We were asked to write up some summer reading recommendations for Sun Press, and to include some classics as well as more recent titles. Thought we’d share that list here, too. Enjoy!
We Are all Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler (2013), her newest novel, is possibly her best yet, is already receiving rave reviews. It’s a beautifully written story about a family you will never forget. To tell you what it’s about will ruin the astonishing surprise. Full of Fowler’s unique way of looking at the world, this book is about family, love and loss, and it’s a story unlike any you have read before.
The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt (2012), one of last year’s best sellers, is a quirky, oddly charming story about two brothers who are hired guns in the old west. Violent and humorous, as if Cormac McCarthy wrote satire, it made me laugh out loud. Not for the faint of heart, though.
Perennial staff favorites
Rebecca’s Pick: Middlemarch by George Eliot (1874). You need a big fat novel for reading by the pool this summer, don’t you? This is the ONLY book in the world that makes me want to underline passages in pencil and write “how true!!” in the margins, a practice I normally despise.
Sarah’s Pick: Doomsday Book by Connie Willis (1992). Connie Willis’s characters come alive on the page, and it’s hard to put this book down. Kivrin, a college student, gets trapped in the medieval times, just before a great plague comes and wipes out most of the populace. Those in the future struggle to find a way to find and save her.
Sarah’s Pick: The Alienist by Caleb Carr (1994) is a classic historical mystery set in NYC in 1896. Dr. Laszlo Kreizler—a psychologist, or an “alienist” works with newspaper reporter John Schuyler to find a brutal murderer. It’s a gripping page turner, rich with historical details.
Harriett’s Pick: Rose by Martin Cruz Smith (1996). Martin Cruz Smith describes the 19th-century English mines so well, you start to cough from the dust. And just when you think you know the circuitous paths through the underground tunnels, the plot curves unexpectedly and you find yourself back at the beginning, except everything is different. No way am I going to spoil that surprise for you.
Susan’s Pick: Shoeless Joe by W.P. Kinsella (1982). “If you build it, he will come.” These mysterious words inspire Ray Kinsella to create a cornfield baseball diamond in honor of his hero, Shoeless Joe Jackson. What follows is a rich, nostalgic look at one of our most cherished national pastimes and a remarkable story about fathers and sons, love and family, and the inimitable joy of finding your way home. Part of our Classics Club reading group, which will discuss this title on Thursday, June 27, 2013, 7pm
Christine’s Pick: The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell (1996). In 2019, humanity finally finds proof of extraterrestrial life when a listening post in Puerto Rico picks up exquisite singing from a planet which will come to be known as Rakhat. While United Nations diplomats endlessly debate a possible first contact mission, the Society of Jesus quietly organizes an eight-person scientific expedition of its own. What the Jesuits find is a world so beyond comprehension that it will lead them to question the meaning of being “human.” When the lone survivor of the expedition, Emilio Sandoz, returns to Earth in 2059, he will try to explain what went wrong. Part of our Classics Club reading group, which will discuss this title, with the author!, on Thursday, July 25, 7-8:30pm.