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Our Summer Reading Guide is now live! This is our annual feature in which the Atlanticwriters and editors get a chance to play a slightly pushy character at a backyard barbecue who practically screams, “I just finished this book, and you need to read it! NOW.”
First, here are four new stories from the AtlanticBooks Section of:
My own fondest memory of studying during the summer comes right after my sophomore year in college, when instead of going home, I lived in school and worked as a campus janitor. I had just broken up with my high-school girlfriend, which is probably a relevant part of the story. The job, which involved cleaning toilets and making dorm bunk beds, made me enough money to rent a room in an old purple Victorian house with a large porch for drinking beer and brooding. I wasn’t very good at being a janitor. Mostly, every chance I got, I found quiet corners where I could snuggle up with a book.
I had just discovered Philip Roth, and, with access to the school library, I tore through his masterpiece, goodbye columbus even sabbath theater (which remains my favorite). It was 1996, and a late, great streak of Roth novels had begun. american rustic, published the following year. I would sit by the big trash can in the back of the cafeteria and read, work on getting my hospital corners done in an empty room, and then lay in bed and read, offering to go back and mop up another but one Reading stopped under the tree. Roth’s voice, reveling in all his blatant human frailties, was like nothing I’d ever encountered—all those page-turning rants, funny and full of rage. I probably should have taken my time with each novel—I especially remember rushing through all zuckerman bound Books a week. But part of the fun, part of the joy of summer reading, was the eating.
Our writers and editors make their selections in this spirit, selecting books that allow them to lose themselves completely. That’s the thing about the titles we gravitate toward in the summer: Even though school is long gone for many of us, those warmer months can feel out of time when we find ourselves reading. can dedicate to Antonym Homework.
The list is organized according to mood, whether there’s a desire to dive deeper into a topic or a desire to be transported elsewhere. Let our writers buttonhole you. Sophie Gilbert Will Insist That You Rewatch Anita Bruckner’s Gems Hotel Du Lac, Franklin Foer tells you why you should spend your beach time reading about post-war Germany in Harald Jahner’s book Result (“Time for one-night stands and wild dance parties,” apparently). And James Parker won’t rest until you’ve picked up and appreciated the “fizzing-brained” prose of Don Patterson’s new memoir, toy fights, Each recommendation will lead you to bliss – after all, it is summer. enjoy!
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what to read
the summer bookby Tove Jansson (translated by Thomas Teel)
the summer book Kept in the children’s section at my local library, but don’t be fooled by the simplicity of its prose: the novel is very deep when it comes to aging and death. Grandma and young Sofia spend their summers on an island in the Gulf of Finland, making up tales about long-tailed ducks, exploring caves and arguing about God. Life has an easy, elemental rhythm—the book is composed of vignettes that seem almost out of time—and yet the story is colored by Grandma’s dizzy spells and drug dependence. The dead forests, mossy granite, and distant boats are described with the acuteness of lived experience: Jansen himself lived on a similar island for half of each year. Through the eyes of her characters, she connects decades of care in the same place, creating an unsettling yet intimate portrayal of a home. , chelsea lue
From Our List: Eight Books That Will Take You Somewhere New
out this week
The Women We Buried, The Women We Burned: A Memoir, by Rachel Louise Snyder
good night, ireneby Luis Alberto Urrea
read your weekend
Illustration by Angel Hernandez
“I worked on my first novel, holding pattern, in my off-hours. As its main characters, Marissa and Kathleen, collide on the page, their mother-daughter relationship unwittingly begins to resemble mine. Their bond is strangled by the narratives they have internally told about each other and bound by cultural difference – though always revived by love. But the book is in English, so my mother will not be able to read it. I’ve essentially written a love letter that the recipient can’t understand.
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