Summer reading suggestions?

Anyone out there have summer reading suggestions for our on-line readers? Non-fiction and fiction....? graphic novels? essays? bring it all on. 

My gal, my son and I are heading out on a roadtrip this Sunday to a little cabin in Montana for a week of reading and relaxing and I would love to take a stack of reader suggested books with me, as I am sure many of us would. Then maybe we could write reviews and post them to this post as comments?

Keep those book ideas coming. Everyone should have (and have access to) a good book on their nightstand.

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Readers' advisory (what we librarians call it!)

Yay to a week of reading. Here are some suggestions, based on what I am reading now:

- In honor of your trip to Montana, I suggest any of Bozeman native Sarah Vowell's books (snagged an ARC of her newest, the Wordy Shipmates, from my bookshop job--really good, so far.

- The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak. I'm purposely not reading any reviews of this wonderful YA book until I am done. I want to be unspoiled about what happens.

- Endangered Pleasures: In Defense of Naps, Bacon, Martinis, Profanity, and Other Indulgences, by Barbara Holland. The title is about as long as the book, which is a kind of silly, though educational book. A good read en toilette (i.e. quick chapterettes).

Hope you get a lot of good suggestions!

Summer Reading ...

... but first a clarification. Sarah Vowell's indeed from Bozeman, MT. However, she was born in Oklahoma. As I am in the midwest, I count that, too.

I read Jhumpa Lahiri's story collection <i>Unaccustomed Earth</i> a couple of months' ago. I would recommend it, but am not sure for a weekend in a Montana cabin. Louise Erdrich's new one <i>The Plague of Doves</i> might be more suiting. Am about to dig into that one, myself.

Anything by E. Annie Proulx and Jane Smiley would do, too. For something not-so "mainstream," I just ordered Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore's new novel <i>So Many Ways To Sleep Badly</i>. That will be next.

Oh yeah. I thought of another Montana "native" ...

...Barbara Eherenreich. Her new essay book <i>This Land Is "Their" Land</i> is very timely, if you would rather read non-fiction.

My recent reads

I've been reading like a maniac this summer, especially non-fiction.

I most highly recommend <i>Gilead</i> by Marilynne Robinson. This epistolary novel about a Midwestern preacher nearing the end of his life is one of the most moving and thought-provoking books I've read in years.

I recommend anything by Harvey Pekar, particularly the <i>American Splendor</i> series. I most recently read <i>The Quitter</i> and <i>Ego & Hubris</i>. Ditto for Stephen King (particularly <i>The Stand</i>, which only seems more pertinent as time passes) and Phillip K. Dick. Dick's novels are generally pretty challenging, but his book of short stories is fairly accessible.

Frank Miller's <i>Sin City</i> series is breathtakingly beautiful (illustrated in entirely black and white - best grasp of contrast I've seen), but his figures are rather grotesque (particularly his absurdly-built female characters, who are almost without exception sex workers) and his plots are definitely misogynistic. Daniel Clowes' <i>Ghost World</i> is quite good and sad - the movie is good too.

This past spring I got into Shirley Jackson. You probably know her short story "The Lottery", but all of her work is quite good, particularly the collection of short stories of the same name (I also enjoyed <i>We Have Always Lived in the Castle</i>.) <i>The Lottery</i> was surprisingly (pre-Betty Friedan) feminist, with most stories centering around the plights and choices of career women in the city and housewives.

Mary Roach's <i>Bonk</i>, a non-fiction book on the recent history of the scientific study of sex, is very entertaining, though it ends kind of weakly.

More books on my reading list can be found here:

(P.S., for those of you who are into both online social networking and reading, I highly recommend It's an excellent way to keep track of what you've read - through this site, I know that I've read 20 books this summer and 29 this year - only about 21 away from my goal!!)

Femme Librarian suggests . . .

Sex and Bacon - hilarious, quotes are posted all over our fridge at home
Inkheart series - a must for book-lovers
Water Cooler Diaries - a day in the life of women all over the US, doing whatever they do best
Geography of Bliss - absolutely mind-blowing travel writing/psychology of happiness story
anything by Tom Robbins, Francesca Lia Block, Colette, FS Fitzgerald
Eccentric Glamour - Simon Doonan always makes a girl feels good
(just go into the library, look for a cool librarian and ask what they suggest . . . )

All of these look awesome!

<p>All of these look awesome! Thanks and please, if anyone has other ideas, post them! </p><p>Have a great week everyone - I'll be up to my neck in books and loving it.</p><p>&nbsp;</p>

book stuff

Gosh too many - why not pick up some Virago books in honour of their 35th anniversary? They published so many great works by women. I've been reading Elizabeth Taylor's Angel.

How about last year's Booker winner The Gathering by Anne Enright?

Or Alison Light's book (out last year in HB, just out in PB) Mrs. Woolf and the Servants, about Virginia Woolf's relationship with her servants.

Enjoy your trip!

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