Summer is a time for daydreaming, so that’s why I’m turning to fantasy this #quarantinesummer. I’m working my way through The Fellowship of the Ring, by J. R. R. Tolkien, on audiobook—a jovial companion for meandering walks and lazy weekend cooking. I’m also rereading Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling out loud with a friend. We are thoroughly enjoying how villains in children’s books overexplain their motives, as well as the chance to hone our beguiling British accents.
—Jenessa Duncombe, Staff Writer
I’m guessing I’m not the only one with an e-book holds list that’s maxed out at my local library, since wait times range from 2 to 20 weeks, perfect to distribute through the summer. There are a few I’m most excited to pop up as available, including Fleishman Is in Trouble, the debut novel by Taffy Brodesser-Akner, whose must-read profiles (Val Kilmer, Gwyneth Paltrow) are funny and weird and insightful. This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone is being called an outstanding entry into the “epic time-traveling love story” genre. Record of a Spaceborn Few is the third book in Becky Chambers’s Wayfarers trilogy, a supremely enjoyable series.
—Heather Goss, Editor in Chief
My summer reading looks to be heavy on photography and sci-fi, with two books topping my list. First up is The Human Planet: Earth at the Dawn of the Anthropocene, released in April, an aerial photographic tour of Earth highlighting humanity’s impacts on and intersections with the natural world that features George Steinmetz’s stunning camera work and Andrew Revkin’s always-compelling writing. Then I’m hoping to dig into Pierce Brown’s Red Rising series, which—I hear tell—imagines issues of class warfare on a settled Mars hundreds of years in the future in gripping fashion. The first book in the now five-installment series came out in 2014, so no spoilers please if you’ve read it!
—Timothy Oleson, Science Editor
I’m hoping to get to a couple of books that have been on my wish list for a few years and fully commit to finishing them. I’m going to start with Medical Apartheid, by Harriet Washington, which timelines the history of malpractice in the medical field, and eventually land on Toni Morrison’s collection of essays and speeches, The Source of Self-Regard.
— Anaise Aristide, Production and Analytics Specialist
My summer reading list is long and only getting longer. On the nonfiction side, once I finish listening to Michelle Obama’s Becoming (she has such a soothing speaking voice), I’ll be starting Amanda Knox’s Love Lives Here; The Craft of Science Writing from Siri Carpenter at The Open Notebook; and The Bible v.2: Genesis, a humorous retelling written by my good friend Aaron Senser. And then to round out my list with some sci-fi and fantasy are Thrawn: Alliances, a Star Wars novel by the legendary Timothy Zahn (aah, Thrawn, gotta love him!); the long, long awaited Dresden Files installments Peace Talks and Battle Ground by Jim Butcher; and my wild card, Starless, by Jacqueline Carey. I like having a wild card book on my list: I know nothing about it, I have no idea if I will like it, but I like the author, so I’m giving it a shot. Seveneves was my last wild card book, and, oh boy, was that a good decision!
—Kimberly Cartier, Staff Writer
I’m putting my trust in the good folks at the New York Public Library this summer—following recommendations via their Book of the Day email. (Sign up here!) Whenever I finish a book, I’ll check out (literally!) whatever they recommend that day. So far, I’ve enjoyed a Dust Bowl murder mystery and a wonderful, wonderful novel set during the New Zealand Gold Rush. Now I’m in the middle of O Pioneers!, which has been on my to-do list for about 30 years.
—Caryl-Sue, Managing Editor