Friday, May 2, 2014

Kaitlin's Summer Reading List

The summer reading list of Kaitlin (@Kemattison), of - a sixth grade English teacher who’d hire an Anthropologie artist for her entire life if it was feasible.


Freedom By Jonathan Franzen
Anytime Oprah recommends a book, I know the storytelling is going to be phenomenal. Judge Oprah all you want, but she (and her people) know how to identify storytellers, and Franzen, based on my long ago reading of The Corrections is a master. This book makes my list for an additional reason: my brother praised it. My brother is quite picky about his novels, because he’s in the throes of dental school and can’t devote a lot of time to lousy literature. So, this is topping my must read over the summer list.

Autobiography of Us By Aria Beth Sloss
The phrases most closely associated with this title are: coming of age, California and 1960s. So this basically is my evensong. I know nothing about the author, but I like the topics she decided to cover. Cue The OC theme song and sign me up for this.

Pigeon in a Crosswalk: Tales of Anxiety and Accidental Glamour by Jack Gray
The older I get, the more I enjoy essayists. In this collection of essays, Gray, the producer of Anderson Cooper’s show, and friend to Kathy Griffin, depicts his everyday life, which appears to be anything but what we mere mortals consider to be “every day” occurrences.  Also, whenever someone calls glamour accidental I’m drawn to them because they could be my kindred spirit. I shall reserve this one for beach or poolside shenanigans.

Benediction by Kent Haruf
In high school my contemporary literature teacher recommended Haruf’s Plainsong, the tale of multiple people/families overcoming obstacles in a dreary Colorado farm town. Think “Friday Night Lights” minus the drawls and football obsessions. Haruf’s ability to create characters you feel empathetic towards is unparalleled. You also feel like moving to Colorado by the time you’re done. This is the third book with Plainsong’s lovely characters. I can’t wait to dive into this and be reunited with old friends.

Grasshopper Jungle

Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith
This novel is being advertised as a hilarious coming of age/apocalypse tale. That seems like one huge oxymoron to me, but the idea of a sexually confused teenager accidentally unleashing a plague on the country that creates an army of praying mantises the size of Shaq does sound quite entertaining. At whatever point this summer that I’m yearning for some adventure, I’ll crack open this unique book.

Boy, Snow, Bird

Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi
A Massachusetts setting? Check. Issues of racial identity? Check. A female protagonist successfully escaping an abusive parent? Check. As an English major, with a focus on Africana studies, this is my dream novel. A family grapples with the complexity, and guilt of “passing as white” in 1950s Massachusetts. The family’s confusion becomes more complex when their newborn will quite obviously not pass as white. When I want to think this summer, I will surely be devouring this book.

*Images courtesy of Goodreads.

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