Summer reading, like summer dining is fish in a smaller lighter-weight kettle. Sure reading is reading , but in our view, what your read in the summer should be warmer than cold, more sunny yellow than battleship gray. Even though many of us have had a summer go at War and Peace, it just isn’t the right time of year to sit painfully still as words and characters drift and drone on and on. Summer is the time we are picking blueberries, picking up pickle ball, and sitting on a porch with a good story. That’s all—a good story. Summertime is when we should indulge our lighter reading fantasies. In summer, I’m all for giving up Proust and picking up Lianne Moriarty.
Summer is the perfect season to read or read again Marjorie Morningstar or Goodbye Columbus or have another go at Anthony Bordain’s Kitchen Confidential because we miss him. Just enjoying the words and stories of past pleasures can be a summer “deja-vous all over again.”
We asked a few of our favorite avid readers what’s at the top of their beach blanket and here’s what we’ve got.
Jamie Raab, President and Publisher of Celadon Books is reading Normal People by Sally Rooney. Even if you never read her first novel Conversations With Friends we feel fairly certain this book will be in beach bags all up and down the coast. Rooney is young, Irish and adept at portraying intense love affairs going or destined to go wrong.
Judy Clain, Editor-in-Chief at Little Brown is mad for Chris Pavone’s latest, The Paris Diversion . It’s got all the hallmarks of a great thriller…that and oh– Paris.
One of my sisters just devoured Laurie Frankel’s This Is How it Always Is and because she doesn’t go to the beach and usually sits out the summer Missouri heat on a plane or in her air conditioned house , she is diving into Once More We Saw Stars by Jayson Greene. We don’t think even our beach proof eyeliner can handle this memoir of a losing a child, but if you love a good cry – go for it and keep reapplying your waterproof sunscreen .
Brianna , our crackerjack editor and lover of most written words in creative combinations just loved Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid “Sexy, entertaining and I can’t wait for the inevitable TV adaptation,” says our always nose in a book reader.
When asked, Nina Collins of What Would Virginia Woolf Do fame, offered: “All I want to do all summer is sit on the beach and read. Unoriginal, but so true.” She is a legendary reader, and writer, so we are going to follow her summer reads lead: Ninth Street Women , about the women who changed modern art, I Am I Am I Am by Maggie O’Farrell, a gorgeous memoir of 17 near-death experiences and how they changed her, and for a real good later summer sit on the beach, Three Women by Lisa Tadeo.
Howard Stern Comes Again is an “I can’t help myself book” says fearless ITG leader, Susan Feldman. We said she was fearless, right?
We are not on a a first name basis with Jenna Bush, but we do follow her book club on Insta, ’cause this girl can pick ‘em. Her July pick
Evvie Drake Starts Over, is the story of a young widow in Maine , full of real talk and real place. Sounds like fun!
My own night stand is piled high in anticipation. I am deep into City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert. It is set in the early 1940s as a young woman gets tossed out of Vassar and learns her way around the worlds of NYC, the theater and men – three of my favorite subjects.
Fleishman Is In Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner might look searingly recognizable but I am willing to re-visit old wounds for a great read. Some have compared the writing to early Philip Roth, only this much-lauded novel by a New Yorker writer and woman, might have an actual –ahem – understanding of women.
For those of us (mi) who love a great big family saga and a flintier than death matriarch, The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna is on the list for my late summer vacay and Ruth Reichl’s Save Me the Plums, a memoir of a decade leading Gourmet Magazine and a lot, yes a lot of great food is always a must.
All of our recommendations are curated by Susan & the In The Groove editorial team. In some, but not all cases, we receive a small commission for leading you to what, how and where to buy all this wonderful stuff.