Our Summer Reading Picks
The slower pace of the summertime lends itself to many things – long BBQs outside, lazy days at the beach, summer Fridays, and plenty of time to get lost in a good book. In fact, the increased opportunity for reading is one of our favorite aspects of the season; we always manage to devour at least several books throughout the summer months.
With this said, we recently decided to poll the S. Dubs team to see what they were reading this summer. Below, we have their selections and commentary – add them to your list and then head over to our Instagram to let us know that you’re reading this summer.
Adam Poor, Vice President
I’m reading The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K Le Guin, a sci-fi novel about a diplomat on an intergalactic mission to a distant planet where people are neither male nor female. It was written in 1969 as a kind of thought experiment for the feminist movement of the day, but with the recent progress in gay and transgender rights, it feels like it could have been written yesterday.
Rachel Shapiro, Director of Sales
I just picked up What I Know Now: Letters To My Younger Self. This will be a quick read filled with meaningful insight and perspective from successful women written to their younger, less-experienced selves. I’d also like to brush up on my Spanish language skills, so I’m going to push myself to spend an hour a week with Barbara Bregstein’s Easy Spanish Step-By-Step I’ve had this book for a few years, and it’s always fun and worthwhile to attempt brushing up my not-so-impressive Spanish skills. Buena suerte to me!
Maureen Daly, Head of Operations
As of late, I’ve been reading a ton of non-fiction in the form of music autobiographies and histories; this is sort of atypical for me – I tend to read lots of novels and short stories. So I’m currently in the midst of two books. The first, Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk, is a history of punk rock as told by those who were there. Leggs McNeil and Gillian McCain conducted interviews on top of interviews with musicians, performance artists, poets, critics, etc.; they pull together an oral history so cohesive it’s as if Iggy Pop, Patti Smith, and Lester Bangs are all sitting across from you sharing their (potentially foggy) versions of what happened.
I’m also reading Bukowksi’s Post Office; it’s my first Bukowski, and I’m thoroughly entertained. The main character is loosely based on Bukowski himself (insofar as he’s a womanizer, drunkard, and gambler), who, between vices, works as a postal clerk. Not sure what’s up next, but taking recommendations!
Elana Bowsher, Vice President of Business Development
I’m reading Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. It’s a novel about a young Nigerian woman who emigrates to the US to go to college. It tackles issues of race, class, feminism, and sexuality – yes, all the BIG STUFF. Her writing style is super-casual, and the main character, a blogger, integrates her posts into her story. I’ve related to a lot, learned a lot, and thought about it a lot since first starting it.
Adina Grigore, Founder and CEO
I’m reading two books at once, Choose Yourself by James Altucher and Dick Costolo and The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson.Choose Yourself is a business/self-help book (I’m a junkie for this stuff) that encourages you to drop your ego and work hard. It’s super easy to read and sassy; I’d recommend it if you’ve started a business and are feeling burnt out or lost.
The Argonauts is basically the total opposite – it’s about relationships and love and raising children and how difficult all of that is in a society that’s stifling with its judgment and backwardness. For example, I just read a section about how shitty we are to and about step-parents. It had never occurred to me before, but it’s so true. I can feel my mind expanding from how smart Maggie Nelson is.
Brigetta Jimenez, Art Director
I am currently reading A Clash of Kings: A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 2 by George R. R. Martin after finishing book one. The main story of book one centered around the Stark family and their overall destruction – and, if you follow Game of Thrones on HBO, their hopeful rebirth. There are other families included and the series has a JRR Tolkien feel to it with the depth of storytelling, the number of characters and the number of deaths, too. For any GOT fans out there, this book is a fantastic bit of bloody fun.
Lizzy Ott, Executive Coordinator
I’m reading two books. The first is The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami. It’s a sort of magical realist tale set in Japan, about a man who suddenly finds himself unemployed and left by his wife. Spawned by a search for his missing cat, he finds himself in a bizarre reality: Meeting World War II spies and intellectual prostitutes. It’s a very weird, very escapist, and very recommended read.
The second is Reveal by Meggan Watterson, which is a beautiful memoir by a Harvard-trained theologian. She describes her journey of finding sacred space within her body and the process of discovering the feminine aspect of the divine during her travels. It’s deeply inspiring and moving, but comfortably colloquial and digestible. Will definitely spark some self-love!
Julia McVeigh, Marketing Woman
I just finished Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler. It’s the coming-of-age story of 22-year-old Tess, a Midwestern transplant who moves to New York City and snags a waitressing job at one of Manhattan’s most prestigious restaurants (a thinly veiled Union Square Café, where the author herself once worked). While Tess’s story is engrossing – it definitely transcends the cliché of “young girl moves to New York,” thanks to some dark twists and turns – it’s Danler’s vivid descriptions of food and drink that really hooked me with this one. Food writing is so hard and she captures the elusive language of taste beautifully. With that noted, I now want to re-read this book while sipping a glass of Chablis and slurping down a briny, fat oyster. Mmm.