Saturday, June 22, 2019
June 22-23, 2019: Crowd-sourced Beach Reads
[I’ve got some very talented friends and colleagues. So for this year’s annual Beach Reads series, I wanted to highlight works by friends old and new and colleagues at FSU (I’m a poet and I don’t know it!). Leading up to one of my favorite crowd-sourced posts of the year, featuring the nominations of fellow AmericanStudiers—add yours in comments, please!]
First, one more nomination from me; it wasn’t written by a friend, but it was shared with me by my favorite writer and reader, Ilene Railton: Richard Powers’ wonderful, justifiably acclaimed novel The Overstory (2018).
Ilene also adds another nomination, Normal People by Sally Rooney.
Jonathan Silverman writes, “For non-fiction: Boom Town by Sam Anderson; Educated by Tara Westover; Dear Mr. You by Mary-Louise Parker; Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottleib; Pictures at a Revolution by Mark Harris; This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage by Ann Patchett. Also really liked Cork Dork by Bianca Bosker. These are all thoughtful, often funny, well-written, and easy to read (I listened to most of these on audiobook). It's a really good era for serious, interesting non-fiction!” He adds, “And for baseball people, The Only Rule is That It Has to Work by Ben Lindbergh and Sam Anderson is very good.”
Shirley Wagner writes, “If a book doesn’t send me hunting for a recipe or remind me of a recipe or give me a recipe, it probably isn’t calling my name this summer. Frances Mayes’ Women in Sunlight sent me looking for a lemon pistachio pasta recipe. Perfect summer food. Read, eat, read some more!”
Ian Bashaw shares, “The Girl from Aleppo by Nujeen Mustafa was excellent. You’ll finish it in one sitting.”
Kate Smith highlights “Call Me American by Abdi Iftin. Just because you're on the beach doesn't mean you can't learn and expand your horizons! It's an engrossing, easy (albeit heavy) read, but so very important, especially given the drought and humanitarian crisis in Somalia and the rise of hate crimes against Muslims in the US and abroad.”
Irene Martyniuk shares, “I want to plug international mysteries. Jo Nesbo from Norway is my favorite, although anything from Iceland is usually a good bet (very literary nation). Barbara Nadel has a really sharp series based in Istanbul. The mysteries are great, and she incorporates historical events and the various cultures and religions of the city (Muslim, Jewish, Christian, and Yezidi). Top drawer stuff. There are so many great Swedish series—Henning Mankell is terrific to start. Colin Cotterill writes about a coroner in 1970’s Laos. The stories are actually hilarious. And Vaseem Khan’s mysteries set in Mumbai are just plain fun. Unfortunately, for many Asian and Southeastern Asian cultures, the mysteries available in English are written by Europeans but that is slowly changing. And Agatha Christie is always a great beach read.”
Tamara Verhyen writes, “We’re doing a family book club this year. We are all so busy with camp and work and this gives us another way to connect. I mean it’s not summer light reading but we are starting with The Hate U Give. I think its essential reading for a 13 yo girl to read.”
And finally, here’s a list of Beach Read recommendations from great contemporary authors!
Next series starts Monday,
PS. What else are you bringing to the beach this year or would you recommend we bring?