Summer Reading List

Summer Reading 2017

Admittedly, I’ve had less time than I like for reading for pleasure these days. I’m trying to change that this summer with these five new (and old!) purchases that I haven’t gotten around to yet.

Full disclosure: the links in this post are Amazon affiliate links, which means I may receive a portion of the proceeds should you make a purchase. I appreciate if you click the links, but if you don’t want to I get it!

2017 Summer Reading Theft By Finding Diaries by David Sedaris

1 Theft by Finding: Diaries (1977-2002) by David Sedaris

“For forty years, David Sedaris has kept a diary in which he records everything that captures his attention-overheard comments, salacious gossip, soap opera plot twists, secrets confided by total strangers. These observations are the source code for his finest work, and through them he has honed his cunning, surprising sentences.”

I adore Sedaris’ writing and have read almost all of his books (just couldn’t get through Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk, and somehow completely missed the publication of Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls). His writing is both witty and eyebrow-raising, and I’ll never forget the time at a book signing that he told me the spelling of my name wouldn’t be appropriate past the age of 25.

Summer 2017 Reading List The Girls by Emma Cline

2 The Girls: A Novel by Emma Cline

“Northern California, during the violent end of the 1960s. At the start of summer, a lonely and thoughtful teenager, Evie Boyd, sees a group of girls in the park, and is immediately caught by their freedom, their careless dress, their dangerous aura of abandon. Soon, Evie is in thrall to Suzanne, a mesmerizing older girl, and is drawn into the circle of a soon-to-be infamous cult and the man who is its charismatic leader. Hidden in the hills, their sprawling ranch is eerie and run down, but to Evie, it is exotic, thrilling, charged—a place where she feels desperate to be accepted. As she spends more time away from her mother and the rhythms of her daily life, and as her obsession with Suzanne intensifies, Evie does not realize she is coming closer and closer to unthinkable violence.”

I bought this book last summer and never got around to reading it. I’ve heard nothing but good things about it, and hope it’s as Gone Girl-y as it seems! I love that feeling of not wanting to put a book down.

Summer 2017 Reading List The Subtle Art of Not Giving A Fuck

3 The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson

“For decades, we’ve been told that positive thinking is the key to a happy, rich life. “F**k positivity,” Mark Manson says. “Let’s be honest, shit is f**ked and we have to live with it.” In his wildly popular Internet blog, Manson doesn’t sugarcoat or equivocate. He tells it like it is—a dose of raw, refreshing, honest truth that is sorely lacking today. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k is his antidote to the coddling, let’s-all-feel-good mindset that has infected modern society and spoiled a generation, rewarding them with gold medals just for showing up.”

This is another one I’ve been seeing all over the place. I’ve been feeling a little high-strung lately and absolutely hate it, so I’m hoping the advice herein will help mellow me out a little.

Summer 2017 Reading List The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

4 The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

“Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable.”

Confession: I was meant to have read this years ago in my mother-daughter book club, and definitely did not. I completely fell in love with this year’s Hulu series based on the novel, and decided to finally read it.

Summer 2017 Reading List The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman

5 The Amber Spyglass: His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman

“The unforgettable His Dark Materials trilogy that began with The Golden Compass—the modern fantasy classic that Entertainment Weekly named an “All-Time Greatest Novel” and Newsweek hailed as a “Top 100 Book of All Time”—and continued with The Subtle Knife, reaches its astonishing conclusion in The Amber Spyglass.”

When it was announced that Philip Pullman would be writing more books in the His Dark Materials universe (first one publishes in October of this year!) I knew I had to re-read the whole series. I suppose it’s geared for a more young adult audience, but by The Amber Spyglass (the third book in the series) the themes become pretty dark, and will definitely hold your interest.

So that’s my list! Are you reading anything good this summer?

Weekend Reads II

Watch the Titanic Sink in Real Time
If you knew me in 5th grade, then you knew me as “that weird girl obsessed with Titanic.” In honor of the 104th anniversary of the sinking last week, this eerie video hit the internet. It’s a real-time recreation (devoid of humans) of the ship’s sinking. Tedious yet fascinating. Bonus link: play my favorite computer game, Titanic: Adventure Out of Time, online for free. I haven’t actually played yet (I have issues with Java), but this game is actually the greatest thing ever and I named my GPS after the butler.

What I Learned From Tickling Apes
I adore apes. You may have experienced my trying to convince you to watch the 1970s Koko the Gorilla documentary. If you haven’t had the pleasure, allow me to tell you that you should totally watch the Koko the Gorilla documentary.

How to Avoid Boring Sunsets
love a good sunset. I don’t think there’s anything more gorgeous on this planet than what the setting sun can do. As a photographer, it can be pretty horrible to go to a location in the hopes of catching one, only to be met with an overcast sky and disappointment. Well, be disappointed no longer! SunsetWx is the brainchild of three men at Penn State who have come up with a way to predict whether or not an area will experience a good sunset (or sunrise!) much in the way one would predict other weather events. It’s awesome.

Ted Talk: Inside the Mind of a Master Procrastinator
Fun fact: I’m such a procrastinator that I procrastinated watching this Ted Talk.

Newsweek: An Interview with Steven Avery’s New Attorney
Is anyone else still obsessed with Making a Murderer? No? No one else has been checking up on the subreddit to see what new facts have been unearthed? Just me? Ok, I’ll just leave this here then…


Weekend Reads

Throughout the week I usually come across some fascinating articles that I like to save for my lunch break, or to read over the weekend. Periodically I’ll be compiling them here, so you can enjoy them as well!

The Woman Who Couldn’t Swallow
A fascinating read about dysphagia, a swallowing disorder the greater public knows little about. I first learned of dysphagia when I was working as a proofreader for a medical foods company, and it’s interesting to learn more about this life-altering condition.

Out Here, No One Can Hear You Scream
I’ve really enjoyed the articles Huffington Post has been putting out on their Highline offshoot. And by “enjoyed” I mean “horrified by what their investigative reporting has uncovered.” This article, a startling look at sexual harassment and misogyny in the National Parks Service, is no exception.

The Man Who Sailed His House
5 years on from the tsunami that ravaged Japan, GQ presents a beautifully written piece about Hiromitsu, a man who was found floating at sea on the remnants of what used to be his roof days after the disaster.

Why Does America Hate Roundabouts?
I probably only find this interesting because I grew up in a neighborhood with a very tiny roundabout. I also pass through a small one on a route I take home, and it drives me absolutely crazy that no one seems to understand that you’re meant to keep right and bear left around a circle, not just stop before entering and make a full left turn to reach the furthest exit  (as you can imagine, it’s pretty dangerous). I was surprised to see such a low rate of roundabouts on the map in NJ, though—I mean it’s not called a “Jersey Circle” for nothing, right?

How ‘LOL’ Became a Punctuation Mark
“Instead, McWhorter argued, the ‘LOL’ in the women’s exchange is standing in as, effectively, a marker for empathy. It is replacing the things that can be achieved in an in-person conversation—the nodding of the head, the contact of the eyes, the tiny gestures that together lend the ‘L’ to the ‘IRL’—with a three-letter symbol.” I kind of hate that this article is framed around a dissection of Kim Kardashian’s nude photo, but the actual subject matter of “lol” as a new addition to grammar is particularly fascinating.