SUMMER READING FOR SMART WOMEN
Find a good summer read can be tricky. We all know you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but how else are you supposed to know where to start? I always rely on recommendations from smart friends - and I must admit, I generally prefer to ask women what they've read and loved. Just before I embarked on a much-needed beach break, I contacted a few of my most well-read women friends to share their summer reading picks. If you're the kind of woman who can't bear chick lit but doesn't necessarily want to read Tolstoy on the beach, this list is for you...
(Hover over each photo to read the picks!)
Yasmin - DJ/Artist
The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
I'm never usually into fiction nor romance novels but Kundera writes so beautifully and touches on a lot of spiritual truths. This book follows a few characters at certain points in their lives, often when they find themselves plunged into a new environment and all the insecurities and anxieties that come with. Having just relocated to Paris, life is definitely imitating art right now and I would recommend this book to anyone who has experienced that fear/excitement of the unknown!
Karla Evans - Digital Editor at Topshop
A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
I read this on the way to NY recently and absolutely stormed through it on the flight. It's a fun, witty and super smart read that follows the interconnected stories of one family and their self-destructive friends. Completely addictive!
Kate Williams - Writer and Editor
Paint It Black by Janet Finch
I read this book a few years ago, and want to read it again this summer. I love how Fitch depicts LA, and how the main character is flawed and realistic, but ultimately a badass who stands up for herself—the kind of person I hope I would have been friends with if I'd somehow been an early '80s California punk. The story has just enough sex and pop culture to make it a fun read, but it's still complex enough that you won't be able to blow through it in an afternoon. Maybe it'll take you all weekend.
Bertie Brandes - Co-Founder of The Mushpit
Shark by Will Self
You can basically read a Will Self for as long or short a time as you like. Similarly to Umbrella, Shark is totally immersive but like poetry you can dip in and out of it, leaving long spaces in between. (Which, let's be honest, is how pretty much all of us read now.)
Ann Friedman - Freelance Journalist
The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson.
It's a memoir but also a work of critical theory about family, gender, womanhood, and autonomy. I want everyone I know to read this book so I can keep talking about it, because I can't stop thinking about it.
Reba Maybury - Publisher
I Love Dick by Chris Kraus
Whenever I think I might be overreacting over my own personal romantic life, I remember Kraus' unforgivingly honest account of her all encompassing love/obsession with a fellow academic. Articulated in the most dreamy of ways, when I read it I feel like my brain is being fed. It's also an incredible account of a love story, these stories within literature have all too often told from the perspective of a man.
Sam Addington - Make-up Artist and Health Coach
Do More Great Work: Stop the Busywork. Start the Work That Matters by Michael Bungay Stanier
At the moment I'm reading Do More Great Work. It motivates the reader to stop and consider: How do I divide my time and is it proportionate to my goals, my strengths, my desires, and more? The answer can be found by following the action steps and mapping out your situation - literally charting your path. Why recommend it now? If, like me, stepping away from work provides the perspective you need to get clear on your business and life, then the summer is no better time to take stock and plan your next move.
Danielle Pender - Editor of Riposte
An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield
I'm obsessed with astronauts, their life in space and the training they go through and Chris Hadfield tells a good story. He touches on the science and training side of things but he's also funny and has a really beautiful outlook on life. " What you do each day determines the kind of person you become."