Summer is here and that can mean only one thing — more time for books! Whether it’s a leisurely day at the beach or an excursion to the mountains or just a beautiful afternoon in the backyard hammock, summer is a great time to catch up on the reading list you haven’t had time for all Spring. Here’s my list for the summer of 2021.
House of Sticks by Ly Tran
A memoir of a Vietnamese family that settles in New York City in the early ’90s with little to no knowledge about life in America. The daughter, Ly Tran, tells the story emphasizing what helped her get through the difficulties and recounting the delight she experiences when her life, even with its challenges, comes into focus.
Afterparties by Anthony Veasna So
The much-anticipated story collection by a brilliant young writer who left this world way too soon. I love short stories, And So was one of the best.
The Hard Crowd: Essays 2000-2020 by Rachel Kushner
I love reading essays. Rachel Kushner’s novels are good, and I hear she is brilliant at the essay as well.
In the Country of Others by Leila Slimani
The novel revolves around an affair between a young French woman and a Moroccan soldier during World War II, who find themselves unexpectedly drawn to one another and eventually settle down to raise children. This is a type of wide-ranging story that is a pleasure to read and incredibly difficult to write. Slimani is masterful.
The Committed by Viet Thanh Nguyen
This is the sequel to Viet Thanh Nguyen’s Pulitzer Prize-winning The Sympathizer. It follows a spy through a gritty underworld of Parisian crime. Nguyen is a great writer and this one should be good.
The Deeply Formed Life by Richard Villodas
Villodas’s observation is that we have been “formed by a shallow world.” The path to a deeper spirituality is an ancient path to overcoming the shallow. Villoda offers a combination of timeless truth and timely direction for restoring balance, focus, and meaning within our souls.
Reading While Black by Esau McCaulley
This is an important book about hope. It should be a source of fruitful conversation on one of the most important issues of our time.
Happy Reading and Have a Great Summer!