For all of us nerds out here, summer is the perfect time to relax in the company of books — a truly thrilling experience supplemented by postcard-perfect sceneries, and the unmatched joy of waking up in the morning and knowing you don’t need to clock in. Here are our recommendations, for whichever mood strikes you.
For Those Who Want to Go Offline
If you’re not about the ‘gram and would rather spend your vacation in the real world, you may take to Joanne McNeil’s Lurking: How a Person Became a User. In this book we finally have a personal history of the internet from the perspective of the user, charting how someone navigates a vast new entity that “created a new, unprecedented cultural space that we are all a part of — even if we don’t participate, that is how we participate — but by which we’re continually surprised, betrayed, enriched, befuddled”. It’s a thoughtful and thought-provoking book, and this intimate reflection of how the internet has changed our lives is needed more than ever.
For Those Who Are Attempting Adulting
TV executive Tara Schuster — partly responsible for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and Key & Peele — has released a manifesto-slash-guide to growing up: Buy Yourself the F*cking Lilies: And Other Rituals to Fix Your Life, from Someone Who’s Been There, in which Schuster imparts her methods on how to be a “ninja of self-love”. Think simple and practical daily rituals, such as journaling, practising gratitude, and even buying yourself trinkets that will bring joy to your life. Lilies manages to be both irreverent and tender-hearted, so if you need portable emotional support, Schuster has your back.
For Those Who Love the Season
Three Summers by Margarita Liberaki has been out of print for two decades, emerging as a breakout modern classic. Translated from the Greek by Karen Van Dyck, Three tells the story of three sisters coming of age in the 1930s, in a picturesque countryside near Athens. Over three summers, we follow the curious and adventurous Maria, the beautiful but distant Infanta, and the dreamy but rebellious Katerina, as they navigate their late teens and early adulthood.
For Those Who Want a Romantic Getaway
Published 20 years ago, The Duke & I by Julia Quinn gives us a pretty straightforward historical romance that may have paved the way for more inventive and complex romance novel subgenres. In this novel, English duke Simon pretends to be engaged to his best friend’s spinster sister, Daphne, to get matchmakers off his very marriageable back. Celebrated showrunner Shonda Rhimes is adapting the novel for Netflix as Bridgerton, and we’re ready to binge on Regency English hijinks delivered with innovative storytelling and a diverse cast.
For Those Who Love Work
Maybe you’re one of those weirdos whose heart grows fonder with time and distance away from your desk. If so, then Hilary Leichter’s debut novel Temporary is just the one for you. Funny and frequently absurd, the book follows a young woman seeking to find her place in the world through increasingly strange temp jobs: “shining an endless closet of shoes, swabbing the deck of a pirate ship, assisting an assassin, or filling in for the Chairman of the Board.” When magical realism is used to examine a starkly capitalist society, entertainment abounds.
Publisher spotlight: NYRB Classics
You may have seen its distinct, solidly colored spines on bookstore shelves; or its array of artful paperback editions and the unifying squares on the covers that detail titles you’ve never heard of and writers that you never knew existed. NYRB Classics (of The New York Review of Books) publishes an eclectic mix of fiction and non-fiction from across eras and cultures. Since 1999, its entire catalog has become a must for discerning readers aiming to broaden their bookish horizons. nyrb.com/collections/classics