Summer Reading Recommendations from Our Staff

It’s the first day of summer here in the northern hemisphere. Looking for a great read for the July 4th holiday or for an upcoming vacation? Our staff love to read and today they share their summer reading recommendations. Head out to your local bookstore and grab a copy of one of these great books.

The QueenSenior Project Editor Charles Brower says, “I’m currently devouring Josh Levin’s The Queen, a page-turning combination of true crime and political history. It’s about the unbelievably twisty life of con artist, kidnapper, and (possible) murderer Linda Taylor, who became the most notorious ‘Welfare Queen’ of the 1970s and, as such, was a figurehead of Reagan’s racist attacks on the poor, particularly women of color. Taylor is mostly forgotten, but the stereotype she inspired, unfortunately, lives on.”

Jocelyn Dawson, our Journals Marketing Manager, recommends the memoir Maybe You Should Talk to Someone, by Lori Gottlieb. “It is written by a therapist experiencing her own personal crisis. She also captures the emotional journeys of several of her clients (who gave her permission to write about them under disguised identities). I picked this up thinking it would be a light read, but it’s incredibly moving with a nice balance of humor and insight. One of my top books this year.”

How to Do Nothing.jpgHow to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy by Jenny Odell is Digital Content Manager Patty Chase’s pick. “I read this over the course of several days on the porch of a mountain cabin, which was the perfect place to disconnect from information overload, and Jenny Odell was the perfect guide. This book has helped me to slow down and savor life’s moments, and to regain control over where I place my attention. It’s also a great companion to the Duke University Press book Counterproductive by Melissa Gregg, which I also read recently.”

Makers.jpgCopywriter Chris Robinson recommends Makers, by Cory Doctorow. “Makers is set in the near future and is about two inventors and their squatter community in Florida who are at the forefront of a new mode of work and economics who end up hacking Disney. I love Doctorow’s speculative/science fiction for his combination of technology, critique of capitalism, hacker culture, and his relatable and sympathetic characters. He makes me want to figure out how to hack capitalism!”

Production Coordinator Nancy Sampson says, “I’d like to recommend a mystery series by Cara Black, the Aimee Leduc Investigations. Each story is set in a different arrondissement in Paris and you learn a little bit about Parisian societal structure, architecture, and history in between the main plots of murder and intrigue. The main characters are consistent throughout but the books don’t necessarily need to be read in order. It is fun to follow Aimee, the main character, on her sidetracked adventures and the author is great at conveying locations in Paris that most tourists would never be aware of.”

Dear Mrs BirdMaria Volpe, the Administrative Assistant to the Director, suggests Dear Mrs. Bird by AJ Pearce. “Such an easy and enjoyable read – I couldn’t finish it fast enough! It was charming, funny and heartwarming all at the same time. It was recommended for fans of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and Lilac Girls.”

Publicity and Advertising Manager Laura Sell recommends The Farm by Joanne Ramos. “The Farm is a dystopian novel set in a very near, recognizable and realistic future. Immigrant women are put up at a luxury facility outside New York City where they serve as surrogates for wealthy people. The novel addresses income inequality, the immigrant experience, working mothers, and surveillance capitalism in a brisk but heartbreaking way.”

Invention of natureKatja Moos, our Digital Collections Sales Manager, is reading The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt’s New World by Andrea Wulf. She says, “This is a nonfiction book that reads like an adventure story. The discoveries and reflections of this famous early nineteenth century visionary German scientist, naturalist and polymath read like short stories that weave together traveling the world, relationships with iconic writers and scientists, and today’s issues of climate change and environmentalism.”

Whatever your summer plans, we hope they include reading!

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