Although I did remember the waterproof sunscreen, I forgot to bring a book to the beach yesterday. I didn’t end up needing either, but books are like tubes of lip balm or packs of chewing gum. I get uneasy when I’m out and about without having one on me.
My second-least favorite aspect about summertime is having to constantly see and hear the term “Beach Reads.” Do non-compulsive readers turn more pages in the summer months than during colder-weather seasons? I don’t come across nearly as many lists and chatfests about the premier “Fireside Reads.” I just noticed a “What NYT reporters and editors will be reading this summer” tweet, and would rather know which hardcover Dave Itzkoff plans to hunker down with amid the opening flurries of a Nor’easter.
An acquaintance recently asked me for a set of specific “summer-reading” suggestions when I was too hot and tired to think straight, so the only title I offered on the spot was Meg Wolitzer’s The Interestings. I’ve suddenly thought up some others, which might seem more fireside-y than beach-y, but can be basked in year-round:
*We Take Me Apart – Molly Gaudry
*What Remains – Carole Radziwill
*This Is How You Lose Her – Junot Diaz
*The Outliers – Malcolm Gladwell
*Unaccustomed Earth – Jhumpa Lahiri
*Just Kids – Patti Smith
*Re-read The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald (the words meant little to me in my eleventh-grade English class and mean everything to me now)
*The Godfather – Mario Puzo (an excellent prelude to the next season of Mob Wives)
*Anything by Jeannette Walls, including her latest
*Anything by David Sedaris, including his latest
*At least one major literary classic that you haven’t met up with yet