friday finds: summer reading list

Happy Friday, friends! I know I say this every week, but I am so, so ready for this weekend. I don’t know where all that carefree summer relaxing is happening, but here at Camp Cardio, it’s nonstop crazy. Mostly good, a little bit not so much…but I have faith it’ll all turn out beautifully in the end.

So, you’ll understand why I’m so looking forward to a few much-needed days at the Oregon Coast next month. A bit of sun, sand and reading by the beach is exactly what the doctor ordered. Since I have hammock time on the brain, I thought you might like to know which books will be in my beach tote…in case you have something similar up your sleeve this summer.

The American Heiress, by Daisy Goodwin: This 500-pager is the perfect beach read…from what I’ve seen thus far, it’s Gossip Girl meets Downton Abbey, all set at the turn of the twentieth century. In other words, I’m not expecting great literature, but I do foresee a pretty juicy story line and plenty of extravagant escapism, which is exactly what I’m after.

The Imperfectionists, by Tom Rachman: This title debuted last year, but it’s out in paperback now, making it a prime candidate for beach reading. I love a novel that turns a series of short stories into a cohesive plot line, with all of those beautifully-intersecting characters and events coming together in the end. The Imperfectionists promises to be that novel, and set in a foreign correspondent’s newsroom in Rome (think Gregory Peck in Roman Holiday), it’s sure to remind me of all of the tumultuous events of my brief career as a news reporter.

Super Sad True Love Story, by Gary Shteyngart: I’ll admit, this one will probably be finished before I actually head to the beach, as it’s currently sitting front and center on my bedside table. I haven’t quite decided how I feel about the shady Lenny Abramov, the book’s central character – he’s deeply flawed, and not entirely sympathetic, but his exploits thus far in the novel promise some interesting reading. Shteyngart has a talent for exposing with raw honesty exactly what goes on in our minds when no one’s watching…and the novel is fascinating for that alone.

A Year and Six Seconds, by Isabel Gillies: I’m trying not to let the fact that this book was written by Detective Stabler’s wife deter me from the story, which feels like a simpler, cleaner reincarnation of Eat, Pray, Love. It’s one of those stories that drowns you in the hard parts of life, only to buoy you with the sweet side in the end. I’m not sure it’s quite the lighthearted storyline I have in mind for a vacation, but it’s definitely on my list.

The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald: Every summer, I choose a classic to revisit (a habit that’s likely a relic of those summer reading lists from AP English), and The Great Gatsby is my pick this year. Clearly, I’m having a love affair with the early twentieth century…but there’s a new version of the movie coming out this fall (though how you can compete with Robert Redford’s Gatsby is beyond me), so the timing feels perfect.

Now comes my favorite part…what are you reading this summer, friends? I’m always anxious for new ideas!

{By the way, since I’ve been swimming in work this month, I’ve taken to posting some of my favorite sale finds on Facebook and Twitter instead of here on the blog. If you haven’t been visiting, this is definitely the time to start!}

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7 comments on “friday finds: summer reading list

  1. A

    K, don’t laugh, but – my favorite reads this year so far are the Hunger Games series (perfect for vacation) and Blood, Bones, and Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton.

  2. Megan B.

    I’ve been a reading machine of late, preferring to spend all day in the yard with a book and a coffee rather than working like I’m supposed to. This month I’ve read: Farm City by Novella Carpenter (inspiring), My Life in France by Julia Child (inspiring), My Old Man by Amy Sohn (weird, but kinda cool, NOT GREAT), The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields (good, but cold, and sad), and like 3 or 4 others I’m forgetting. Presently alternating between The art of Happiness by the Dalai Lama and A Good Man is Hard to Find by Flannery O’Connor. Next up: Super Sad True Love Story and Bossypants.

  3. Serena

    I read The Imperfectionists last month and thought it was great! And I also just finished The Hunger Games while on vacation and am a little embarrassed to say that I couldn’t put it down. I’m now reading The Help because I wanted to read it before the movie comes out and so far I’m enjoying it.

    And if you’re into memoirs, I’d recommend The Tender Bar, which is probably my favorite book that I’ve read in a long time.

  4. DL

    i liked Shteyngart’s novel – i agree with your assessment of lenny – he’s sort of this pathetic anti-hero isn’t he but somehow elicits pity/warped sort of sympathy. i thought the novel had an apocalyptic feel to it. another recent book that i really enjoyed is Model Home by Eric Puchner! highly recommend!

  5. adriana

    I see Bossypant’s by Tina Fey everywhere. Have you read or heard anything about it? I really want to read Super Sad Love Story now, especially after your description. Sounds like my type of read…thanks!

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