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At some point, I’ll get back to work and start writing. But not now.

Instead, I wanted to pause for a moment and reflect on Huge Inc’s summer reading recommendations. It’s heady and interesting and full of books I’ll never read because I’m not feeling very clever.

So, because I’m definitely not going to read books about AI at the beach, I wanted to share my summer book review. Actually, strike that, reviews. Plural. There are a few.

Mrs. Fletcher • NPR called this book raunchy. It’s about a middle-aged woman and her son, and it’s not for everybody. Do you like stories about college-age boys, sexuality, and MILFs? Who doesn’t! There are some laugh-out-loud moments and, also, some poignant moments. I liked this book a lot. It has a huge heart.

 

The Hot One: A Memoir of Friendship, Sex, and Murder • Want to read a childhood memoir and a crime story all rolled up together? Sure you do because there are strippers. Well, one stripper. And she’s more than just a stripper. She’s a daughter and a friend. Parts of this book made me cry, and there’s a link back to a suburb of Chicago that’s interesting.

 

Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore: A Novel • I’ve never read a crime book in my life, and suddenly my summer reading list intersects with dark stories. This book is more than just crime. It’s about family and a strong woman who doesn’t fall into stereotypes. Weird to say that I enjoyed this book, but I did. Takes place in Denver and made me think of Mary Faulkner.

 

The Impossible Vastness of Us • I have no idea where I picked up this book recommendation. It’s YA romance. I’m not gonna lie, I sort of loved it. There’s a character named India Maxwell, and I gave it a 50-50 chance that she would be a damaged teenager on drugs. Turns out, that’s not part of the plot. Also, shockingly, there is a plot and character development. It’s good!

 

The Glass Castle: A Memoir • I had resisted reading this book for years because it looked like a downer. Guess what? I was right. I didn’t finish it because I don’t want to be depressed.

 

The Reason You’re Alive: A Novel • Is this my favorite book of the summer? Yes, I think so. It’s about a Vietnam Vet who’s telling the story of his life, which sounds horrible. Hang with it. The narrator is the kind of guy you’d associate as a “Trump voter,” if you know what I mean. Racist. Sexist. But also surprisingly human and compassionate. This book will challenge you to think about people differently. Also, the lines about the Dutch are priceless.

 

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo: A Novel • If you want good life advice, read everything Brianna and Tara tell you to read. When they told me to read this book, I wasn’t sure it was for me. I finished the book in less than two days. It was excellent, and the narrator is a mixed-race millennial feminist. Booyah.

 

Borne: A Novel • If there’s one book that surprised me, this summer, it’s Borne. You’ve got a kickass black woman named Rachel in a dystopian world who’s immersed in a bunch of sci-fi shit that makes no sense to me. What happened here? Where did these monsters come from? Yet, this book was awesome. Super happy that I decided to suspend my cynical and judgy attitude and gave this story a shot. Totally worth my time and yours.

I also read a bunch of business books that, as the literary critics say, were boring as fuck and not very helpful. Who wants to think fast and slow? Who wants to improve their EQ and IQ? The answer is nobody. Nobody reads that junk and walks away thinking, “Damn, my life is better.”

Nope.

If anything, this summer has made me grateful for fiction. Lots of turmoil and anxiety in the world. Thank goodness for novels!

One Response to LFR Summer Book Review
  1. Martin Snyder

    I go through phases. I had my seventies Jewish thing with Bellow, Roth, Heller, et al. and I had my major classical SF thing. I had my Third Reich phase (“The Portage to San Christobol of A.H.” and the works of Lucy Dawidowicz are astounding). This year I have been, for some odd reason, about Latin American writers. I finally got around to reading “100 Years of Solitude”. It lived up to its reputation. Totally trippy. Now I’m reading Borges and just amazed at the sheer imagination needed to create his mini-worlds. He fictionally reviews works of fictional fiction. Amazing.