Every year I try to put together a list recommended reading for the summer that includes maybe a little less serious than normal. I hate the terms "beach reads," because let's face it, there's a whole lot non-beach reading happening for most of us. Nonetheless, here's ten from my past year of reading that will work well while road-tripping, laying out (with SPF, of course), avoiding annoying family members, waiting in airports, or stewing in anger because you don't have time off (sorrryyyy!).
1. A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson- This memoir of some extensive hiking will make you want to run out and hit the trails yourself.
2. Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan- These people are ridiculous and the writing is a tad snarky- perfect if you've had a few adult beverages and need a laugh.
3. Dear Mr. You by Mary-Louise Parker- I actually read most of this by the pool... in January. The quick letters are perfect if your attention span is waning or you have to look up every five seconds to check on kids.
4. The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood- Her typical sci-fi, dystopian genre, but a bit less intellectually challenging than some of her other novels, like Oryx and Crake.
5. Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life by Amy Krouse Rosenthal- I have used this for a project I do with my student at work but really enjoyed her quick little snippets as a whole. It might persuade you to create your own encyclopedia- the perfect little summer project.
6. The Regional Office is Under Attack! by Manuel Gonzalez- I have struggled to get through this book, but I've decided that it's mostly my fault. If I had a few afternoons by the pool it would be the perfect silly read. It's basically a summer block-buster kick-ass action film in book form.
7. Euphoria by Lily King- I'm not quite half way through this right now for book club, but I LOVE it. It's a bit more complex than the others on here, but I had to include it. Lots of heat, humidity, and sex.
8. This is Your Life, Harriet Chance by Jonathan Evison- This book is just plain fun; it reminds me a lot of Where'd You Go, Bernadette?. Plus, it's set on a cruise, and while it's destination is Alaska, that alone reminds me of summers past.
9. American Housewife by Helen Ellis- This collection of short stories isn't perfect in the literary sense, but I think all the moms at home with kids this summer will appreciate some of the pieces.
10. The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff- A monster in a lake. An affair gone wrong. A paternity mystery. Small town gossip. A group of cooky middle-aged runners. I'm starting to feel like I'm describing the Gilmore Girls...
And a few I'm planning to give a try this summer:
1. Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life by William Finnegan- This is supposed to be an awesome memoir and I can't think of a better time to read it.
2. Zero K by Don DeLillo- His reading convinced me it was worthwhile. Plus, who doesn't love a little cryogenics in the heat of summer (I just picture Han Solo frozen... this is probably not accurate, sorry Don).
3. Girl Through Glass by Sari Wilson- I'm always interested in the lives of ballerinas; their discipline is something I wish I had.
This post was done as a part of The Broke and Bookish's Top Ten Tuesday.