Hi everyone! Carolyn here. I am currently knee-deep in packing for July 4th in Nantucket, and one of my favorites parts of prepping for an upcoming trip is selecting the books I am going to bring (nerd alert). To me, there is no greater pleasure than cracking open a good book on a beautiful day and taking it in with my surroundings. So I am going old school here and putting together a summer reading list for you Elana Lyn bookworms, and trust me when I say that there is something in here for everyone. Happy summer reading!
Summer Reading 2016
For the Self-Proclaimed Foodie
Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation by Michael Pollan: Foodies, be prepared to geek out as you walk through human beings’ history of cooking. Pollan organizes this epic by element, so you will get a window into man’s harnessing of the grill (fire), braises, soups, and other stove-bound feats (water), the art of baking bread (air), and the science behind fermentation (Earth).
Read this if you liked The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals (also by Pollan).
For the World Traveler:
Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer: Strap yourself in and prepare to be transported to Ukraine, where our hero blindly journeys with nothing but an old photograph in search of the woman who saved his grandfather from the Nazis. While the subject matter seems heavy on the surface, this is actually one of the most quirky and unconventionally comedic books I have read in recent years, while still remaining wholly touching until the end.
Read this if you liked Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (also by Foer).
For the Chick Lit Lady:
Modern Lovers by Emma Straub: If the wildly colorful cover doesn’t get you, the endearing female characters will. Modern Lovers tells the story of two Brooklyn-based women as they find themselves confronting middle age, children growing up way too fast, and the ever-present struggle between career and home life. It is the quintessential “beach read” and could not have been more entertaining to breeze through.
Read this if you liked The Vacationers (also by Straub).
For the Dreamer With Her Head in the Clouds:
On Such a Full Sea: A Novel by Chang-rae Lee
Set in a futuristic world that is anything but Utopian, this novel follows the journey of Fan, a gifted diver who sets out to leave her isolated community in search of her vanished significant other. Both mind-expanding and oddly familiar, this read is a departure from the ordinary and an incredible chronicle of Fan’s adventures beyond the walls of her home.
Read this if you liked The Dog Stars by Peter Heller.
For the Memoir Maniac:
The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion: A stunning picture of loss, grief, and regeneration, this book completely blew me away. Magical Thinking chronicle’s the loss of Didion’s husband of nearly 40 years, and how she experienced sorrow in the wake of this great tragedy.
Read this if you liked Play It As It Lays (also by Didion).
For Those of Us Reminiscing About Our Childhoods:
The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing by Melissa Bank: This collection of short stories is both laugh-out-loud funny and universally takes you back to memories from girlhood, both the painful and poignant kinds. Regardless of when, where, or how you grew up, there is a piece of the narrative in here that is relatable for everyone.
Read this if you liked I Was Told There’d Be Cake: Essays by Sloane Crosley.
For Myself – The Books on My Personal Summer Reading List
Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin
Jazz by Toni Morrison
The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone by Olivia Laing
The Good Lord Bird by James McBride
One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories by BJ Novak
E. E. Cummings: A Life by Susan Cheever
We are always looking for good book recommendations! What do you recommend?
By Carolyn Stine: Carolyn is the Commerce Experience Manager at Club Monaco, but her heart (and stomach) lies firmly in the food and travel universe. Despite working on the digital side of the fashion industry by day, you can most frequently find her in search of the best new restaurant, knee-deep in planning a trip to a far-reaching locale, or at her local branch of the New York Public Library. Follow Carolyn’s adventures on Instagram at @carobaker1.
Images via Carolyn Stine and Make Life Easier.