HardCore Summer Reading Suggestions

fdc_book_trainwreckNothing against romance novels and more traditional beach reads, but I like to use my downtime to get deep and dirty into books that take me aback and encourage me to evolve without mindfulness and meditation. Here are a few of my summer reading recommendations.

—> Are you attracted to celebrity culture, but want to be more Ava DuVernay amplifying Jessica Chastain’s commentary about women in film than a self-flagellating narcissist like a Kardashian? (*) Or maybe you have leftover angry baggage about the denial of sexism’s role in the 2016 election season to infinity? Well then, Sady Doyle’s Trainwreck is your next summer read.

This non-fiction gem is a feminist history lesson that holds up a mirror to our own attitudes towards women who crash and burn. Doyle takes us from the Brontes to Amy Winehouse to Billie Holiday to Britney Spears to Hillary Clinton to Whitney Houston to Mary Wollstonecraft and back to Britney Spears, all the while giving context to their public spirals into “trainwreck” territory. The chapters are easily digestible anecdote-filled morsels that analyze both the subjects’ and the readers’ behavior. Trainwreck will entertain, educate, and make you stop and think about your own responses to celebrity.

(*) I fully understand the irony of calling out The Kardashians to open a mini-review/suggestion to read a book about celebrity trainwrecks.

51769957—> Reading Ada Calhoun’s Wedding Toasts I’ll Never Give is a lot less expensive and a lot more fun than couples therapy. At least I imagine so. At once funny and sad and contemplative and honest, Calhoun nudges us to reevaluate and appreciate our own relationships. Each essay has a different filter and focus, but it never feels forced or manufactured.

Throughout the collection, Calhoun’s voice is like the friend you rely on to tell you the truth about what an idiot you’re being, but over a glass of your favorite beverage at sunset. The personal stories walk the line of TMI, but never cross it. We get to know her family without feeling like we’ve invaded their personal space too much. Best suited to couples who have been together for a while; you’ll probably recommend your partner reads the book as well.

elle-2017-books-difficult-women-roxane-gay—> I have to throw in a repeated recommendation for Roxane Gay’s Difficult Women. It’s just so good. This collection of short stories has something to suit any mood and any variation on summer weather. Read my full review here: Difficult Women. Gay’s new book, Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body, is focused on food, weight, and self-image, and it’s sure to become the must-read of 2017. But I haven’t read it yet, so let me know what you think.

For my past recommendations see this post or this post or this kinda-sorta review, but definitely a summer suggestion here.

Leave YOUR suggestions for summer reading in comments!





About That Unique* Weblog

Adjusting to car culture, dealing with leaving a career I loved, and spouting off along the way. Do The Most Good.
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16 Responses to HardCore Summer Reading Suggestions

  1. I really enjoyed Amy Stewart’s “Girl Waits with Gun” — a fictionalized version of true events leading up to the appointment of the first female sheriff in New Jersey, Constance Kopp. Great story!

  2. Great list! I can’t wait to read “Hunger.” I would also suggest “The Underground Railroad” by Colson Whitehead. It’s so powerful and, sadly, seems so relevant in today’s America.

  3. Lauren Becker says:

    I’m always up for hardcore reading! The Wedding book is one that I’m curious about. I haven’t read Difficult Women but I enjoyed Bad Feminist and I pre-ordered Hunger so I can meet the author next week and get it signed!


  4. I never read enough and I have to start this summer so I’m going to add these to my to read book list on goodreads.com

  5. Mia Sutton says:

    I feel like I need to read every book on this list! They all sound great. Loved your review/description of Trainwreck! 😀

  6. Amy Grote says:

    I’m always in the middle of at least three books. These sound great!

  7. Caroline says:

    I have never heard of any of these! I totally want to make more time to READ

  8. Melissa says:

    I always love a great book list , thanks for the recommendation they all seem great.

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