Not every summer reading list has to be about education and learning. In fact, we encourage you to have a summer reading list that is nothing but indulgent and relaxing. So while we’d love if you took some nonfiction suggestions from our consumer edition and environmental edition of our summer reading list suggestions, we won’t be offended if you prefer to stick entirely to our fun leisure (and mostly fiction) suggestions. No, we’re not helping you to learn more about consumerism or the planet with these books, but the satisfaction of enough is also about carving out time for you and activities that you enjoy. Fiction can and does enrich you as a person. So if you’re looking for leisure reading to fill out your summer list, here are books we loved in the last year. Just some personal suggestions from us to you!
California, Eden Lepucki
If the title sounds familiar, it may be because Stephen Colbert promoted this book during a definitively anti-Amazon campaign that he did. And of course, if Stephen Colbert promoted it we were curious enough to read it. We have to say it was one of the most enjoyable “light” reads we’ve had in a long time. You truly aren’t sure where the story is going to go at many points. Also, for the environmentalist or postconsumer, the book does portray a very believable post-apocalyptic version of what America might look like after climate change-induced extreme weather conditions continue to happen. But it’s not the climate change element of this book that makes it worthwhile. It’s an exploration of the bonds and limitation of family and, well, society. It won’t take you long to read, and it’s definitely worth it.
A Discovery of Witches, Deborah Harkness
We’ve been fairly transparent on the Postconsumers blog that a number of us enjoy the nerdier end of nerd, so it shouldn’t be a huge surprise that this book, or something like it, is on the list! While we’ve only listed the first book for the purposes of clean linking, the book is actually part of a trilogy. We once described this book as “Twilight for grownups.” There are vampires. There are demons. There are witches (of course we know that witches are truly goddess-centered, earth-loving, nature-worshippers). There is a forbidden love. There is even a castle in the French countryside. But what makes this series even more compelling is that it is actually written by a woman who was originally known for her nonfiction writing on historical periods. So you get the combined thrill of genre romance with detailed historical descriptions and facts. And, if you love it, you may get lucky and soon enjoy a TV or film adaptation.
Go Set a Watchman, Harper Lee
We truly hesitated and, to say the least, debated as to whether or not to put this book on the list. Fundamentally, it isn’t nearly as good as the classic To Kill a Mockingbird, but perhaps more importantly there was such a heated controversy surrounding its publication and whether there was abuse of an old and potentially senile Harper Lee in the process. So what made us change our minds? We think that reading this book, which was actually written before To Kill a Mockingbird, will make your appreciation of and understanding of To Kill a Mockingbird even richer. To see how Harper Lee originally envisioned and developed the characters brings an entirely new level of understanding to an American classic. We’re still not comfortable with the controversy, but we think it’s an essential and enjoyable read.
Spinster: Making a Life of One’s Own, Kate Bolick
We’re fascinated and inspired by the changing societal trend of women (and in some cases men) simply choosing to remain single rather than conform to the expectation of marriage. We’re equally fascinated with the driving forces behind this change. We thoroughly enjoyed this autobiography/memoir by Kate Bolick as she takes a more intimate and personal look at her place within this changing societal option. We think that, if you are interested in the topic, this is one of the best looks at it from a real life perspective currently available.
Every Day I Fight, Stuart Scott and Larry Platt
This is the memoir of the late ESPN anchor Stuart Scott. It’s not a cancer survivor’s tale, and that’s part of what we like about it (no false hope). It’s not a read for everybody. Certainly if you don’t care about sports then you won’t enjoy – or even understand – much of this book. However, if you’re of an age where you grew up as ESPN and, in particular, Stuart Scott was changing how sports existed within our society, you’ll want to read this. And then you’ll miss him even more than you already do.
Serafina and the Black Cloak, Robert Beatty
Every once and a while, a young adult fantasy novel is a great way to recapture your inner child, and we loved this mystery novel. It had a sense of throw-back to Nancy Drew but with a magical and supernatural element that is perfect for a dark winter night’s read – or to transport you to a dark winter night from your summer lounge chair! Don’t discount the young adult fiction – it’s some of the best fiction out there right now.
So, that’s what we’re reading, but we’re always open to suggestions (and to sharing suggestions).
Did we miss a book that you think should be on this list? Tell us about it on the social media channels below.
Hero Photo Credit: Beanbag Amerika Via Flickr