summer reading list

by ann

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I like commuting via public transportation. There’s a huge stigma against it but I think of it as the perfect time to energize yourself in the morning and decompress in the evening. It’s mandatory time for yourself! Typically, I will download a This American Life episode while I get ready so I don’t have to worry about signal issues underground. (I’ve also heard good things about the Invisibilia podcast from my roommate if you’re looking for something to try.) If not, I will usually read.

As much as I like the heft of a book in my hand, I don’t have the space in my small room to store them. It’s why I LOVE that you can now rent books from the library online.

I used to use Overdrive on my iPad but when I read too long I got some serious headaches. When my sister got a new Kindle, I stole her Kindle Keyboard. (I’ll be honest, I have never looked into the differences between the many generations of Kindles. They are on par with iPhone generations where the differences are minutiae I don’t want to pore over.)

I’ve mentioned it before in a previous Saturday Surf, but, if you’re in Boston, check out the Minuteman Library Network. My sister has a library card there and it’s AMAZING.* You can rent eBooks and send them to your Kindle! There have been a surprising number of recent books so I’m obsessed.

Now let’s read together!

WHAT I’VE READ

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  • Bossypants by Tina Fey//
    It’s a mix of sassy zingers, childhood stories and motivational speeches. The book isn’t particularly fluid but it’s light and entertaining.
  • Me Before You by Jojo Moyes //
    Rom-com gold that’s a terribly easy read. I finished it within the day.  All I have to say is.. it’s realistic. I liked it well enough but wasn’t particularly moved by the story.
  • Crazy Rich Asian by Kevin Kwan//
    A ridiculously hilarious book about super elite Asians in Singapore. The books are akin to a People magazine: heavy on names, brands and gossip; low on depth. I got tired of the name dropping and wished the footnotes were at the bottom of each page instead of the end of the chapter. STILL, I liked the book enough to read it AND China Rich Girlfriend, the second book in this trilogy. And, yes, I will read Rich People Problems. Part I AND Part II.
  • The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo//
    I went into this book whole-heartedly skeptical after reading an excerpt where she advises me to talk to my things and thank them for their work. Though the idea of ONLY keeping things that “sparked joy” seemed a bit far-fetched, I found myself inspired to whittle down my things and got rid of NINE garbage bags worth of things. If that isn’t life-changing magic, I don’t know what is.
  • Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff//
    This book rages with a deep burning melancholia because relationships aren’t all that you imagine it to be. It’s about underlying motives and how perspective changes everything. Fates and Furies was extremely good but also terribly depressing. I’m not a huge fan of the stream-of-consciousness writing style but Groff did a great job in developing rich, complex characters.
  • Wild by Cheryl Strayed//
    Strayed writes this memoir when she travels the PCT (Pacific Crest Trail) following her mother’s death. I have to admit: I didn’t love the book. It was extremely tedious to read. Although I love her column Dear Sugar, Wild focused too much on the PCT for my taste.

WHAT I’M CURRENTLY READING

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt// It’s not what I expected going in but the book has me enraptured. The characters are such full fleshed beings. At times I am so entranced that I will read as I walk to work from the subway stop.

WHAT I’M NOT FINISHING

Yes Please by Amy Poehler// I LOVE Amy Poehler on Parks and Rec but the book was all over the place and the jokes lacking.. I just couldn’t do it.

WHAT I’M GOING TO READ

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Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling

Modern Lovers by Emma Straub

One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories by B.J. Novak

To Rise Again at A Decent Hour by Joshua Ferris

The Girls by Emma Cline

The Vacationers by Emma Straub

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

*Yes, I too have noted that I’m a willing second-hand receiver from my sister. No shame whatsoever.

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