My Summer Reading List

Summer is almost here, and that means plenty of sunshine, clear skies, and … me, staying indoors, reading a book. 

Okay, all jokes aside, summer is a great time to catch up on your reading. As an English major, I usually get people assuming that I read all year round, and I do. Except, usually it's stuff I don't necessarily want to be reading, so when during my school-year free time, I don't read. But if no one's forcing me to, who knows what will happen. Here are some books I'm really looking forward to this summer: 

1. Her Body and Other Parties - Carmen Maria Machado 

Okay, this is a short story collection, but it's supposedly really good. It includes elements of psychological realism, science fiction, fantasy, horror, and comedy. It's about the way we view women's bodies. It's also top of the my list. 

2. Invisible Cities - Italo Calvino 

Listen, we can't all be traveling this summer! Some of us have to work and save up money so we can travel! Some of us have to live out our travel fantasies through what we're reading! From the perspective of Kublai Khan listening to the stories of Marco Polo as he describes the cities he's visited through his travels, it's never quite certain whether or not Marco Polo is inventing the cities he's decribing or has actually seen these things, but it doesn't really matter; it's all apparently very beautiful. 

3. Housekeeping - Marilynne Robinson 

Marilynne Robinson is probably the Emily Dickinson of our time. Too bold? Too late, I already wrote it, and this novel earned her a spot as a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and won the Hemingway Award for best first novel, so it'd be a shame to miss out on it, imho. It's about family and what it means to make a home, even and especially in the face of loss. 

4. Out - Natsuo Kirino 

It would not be one of my summer reading lists without a spot of crime fiction, and I haven't read crime fiction in a LONG time (The Woman in White was going to make this list, but that feels like a hardcore winter break read.)  Translated from Japanese, it's a cat-and-mouse story about a woman who strangles her deadbeat husband out of desperation and the detectives who are trying to catch her. 

5. Possession - A.S. Byatt

It would be deceptive of me not to admit that this is on my list because it's my advisor's absolute favorite book ever, and I have immense trust in her. But also it sounds really cool: two young people researching the separate lives of two Victorian poets only to stumble upon their secret romance, with letters, poems, and diary entries. We love a bit of metafiction here. 

Hope you guys have a chance to relax and enjoy something you've been meaning to do for a while over your summer break! You know where I'll be ... reading. 

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