Apart from music festivals, pitchers of sangria, and my never-ending desire for new sandals, books are by far my biggest summer expenditure. The splurge tends to happen before heading up to my cottage in Algonquin Park (tower of magazines in tow, as well). Up North there is no electricity, meaning I go for days at a time sans texting, Instagram, Netflix, Facebook etc. Not only is it a great chance to unplug and unwind, but the opportunity arises to sit by the lake all day and devour an entire pile of books on my must-read list (as well as devour a pile of cheese and crackers, and not to mention my Scrabble opponents – cottage life is where it’s at yo). Sadly this summer I am missing the grand exodus to the great North, and will be city-bound for the season. No matter, my pile of new books just arrived from Amazon, and I’m ready to dive in – so without further ado – I present to you Part 1 of my Summer Reading List.
Note: I snagged the synopses for these books off of the Indigo website since I’ve yet to read them and develop any opinion of my own, so just click the novel if you’re looking to buy 😉
This Is How You Lose Her
Díaz turns his remarkable talent to the haunting, impossible power of love – obsessive love, illicit love, fading love, maternal love. In prose that is endlessly energetic, inventive, tender, and funny, the stories in the New York Times-Bestselling This Is How You Lose Her lay bare the infinite longing and inevitable weakness of the human heart. They remind us that passion always triumphs over experience, and that “the half-life of love is forever.”
The Buried Giant
The Buried Giant begins as a couple, Axl and Beatrice, set off across a troubled land of mist and rain in the hope of finding a son they have not seen for years. They expect to face many hazards—some strange and other-worldly—but they cannot yet foresee how their journey will reveal to them dark and forgotten corners of their love for one another.
Sometimes savage, often intensely moving, Kazuo Ishiguro’s first novel in a decade is about lost memories, love, revenge and war.
The First Bad Man
Here is Cheryl, a tightly-wound, vulnerable woman who lives alone, with a perpetual lump in her throat. She is haunted by a baby boy she met when she was six, who sometimes recurs as other people’s babies. Cheryl is also obsessed with Phillip, a philandering board member at the women’s self-defense nonprofit where she works. She believes they’ve been making love for many lifetimes, though they have yet to consummate in this one.
Tender, gripping, slyly hilarious, infused with raging sexual obsession and fierce maternal love, Miranda July’s first novel confirms her as a spectacularly original, iconic, and important voice today, and a writer for all time. The First Bad Man is dazzling, disorienting, and unforgettable.
Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death, and Brain Surgery
If you believe that brain surgery is a precise and exquisite craft, practiced by calm and detached doctors, this gripping, brutally honest account will make you think again. With astonishing compassion and candor, Marsh reveals the fierce joy of operating, the profoundly moving triumphs, the harrowing disasters, the haunting regrets, and the moments of black humor that characterize a brain surgeon’s life.
Do No Harm provides unforgettable insight into the countless human dramas that take place in a busy modern hospital. Above all, it is a lesson in the need for hope when faced with life’s most difficult decisions.
The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P.: A Novel
Novelist Adelle Waldman plunges into the psyche of a flawed, sometimes infuriating modern man–one who thinks of himself as beyond superficial judgment, yet constantly struggles with his own status anxiety, who is drawn to women, yet has a habit of letting them down in ways that may just make him an emblem of our times. With tough-minded intelligence and wry good humor The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. is an absorbing tale of one young man’s search for happiness–and an inside look at how he really thinks about women, sex and love.