Summer reading recommendations

Hello! Looking for some summer reading suggestions. Doesn't have to be a cookbook, or even a food-related book—just a good read. Thanks so much.

Ali Slagle


luvcookbooks July 5, 2016
All My Puny Sorrows, The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking by Anya Von Bremzen. Want to read a lot of the books above as well. Hoping to finish Divergent series!
aargersi July 5, 2016
Have you read The Secret History, also by Donna Tartt? I liked it much better than The Goldfinch, which I found to be wordy and self indulgent on the author's part (I will use ALL of the words! More than once! Because I can!) I mean it's good but could have been cut back by at least a quarter. Kinda like people on Cooking shows using Everything In The Pantry.
amysarah July 5, 2016
Yes, I loved Secret Histories. But I quite liked Goldfinch too, though it wasn't always as riveting a read as SH. The wordiness didn't bother me - reminded me of an epic Dickens novel, e.g., Great Expectations (semi-orphan's tumultuous and highly detailed life story story/colorful or eccentric characters who mold his identity, etc.) But I agree some parts dragged! Speaking of Donna Tartt, The Little Friend is also worthwhile - sort of a Southern Gothic (a la To Kill a Mocking Bird, Eudora Welty, Faulkner, etc.) - stylistically closer to SH than Goldfinch.
burning-ice July 1, 2016
All from the YA shelf, but I really loved them all:

Eleanor & Park, Rainbow Rowell

Amy & Roger's epic detour, Morgan Matson

How I live now, Meg Rosoff
Annie S. June 30, 2016
I recently read The Last Chinese Chef and liked it and I re-read Gift From the Sea by Ann Morrow Lindbergh. There is a new edition to celebrate the 50th Anniversary. Nice things to contemplate while having quiet beach moments.
Stephanie June 30, 2016
Mostly I just want to be included in all the incoming answers! I recently read and loved Gods of Gotham (dark but so good!). If you want a lighter read, I'll admit that I really enjoyed the Divergent series. YA fiction is good for some page-turning brain candy. I'm considering re-reading Louisa May Alcott as an adult. And my best summer reading suggestion is browsing the cheap, used selection at your local (brick and mortar!) bookstore. That way, if you get halfway through and want to stop, no guilt - because it was cheaper than a cocktail! Cheers!
caninechef June 30, 2016
Not exactly breezy beach reading but if you like murder mystery meets psychological analysis almost anything by Elizabeth George. I have only read Inspector Lynley books, I think she has a new series now also.
Maedl June 30, 2016
The Relic Master by Christopher Buckley is great preparation for the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, coming up next year. Don't roll your eyes--the book is the story of a man who chases around Europe buying questionable relics for the collection of a German bishop and king. It is a funny read, but gets to the heart of some of the issues that brought the Reformation to a head.
Tina June 29, 2016
The Girls by Emma Cline. Great book.
Dona June 29, 2016
I'm currently reading The Children by Ann Leary. It's really good, makes me want to look up her first book and read that also.
Emily L. June 29, 2016
I recently read Shadows in the Vineyard by Maximillian Potter and loved it! Currently reading The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen on a completely different note and it's great so far.
Nancy June 28, 2016
Few titles, but 2 approaches for summer or leisure reading.
More common, and in some ways more relaxing, is to read anything you want, popular, recent, good-trash or really-good.
Probably rarer is to use a chunk of time to read something that you always say you want to read and don't have time for. Just for pleasure. Or to grow in your professional, personal or family life.
For my recent good-trash reading, I am working my way through the books of Steve Berry, who I found when his latest book got great reviews. He writes thrillers based on historical puzzles (e.g. what if rival criminals, thieves and spy services discovered Napoleon's gold treasure, missing for 200 years).
For my I-wish-I-had-more-time project, I'm rereading Anna Karenina, last seen the year after I finished college (not yesterday). An updated version of the classic Garnett translation, and a slew of interesting books - how Russian-language criticism changed after the fall of the Soviets, comparisons to other classic 19C novels, etc.
And here's my third approach - no obligation to finish a book. Life's too short. If it doesn't catch you, give it up and find something you like :)
aargersi June 28, 2016
Light fun summer "poolside" reading - The Rosie Project and The Rosie Effect - rom-com in a book but with a very different (male!) sort of protagonist.

Just plain good reading and writing - well anything by Alice Hoffman but I am currently reading The Marriage Of Opposites, LOVED The Museum Of Extraordinary Things, and if you haven't yet RUN don''t walk to get The Dove Keepers.

Have you read The Son? It's amazing.

The Glass Castle and Half Broke Horses, the first is a memoir, the second is a mash up of biography and fiction, both are fantastic.

Lindsay-Jean H. June 30, 2016
I, too, enjoyed The Rosie Project and The Glass Castle. I'm going to have to check out your other picks!
702551 June 28, 2016
The Tao of Pooh, first chapter. You can read the rest of the book, but it basically covers the same concepts as the first chapter. I've read Tao of Pooh cover-to-cover once, now I can't get past the first chapter because I know it's all the same.

It's like reading Tao Te Ching. Open that book randomly and whatever you read will teach the same basic concept as whatever you read previously in that book and whatever you will read next in that book.
Michele June 27, 2016
"Toast" by Nigel Slater. LA Son by Roy Choi (but might not be such a great choice as there is a huge temptation to do all or most of the recipes).
amysarah June 27, 2016
Are you interested in just fiction, or non-fiction too? Just recent books, or older ones as well? If you narrow it a bit, I can probably suggest several.

(Apropos, I think I may be the odd man out in not finding Sweetbitter all that. Didn't hate it, but wasn't wowed either. I found some of it affecting/interesting, some almost insufferable.)
Amanda G. June 27, 2016
I just read Sweetbitter. On a food-unrelated note, many of my friends have recommended The Nightingale.
Dona June 27, 2016
I recently read th Nightingale, I highly recommend it.
Vicki B. June 27, 2016
Honey From a Weed by Patience Gray
Songbirds, Truffles, and Wolves by Gary Paul Nabhan
Stoned: Jewelry, Obsession, How Desire Shapes the World by Aja Raden
The Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee
Dona June 27, 2016
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
Orphan Train
The Nest
I'm on vacation and these are some of the books I've read so far.
PHIL June 27, 2016
How about summer Netflixing, does that count? I am watching Chef's table on Netflix. It really gives you insight in how a chef thinks.
Sarah J. June 27, 2016
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
The Vegetarian by Han Kang
Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler (if only for the experience!)

And, haven't read these, but on my list: Kitchens of the Great Midwest, Modern Lovers (duh), When Breath Becomes Air.
alygator June 30, 2016
I loved Homegoing!
Recommended by Food52