At the beginning of each summer, I set a few goals for myself to keep my brain in check as the days grow longer and the amount of patience I have for sitting inside falls short. One of these goals is always related to reading; when I was younger, my mom used to pay me a dollar for every book I finished during summer break. I feel like reading keeps me sharp, increases my creativity, and relaxes me more than just sitting in front of a TV to unwind.
This summer, my goal was 10 books. As a book nerd, I exceeded that. But to be fair, I’m a great supporter of re-reading my favorites (I read Salinger’s ‘Nine Stories’ every summer.) Take a look at a few titles I devoured this summer. I’ll let you know which books I’d read again, and which books were, to put it lightly, a waste of my precious summer free time.
1. Uganda Be Kidding Me – Chelsea Handler
Anyone who knows me knows how much of a fangirl I am for Ms. Handler. I once even wrote her a letter asking to be one of her writing interns…needless to say I got no response. But my mom thought it was hilarious. Her latest book is chalk full of booze-soaked Handler antics, and is a perfect on a flight or on the beach. As always with CH books, get ready to laugh (a lot, and hopefully in public.)
2. Never Let Me Go – Kazuo Ishiguro
I heard about this book while reading Amazon’s list of “100 Best Novels” and was excited to see something that had been written in the past decade that I hadn’t heard of. I was definitely not disappointed. This mix of romance and light sci-fi is beautifully written and absolutely heartbreaking. I can see why it made the list. A must read.
3. Nine Stories – J.D. Salinger
This is my favorite book of all time. You must read it. Nothing further.
4. The Adderall Diaries – Stephen Elliott
I got word that this book was being made into a movie, so of course I had to read it. I was surprised about the awesome blend of memoir and true crime reporting, which read like a novel. This unique book is in a genre of its own. I highly recommend this book to fiction and nonfiction readers alike. I’m excited to read more of Elliott’s work.
More, Now, Again – Elizabeth Wurtzel
I picked this book up after Elliott referenced it in ‘The Adderall Diaries’ and I have to say, I really disliked it. Wurtzel is a whiney, privileged Harvard grad who essential wrote a book about feeling sorry for herself and her drug addiction. It was exhausting to read page after page of what felt like a spoiled teenager’s middle school diary. HARD PASS.
That’s about it for my reviews. Here is the remainder of my summer reading list. Pick up one of these from the library, put your phone on silent, and enjoy the rest of the summer while giving your brain a workout.
Kitchen Confidential – Anthony Bourdain
Medium Raw – Anthony Bourdain
Paint it Black – Janet Fitch
The Windup Bird Chronicle – Haruki Murakami
Finding Me – Michelle Knight
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? – Mindy Kaling
Click – Kristopher Young
Dark Places – Gillian Flynn (better than Gone Girl, in my opinion)
Stay Gold (and well-read)