Summer Reading List Roundup!
Reading summer reading lists is, apparently, at the top of my summer reading list. I think it’s the anticipation, and the association with school’s out by the pool reading whatever I want in June and July waiting till August to read the assigned books and being delighted by those, too. Especially The Search for Delicious, mainly because it had a map in it. Year-end “best of” lists are not anticipatory. They are wintry.
So here are some of the lists I’ve been reading, with great anticipation and intention: All summer, I’ll do a kind of Summer Reading journal beat here. I promise not to write about The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson, which is on plenty of lists, including several listed here. I am reading it, though, in case you’re concerned.
In my Twitter feed at least, Book Riot was the first to report that The New York Times summer reading list was all white, and also the first to make a corrective list. Loving Day by Mat Johnson was on my list already, but I’ll return for more.
A few days later, Buzzfeed did their own “no white men” list. Loving Day again. And Maggie Nelson, and the Harper Lee prequel thing, and Judy Blume, who we all have remembered all at once. I did my part; I just read her first adult novel, Summer Sisters. If you’ve seen the movie Beaches at least four times, you probably should definitely also read Summer Sisters.
This dad blogger did his own kind of roundup of lists and a list of his own, also in response to the whiteness of many lists, noting,
It’s bizarre to me that we have become conditioned to think of a list like the one Book Riot created as “alternative.” Alternative to what? We’re not even supposed to say the word white when it comes to these white book lists. We’re supposed to use terms like “mainstream” and pretend these words don’t pack systematic power in their syllables.
There are ten books on my list from the get-go: a few weeks ago, I did this “Buy all 10 Dorothy Project Books for $100” deal, and I suggest you do the same. Promising Young Women by Suzanne Scanlon will be first up in my summer reading journal, then Creature by Amina Cain.
Bustle‘s list is, like The Dorothy Project’s entire catalogue, an all-women list. Some of the usual suspects, plus some kinda-usual suspects like Lidia Yuknavitch and Jami Attenberg, plus some deeper tracks. I’m especially excited about Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh, but I’ll have to wait till August.
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