debut novel Shuggie Bain break my heart. His recently released second novel has been called, “smart, beautiful and brilliant” and I can’t wait to read it.
Trust by Hernan Diaz
There is soooo much buzz around this book right now. It has been called “a rip-roaring, razor-sharp dissection of capitalism, class and greed” that is “intricate, cunning and consistently surprising.” I am ready to dig in!
Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel
I went down the rabbit hole with Emily St. John Mandel’s books during the Covid lockdown. Emma Straub called her latest novel “truly soul-affirming,” and that’s all I need to hear to add it to my TBR pile.
French Braid by Anne Tyler
There is something comforting and reliable about a book from Anne Tyler. Her remarkable 24th book has been called “a beautiful novel of family life as it unfolds over the years.”
I am listening to the audiobooks for Elena Ferrante’s Neopolitan Novels. I found the first one to be a little slow, but I am so glad I kept going. The second book picks up, and by the end of the third, I can’t wait to see what happens next.