Wednesday, September 1, 2010

the last days of summer reading

Yes it's the first of September and summer is coming to a close. I feel like I've read a lot of really great books this season. Here were some of my favorites:

A simple premise: a lazy Australian suburban barbecue is jolted when a man hits a child who isn't his own. Tsiolkas delves into different lives of those affected by the incident. His writing vividly captures contemporary suburbanites from a 71 year old man to a young gay teen. I found it completely engrossing and really admired his style.

Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri

I have been a fan of Lahiri's work since Interpreter of the Maladies and her new collection took my breath away. I love the way she builds a story so carefully and intricately.

Divine! Rio at Le Chic Batik lended this to me and I absolutely adored it. An episodic, funny and poignant coming of age tale set in middle/upper class African American enclave of Long Island's Sag Harbor. So many great 1980s references (New Coke, scoring tix to Lisa Lisa and U.T.F.O.). The first book I've read in a while where the author seems to have had a joyous time writing.

When a young boy's parents die in a flu pandemic, he is adopted by evangelical Christians in rural Indiana. Nunez not only gives a chilling and realistic portrayal of what would happen to America if an epidemic like this occurred, but focuses in on the emotional trauma of her characters. Deliberately paced and mostly told in flashback in the beginning, this book really surprised me with its powerful portrait of our fragile and divided country.

Some others I loved ...

Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok
The Surf Guru by Doug Dorst
Jack Kerouac's On the Road
Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann
Colm Toibin's Brooklyn
Mary Karr's memoirs Cherry and The Liars' Club
You Lost Me There by Rosencrans Baldwin
A Sun for the Dying by Jean Claude-Izzo.

What were some of your favorite reads this summer? Please share!


  1. well, just so happens I can point you to my blog entry on recent reads:

    Add to that list the Steig Larsson trilogy, I was sucked in.

  2. Hunger Games trilogy came late in the season but was by far the most excellent thing I've read in years. YEARS I tell you!
    Also noteworthy:
    The Magicians by Lev Grossman (looooved!)
    This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper
    The Blind Contessa's New Machine by Carey Wallace
    ...and I'm in the middle of A Thousand Cuts by Simon Lelic which is great, but sorry kids - you can't get a copy until late January.

  3. I didn't read that much this summer. But what I did read was:
    ~ Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates
    ~ All My Sons by Arthur Miller
    ~ Slam by Nick Hornby

    I'm currently reading F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby.

  4. Isak Dinesen's Out Of Africa. I was obsessed for most of July.

    Thanks for the recommendations!

  5. The Hunger Games (1-3)- Suzanne Collins
    Getting to Happy- Terry McMillan
    I Am Number Four- Petacus Lore (sp)

    Currently reading The Slap.