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UNrequired Reading: HCK summer picks

There’s nothing like losing yourself in a 500+ page novel under the summer sun, am I right?

With just 10 more days of class, it’s time to indulge in a little fantasy–oh the books I’ll read when, well, nobody’s making me. Last summer, I spent a week on the beach in which I barely spoke, so enraptured was I by Chad Harbach’s The Art of Fielding–even better, five of my friends felt the same way.

Perhaps you’ve read about new releases all year, filing them in that part of your brain reserved for time away from Kenyon (the idea of leisurely reading in college is often met with laughs longer than the books you thought you’d bring along to Gambier…just in case). Though my own list is longer than I’ll have time to complete while working this summer, unlike to-do lists, reading-for-fun lists can never be too long. So, I consulted the lovely and talented HCK writers to help me add to the great ever-expanding list of titles to anticipate.


                                                                                                           for fun, this crazy cool bookshelf

My picks: Sara Spruch-Feiner

Below, a fraction of my summer reading goals:

GRACE by Grace Coddington

I’m so excited to finally read Grace, the iconic editor’s memoir has been hailed by well, everyone, as a must-read.

Just Kids by Patti Smith

I know everyone and their grandmother has already read Patti Smith’s memoir but I am a little late to the game. It is supposedly incredible and Smith has been heavily praised for having true talent as a prose writer. My copy is awaiting me (see above: books we brought to Gambier with unrealistic hopefulness).

The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer

I don’t know much about Meg Wolitzer’s novel except that sources I trust are all over it. This seems like seriously absorbing summer reading.

And now, for some of my favorites from summers past, if you’re not already in love with Nora Ephron, I highly recommend her two books of essays: I Remember Nothing, and I Feel Bad About My Neck each of which takes about a day to read and is in turns, hilarious and heart-warming.

Annie Sheslow:

I’m looking forward to Girl Walks Into a Bar by comedienne and actress Rachel Dratch!

Emily Sakamoto:

Anna Karenina

I refuse to see the movie until i’ve read the book. It’s just a timeless classic and after defeating Middlemarch this semester by George Eliot, I feel like I can read anything.

I’m feeling classics lately and since I finished The Great Gatsby, I may just reread Gone with the Wind if i have time.

Sarah Bence:

I’m really excited to read Game of Thrones.  Mainly because I’ve exhausted my guilty-secret-TV-watching of Lost and Vampire Diaries and want to move onto something new, but the English major in me won’t let me watch the TV show without reading the books first.  I hear Game of Thrones is kind of trashy and addictive which is good right off the bat in the summer so I can let my brain heal from all the recent Restoration comedy and poetry analysis.

Jane Rosenfeld:

I have been reading a book called Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, which my Mom told me may be auctioned off as a movie this summer with Reese Witherspoon. It’s so great and it’s written in such a cool format. I think everyone would love it!

Elizabeth Friedman:

I’m looking forward to reading this set of complete works by Robert Frost. I find his poetry very compelling, and the summer will be a great time to look more closely at his work.

Susannah Green:

I’m excited to read Last Night at The Lobster because Stewart O’Nan is an INCREDIBLE writer–check out “Songs for the Missing” which includes several Kenyon references!–and is essentially a more cogent, more talented version of Jonathan Franzen (except he focuses on the working vs. middle class). It’s a relatively short work that has been described as featuring O’Nan’s signature mix of late 20th century realism, multi-dimensional characters, and soulful empathy–a humorous, moving, and quick-to-finish summer read!


Images: bookshelfporn.com

Sara is a senior English major, Art History minor, and Women's and Gender studies concentrator at Kenyon College. She was born and raised in Manhattan and never dreamed she would attend college surrounded by cornfields. She has spent two summers as an editorial intern at ELLE Magazine. She always has a magazine (or three) with her. She loves her role as Kenyon's Campus Correspondent!
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