It's officially midsummer. Between a few small trips we've taken over the last few months, we've read quite a few books. And with a bit of travel coming up for work and fun, we're thinking about what we're reading next.
We'd thought we'd offer a few of our recommendations -- and ask for some from you, as well.
So far this summer, we've read a couple books we really enjoyed. Here's what we recommend:
We both just finished reading Wonder, by R.J. Palacio. It's an incredibly sweet little book about a 10-year-old boy with a severe facial deformities, and what it's like when he starts school for the first time. (Technically, it's a young adult novel. But that's never kept us from enjoying something.)
Clay recently finished Maria Semple's Where'd You Go, Bernadette, which was a super enjoyable read, and quite funny. Zach's going to read it next.
For those of you who love both food and great food writing, read Jeffrey Steingarten’s The Man Who Ate Everything. Steingarten, the food writer for Vogue, is new to us -- we learned about him from an interview with his former assistant, "Top Chef"’s Gail Simmons. But his food writing is our favorite we’ve encountered in some time -- funny, personal, informative, adventurous. The Man Who Ate Everything is worth picking up if only for the chapters about the fat-free craze of the '90s and truffle hunting in Italy.
We both just finished (and loved) reading Meg Wolitzer's The Interestings, about a group of friends who meet at a summer camp and what happens in the following 40 years. It's popping up on lots of "summer beach reads" lists and we highly recommend it.
And lastly, while on a car trip in Kentucky, Clay recently listened to the audiobook of David Sedaris's Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls. It had been a few years since one of us had read a Sedaris book, and he's still just as hilarious and funny as he was in Naked, Barrel Fever (our favorite), and Me Talk Pretty One Day. If you have occasion to listen to the audiobook of any of these, do! Sedaris is a gifted performer.
So that's what we've read that we recommend. What should we read next? Here's what's on our list so far.
Clay has just started The Sisters Brothers, a comic Western novel recommended by a colleague. We'll report back...
We're definitely going to read A Map of Tulsa, a novel that we read a review of months ago and have had on our list ever since.
A diversion from these other titles, we're eyeing Hellhound on His Trail, a nonfiction account of the hunt for James Earl Ray, the man who shot and killed Martin Luther King Jr. It's one of those books that we just keep hearing raves about, from friends, coworkers, family members, random people on the bus, etc.
We're also really intrigued by Life After Life, by Kate Atkinson. It's been recommended by several friends and colleagues.
Oh, also, if we're being completely honest here, we're probably definitely going to read the new Dan Brown at the beach in a few weeks. And we may try to finally read J.K. Rowling's The Casual Vacancy as well.
What else should we read this summer? Between beach time and other little trips we've got coming up -- not to mention pool time (we're huge fans of D.C.'s public pools) and backyard time and couch time and bed time -- we're in serious need of some great titles.
What have you read recently that you've loved? What's on your summer reading list?
Please share yours in the comments!