Summer is fast approaching, toting the promise of lazy afternoons spent oceanside, poolside,
or potentially even inside (on crisp cotton sheets with windows ajar, of course).
So what better to accompany you on the coming days of rest and relaxation, than a great read?
Books are always fashionable. Reading is ever wonderful.
But during the long stretch of summer, it's nice to pay a little special attention to that endless list of must-reads you have scribbled down in your notebook or mentally etched onto the back of your brain.
Below are my top recommendations.
This guide is comprised of books I adore, 12 months a year, every year.
None are season-specific.
1. The Essential Rumi
-Poems that truly represent the unbridled joy and fullness that life can bare, as well as the disheartenment, upset, anger, and sadness. Rumi can spell out in words the feelings you believed were completely inexplicable.
2. Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim- David Sedaris
-Prepare to laugh audibly. Do not read this one in a crowded library. Do not sneak it into a summer class to covertly read behind a textbook. You will draw attention to yourself as early as the first chapter.
3. Weetzie Bat- Francesca Lia Block
-Every girl should read this at least once. Perhaps my favorite coming-of-age story.
4. Magical Thinking- Augusten Burroughs
-A perfect balance of dark & dry comedic wit and poignant self-reflection. A little less dark than his previous work (which I also adore). Hilarious. *same rules apply for this read as for recommendation #2
5. On the Road- Jack Kerouac
-A classic. This book motivates me when I find myself uninspired. It reminds me to seek out adventure and to take greater risks.
6. The Virgin Suicides- Jeffrey Eugenides
-Haunting and dreamy.
7. Pride and Prejudice- Jane Austen
- C'mon. Jane's first novel? A MUST read. Elizabeth Bennet is one of my all-time favorite literary characters.
8. Looking for Alaska- John Green
-I purchased this book within it's first year of publication.
John has grown a tremendous following since that time, and for good reason.
As an author of YA novels, he writes from a very intelligent place. He regards his readers as equals and allows them to explore "adult" themes without belittling them or minimizing their experiences with cliched "teenaged" plots and solutions. His characters breathe new life into the YA book world, and this book cemented my love for his work.
9. A Homemade Life- Molly Wizenberg
-If you're a deeply nostalgic person or a self-proclaimed foodie, rejoice. This will soon become your new favorite.
10. Memoirs of a Geisha- Arthur Golden
-Exceptionally fast read (for me, at least?). This is the perfect book to tuck away in your beach bag or to take along for a flight. Please, if you've seen the film but have not read the book, DO SO.
11. The Giver- Lois Lowry
-The Giver has been on my list of all-time favorites, ever since I was 12 years old.
I realize a film adaption will be released in the near future, so I beg you to please read this prior to seeing the movie. I recently saw the trailer and was baffled by how exponentially different the book looked on screen as oppose to in my imagination! I'm looking forward to watching the new adaption in theatres, but the book will always have a chunk of my heart.
12. Interview with the Vampire- Anne Rice
-Forget everything you're learned about vampires throughout this past decade.
Anne Rice does sexy, blood-sucking, un-dead vampires better than anyone else.
Anne's characters were the first vampires I was ever acquainted with. My Mom introduced me to them back in the 2nd grade, as she was a long-time fan and I had a penchant for creepy things.
These guys don't sparkle in the sunshine and neither of them goes to high school.
I promise you'll love them more for that.