Summer Reading / 4 Books to Enjoy, Detest, Debate + Share

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The media (née publishing industry) really has a way of psyching us up for summer reading, right? It’s possible I follow too many writers and publishers on Twitter, but people are unloading summer reading lists like there’s nothing better to do than to curl up (as one does) in some fantastical leather chair, in your library of many leather-bound books, a perfectly-brewed pour over coffee at your side and in your lap (beside the well-behaved, non-shedding, foot-warming dog) a thick volume of the greatest novel ever. Or, you know, on a beach or a porch somewhere, a temperate breeze just strong enough to move the blades of grass just so. You will sit there, never moving, going through tens of these novels, hundreds of these novels, until your to-read list is empty and your GoodReads challenge is blown out of the water. And that’s how I fantasize about book reading.

This summer, that will not be exactly my situation but I do want to finally get to four books that I’ve been putting off until I could get as close to this scenario as possible. Two fiction, 1 non-fiction and 1 semi/possibly work-related. This, is my brief summer reading list:

Lidia Yuknavitch, The Small Backs of Children / In a war-torn village in Eastern Europe, an American photographer captures a heart-stopping image: a young girl flying toward the lens, fleeing a fiery explosion that has engulfed her home and family. The image wins acclaim and prizes, becoming an icon for millions—and a subject of obsession for one writer, the photographer’s best friend, who has suffered a devastating tragedy of her own.

Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me / In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation’s history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of race, a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion.

Tom Kelley + David Kelley, Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All / In an incredibly entertaining and inspiring narrative that draws on countless stories from their work at IDEO, the Stanford d.school, and with many of the world’s top companies, David and Tom Kelley identify the principles and strategies that will allow us to tap into our creative potential in our work lives, and in our personal lives, and allow us to innovate in terms of how we approach and solve problems.

Mia Alvar, In the Country: Stories / These nine globe-trotting, unforgettable stories from Mia Alvar, a remarkable new literary talent, vividly give voice to the women and men of the Filipino diaspora. Here are exiles, emigrants, and wanderers uprooting their families from the Philippines to begin new lives in the Middle East, the United States, and elsewhere and, sometimes, turning back again.

What are you reading this summer?

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