Staff Picks: Summer Reading List

A summer reading list for kids sounds like homework, but for us adults it’s an escape into other worlds. A chance to be wooed, go on adventures and explore new lands that exist outside of our 9-to-5 corporate prisons. We’ve got satire, romance history and what summer reading list wouldn’t be complete without a zombie novel? So grab a book, find a shady cool spot in the backyard and we will see you after the final “.”

Jessica Patterson, Sales Associate

I just finished reading “A Dog’s Purpose,” and I loved it. As someone who doesn’t like to read all that much, I wanted something quick and entertaining, and this book was both. It was funny, heart-wrenching, thought-provoking, and everything in between. Definitely a great summer read for a day by the pool!

Susan Lacke, Contributing Editor

I often fantasize about quitting the rat race and living in a tent where no one can e-mail, text, or tweet at me, but then I realize such a life would involve me to give up pizza delivery, too, and I’m not so sure I’m okay with that. Instead, I live vicariously through Christopher Knight, the subject of Michael Finkel’s The Stranger in the Woods. Knight walked into the Maine woods one day and decided to just stay there. For 27 years. Michael Finkel’s meticulously-researched account of what took place during that time, along with Knight’s challenging reintroduction to modern society, is a fascinating read.

Amanda Pratt, Design and Production Specialist

Ross Poldark: A Novel of Cornwall, is the first in a series of books by Winston Graham and it is set in the late 1700s in Cornwall England. I love Victorian Literature and although this is set earlier it is still a great historical fiction that would be perfect for someone looking for a long time reading investment. There are 15 books in the series so it’ll keep you going for a while and when you get properly obsessed, as I am, you can dive into the BBC Poldark series that is on it’s third season.

Ashley Szanter, Associate Editor
George A. Romero, godfather of American zombie cinema, died Sunday, July 16. In memory of his contributions to zombie lore, I’d recommend one of the best zombie books on the market: Zone One by Colson Whitehead. The book chronicles “Mark Spitz” and fellow “sweepers” as they clean up portions of New York City after a virus ravages civilization turning humans into flesh-eating zombies. The novel covers a three-day span as “Spitz” and company try to make NYC habitable again. You’ll follow them through their task and find out how this “Mark Spitz” survived and got his recognizable moniker. While stories about the walking dead aren’t in short supply, this book is definitely a great summer read.

Andrea Peterson, Digital Media Manager

The Little Paris Bookshop written by Nina George was a fun surprise find at the book store. I had not heard of it and yet it’s been several months since I turned the final page and I still find myself daily thinking of things from the book. It is about Jean Perdu a Parisian who runs a bookshop on a barge that floats the rivers around France. His shop is more of a literary apothecary as he has a gift for sensing the exact story a customer needs. If only there were someone out there who could soothe pick a story to soothe his heartbroken soul. The reason I am so in love with this book is because Nina George has a way with words that really allow you to hear, see and feel the characters: “Incidentally, you can scream with your heart; and it’s incredibly painful.”

Melody Kester, Office Manager

If you are looking for a light read in the sun this is not the book for you, however if you are looking for a book about the human struggle and survival, this one will do the job. This book is about the leper colony on Moloka’i and describes the heartache of being torn from your family because of this once terrible, frightening disease. It is a story of perseverance and courage. Alan Brennert allows you to feel what the characters in the book are feeling and describes what life was like for the lepers and the people that came to help them. I liked the way the author writes so much I have added Alan Brennert’s Honolulu to my summer reading list.

Paul Steven, Art Designer

Dead Wake, by Erik Larson is a non-fiction novel about the sinking of the Lusitania- one of the largest and fastest passenger ships of the first world war. I really enjoyed how it covered the event from several perspectives, including those of passengers and crew of the Lusitania, political leaders of the waring nations, and the caption of SM U-20, the U-Boat which fired upon and ultimately sank the Lusitania. This is a great read for any history buff.

Ashley Baker, Contributing Writer

I don’t have a lot of time to sit and read for leisure. As a mom, student, and writer, I’ve just been too busy to enjoy it lately… my solution: audiobooks. My latest summer “read” is the Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson. Manson highlights many points, but a few that stood out are for me are:

  1. While we obsess over becoming a more improved or better version of our current selves, we focus on our negative qualities and therefore we can never be fulfilled or attain “success.”
  2. Self help books play on lack, causing us to hate ourselves even more
  3. We should care about the things that truly matter like our existence and being ok with who we are right now
Andrea Peterson
Andrea Peterson
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