Your Mag's Summer Reading List
As the end of the semester draws near, we can barely hold in our anticipation for summer. Sleeping in, drinking smoothies, and - best of all - spending plenty of time poolside or on the beach. The problem is, the sun makes it impossible for us to see our phone screens, and close proximity to water makes us want to leave all of our electronics at home. So, our sunbathing activity of choice is reading a really good book, and here are ten that you should pick up this summer!
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie May will mark a year since the publishing of this instant modern classic - if you haven’t read it yet, go. Read it. Now. Not only does the novel contain sharp and necessary social commentary, but it also artfully weaves together a story of immigration, identity, growth, and love. Every character is complex and interesting, and the protagonist it centers around is engaging and inspiring on her own.
Girl at War by Sara Novic This is an especially exciting release for the Emerson community in particular - coming out on May 12 is a book by Emerson’s own ‘09 alum, Sara Novic. It’s a coming-of-age novel about Ana, a Croatian girl who is ten years old when the Yugoslavian war breaks out. Novic travels between Ana’s younger self and her twenty-one year old self, exploring how history affects the individual. It’s an absolute must-read!
To Kill a Mockingbird and Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee What better way to prepare for the release of an unexpected, earth-shattering new Harper Lee novel than by re-reading her debut and only other published novel? Coming out on July 14, Go Set a Watchman is expected to finally tell us exactly what happened to Scout and Atticus.
The Stranger by Albert Camus The Stranger should only be read on the beach - not only does it help set the scene, but it helps you get your mind off of the existential crisis that this book is certain to give you. The shouting children, warm sun, and smiling vacationers will comfort you after Camus makes you question pretty much everything ever. Still, it’s a great book and, if you’re up for some deep contemplation, definitely worth reading.
God Help the Child by Toni Morrison Toni Morrison has just released what promises to be another masterpiece, and for the first time, it’s set in the present. The novel explores how the pain dealt with in childhood affects you throughout adulthood and the ways in which that happens, using a protagonist called Bride and her relationships with the world and those around her to show this. Beyond excited to read this one.
In the Country: Stories, by Mia Alvar If you have a short attention span or just prefer short stories, don’t fret! Mia Alvar has got you covered starting on June 16 with a collection of nine powerful stories about various experiences of the Filipino diaspora. It’s Alvar’s debut, and it is certain to touch your heart with its examination of the human emotions we all face.
The Liar by Nora Roberts If you’re looking for a trashy romance novel to devour in one afternoon, look no further. Nora Roberts never fails to disappoint, and this tale of Shelby Foxworth, a Tennessee girl whose husband moves her to Philadelphia, where she loses him in more ways than one, is no exception. It was just released on April 14, so get it while it’s hot!
Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari Yes, you read that right, Aziz Ansari wrote a book. Not only that, but he wrote a book on romance. This sure-to-be bestseller comes out June 16. With observations on modern romance that will sometimes make you laugh and sometimes make you think, Ansari will always keep it #real.
The Brothers: The Road to an American Tragedy by Masha Gessen If fiction isn’t your thing, Masha Gessen’s recent release is certain to be an intriguing, though difficult, read. It’s a historically aware account of the Boston Bombing and the events leading up to it. If you’re looking for something heavier and super relevant to the Emerson community, definitely read this.
The Book of Salt by Monique Truong This is one of those books that makes writers feel incredibly inadequate. The language is beautifully crafted, as is the story, and it pulls you completely into the world of Binh, the Vietnamese-turned-Parisian cook of Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas. I can’t recommend this book enough - read it.