4 June 2021

2021 Summer Reading Guide

 What else do you have going on?

Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro

This is the brand new book from Kazuo Ishiguro and I bought it "on sale" for $25. I love Ishiguro's stories (they always make me sob) and I am looking forward to seeing his newest science fiction-lite setup. - MH

Broken People by Sam Lansky

I got this hardcover for Christmas this year and have been meaning to pick it up! It's a debut novel and apparently centers around "open-soul surgery." The book is fairly short at only 300 pages. I've heard reviewers say if you like reading Sally Rooney's stuff, then you'll enjoy this. -MH

Freed by E. L. James

I know a lot of bored women right now and apparently E.L. James knows how to take advantage of a window of opportunity. This is sort of a follow-up to the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy but entirely told from the perspective of Christian Grey. - MG

Sooley by John Grisham

I don't usually read Grisham novels (although I love their adaptations always) but this struck me as a bit different from his usual courtroom drama. It's about a Sudanese basketball player whose village is destroyed by civil war while he's playing in the USA. - MG

Golden Girl by Elin Hilderbrand

Ah, a new Hilderbrand novel for summer. What more is there to say? - MG

Instamom by Chantel Guertin

This book is about an Instagram influencer who isn't sure she should pursue a relationship with a guy she meets because he's a dad and it's not 'on brand' for her. It sounds absolutely ridiculous but also modern and fun. I know a lot of people who would have a great time reading this poolside this summer. - MG

Billy Summers by Stephen King

Neither of us really read Stephen King fiction but he's so famous for his craft that we had to include his new fiction novel. This one is labelled a 'thriller' instead of King's usual 'horror' and is about a hit man who wants to give it up. - MG

Nightbitch by Rachel Yoder

I had never heard of this book until I was perusing the "new" section on the Indigo site and something about the raw meat on the cover called out to me. I think the premise of a stay at home mom turning into a werewolf style night creature sounds very funny and even though I don't usually read anything sci-fi-ish I'm excited to give this a go. - MG

Resting Beach Face by Siofan Davies

This is a debut novel from an author from the GTA so I can't wait to read it. It looks like the perfect poolside novel. Davies was kind enough to send it to my in-laws' Kindle and it will be my first e-book experience. - MG

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

I flew through Daisy Jones and the Six and am really looking forward to the miniseries adaptation starring Riley Keough. It was also extremely popular and ended up as a Reese Witherspoon pick. Reid's next fiction piece will definitely be bought up quickly. -MH

The Premonition by Michael Lewis

This is a brand spankin' new book by one of my favourite nonfiction authors about the rise of this pandemic. I can't wait to read him put a real Moneyball spin on the disease that's ruined our life for the last 1.5 yrs. - MG

This is Your Mind on Plants by Michael Pollen

I love Michael Pollen's The Omnivore's Dilemma and am excited to read his new book about plant drugs (coffee, opium, etc.). I admire any specialist and their ability to do such intense research and I just know this will be an awesome read. - MG

The Heartbeat of Trees by Peter Wohlleben

This is actually a translation of a German book written by a forester about how important our connection to nature is in a world full of technology, etc. I have pronounced this the year of my phone boundaries and think this will make an excellent read on my pilgrimage. - MG

World Travel by Anthony Bourdain

How sad that this will be Bourdain's last book. It's not even really his, it's a compilation of his notes one of his friends put together. I figured while we're all still not travelling, it might be kind of cool to read his journal style notes on his favourite places and dream of better days. - MG

The Housewives by Brian Moylan

While this may be my year of phone boundaries it's also my year of Bravo. I haven't ventured into the housewives franchise yet, I'm too scared of it's vortex, but I know so many people too far gone into it that would love this book. TV deep dives (still working on what they should be called) are my new favourite book genre as well. - MG

The Wreckage of my Presence by Casey Wilson

I haven't watched a ton of stuff with Casey Wilson but this book came highly recommended by multiple people whose opinion's I respect so that's good enough for me. I expect it to be funny because Wilson is most famous for a sitcom (Happy Endings) but I think it's meant to dig down deep as well. - MG

Yearbook by Seth Rogen

I don't know what to expect from a book written by Seth Rogen at all but I need to find out. On a podcast once he said he didn't want to have kids (yet) because he and his wife just liked to get stoned and do puzzles and I think about it enough to need to read this. - MG

Well, This is Exhausting by Sophia Benoit

Benoit is someone I randomly follow and love on Twitter and I'm so excited for her memoir. I know absolutely nothing about it other than that she has a great voice and it will definitely be funny. - MG

Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry

I have never read any of Larry McMurtry's work, but have always really admired scripts he wrote or scripts based off his work (Terms of Endearment, Brokeback Mountain, etc). I was sad to see he passed away this year, only a few months after my parents got me Lonesome Dove for my birthday. The outpouring of kind words from other authors and filmmakers made me add this ~850-paged Western to my summer reading list. -MH

The Pale King by Davis Foster Wallace

I've had this on my shelf long before I even read Infinite Jest. It's been one I've always been waiting for the right time ... I always feel weird about reading something unfinished and then published after the author's death. The Pale King is a title I can certainly relate to during the hot summer months. -MH

The Making of the Atomic Bomb by Richard Rhodes

I bought this a few years ago based off Mark Duplass' "Best Reads of the Year" post on Twitter. This is a non-fiction winner of the Pulitzer and clocks in at about ~900 pages. I think this might be the first book I ever tackle in segments whilst reading something else. -MH

Maid by Stephanie Land

I reviewed this book recently and learned it's being adapted into a Netflix series with Margaret Qualley playing Land. It's a great read whether you're into TV or not but I think the series sounds promising as well. - MG

Bad Blood by John Carreyrou

I'm really hoping to read this before the film comes out. It's about Elizabeth Holmes and the Theranos scandal. Adam McKay is set to direct it (The Big Short, Vice) with Jennifer Lawrence cast as Holmes. - MG

A House in the Sky by Amanda Lindhout and Sara Corbett

This adaptation has been "coming soon" for a while now but that just means you still have time to read it. It's about a journalist who gets held hostage in Somalia and the director of Lion, Garth Davis, is set to direct it. My full review is here. - MG

Trust Exercise by Susan Choi

This book was recommended by Juliet Litman who I love from the Ringer podcast network. Litman's cohost Amanda Dobbins mentioned it "wasn't her kind of thing" which makes me think I'll enjoy it even more. Trust Exercise also won the National Book Award which is usually another telling hint that I will enjoy the read. -MH

Libra by Don Delillo

The only other podcaster I can stand on the Ringer is Chris Ryan, who recommended Libra by Don Delillo. The book is about Lee Harvey Oswald and the JFK assassination, and is a mix of fiction and historical fact. A lot of authors I admire (Franzen, Wallace, Karr) worship Delillo, and this will be the second book of his that I read! -MH

Adventures in the Screen Trade by William Goldman

I've heard many movie-based podcasts recommend this book, but I also listened to an interview with Aaron Sorkin where he talked a lot about William Goldman and his non-fiction. I recently watched Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid for movie club which I think will add to the experience of reading this. -MH

Bloodletting and Other Miraculous Cures by Vincent Lam

I read this a few years ago (my full review here) but I haven't stopped thinking about the nurses in Toronto during the SARS pandemic and I think anyone interested in health care would appreciate it now. It's set locally and is comprised of a bunch of short stories, all to do with medicine. Rumour has it this book inspired Grey's Anatomy! - MG

High Fidelity by Nick Hornby

This was a great recent read that I think anyone would love. If you're looking for some fiction and haven't checked this out yet I highly recommend it.

I'll Be There For You by Kelsey Miller

Friends is relevant again given the recent reunion and this book is such a good historical/contextual/cultural deep dive into the show. I'll have a full review on it in the next couple weeks on here!

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