Summer Reading

Now that classes are finished, grades are in, and my Key West vacation is just days away, I’m pretty psyched to have more free time for reading. Here’s what’s on my early summer reading list:

1. Kate Atkinson, A God in Ruins, is en route. I really liked Life After Life, a metamodernist novel that is Relevant to My Interests for its experimental narrative and early-twentieth-century British setting. Life After Life focuses on Ursula Todd, an English woman born in 1910 who witnesses the two world wars. The basic premise of the novel is that, like a gamer with an infinite lives cheat, each time she dies she is reborn. With each new life, she gets the chance to correct old mistakes, and to further her ultimate goal: to kill Hitler. A God in Ruins is a sequel to Life After Life featuring Ursula’s brother Teddy. Tom Perrotta’s review of it says that it’s evidence The Novel Isn’t Dead, which is pretty strong praise!

2. I have Kelly Link’s Get in Trouble, a short story collection, from the library. Link writes fantasyish fiction for adults and young adults. I checked this book out partly for fun and partly for work–I want to find some new short stories for my “Coming of Age” composition class in the fall, and I’m betting this collection will fit the bill.

3. Paul Beatty’s The Sellout is in my library queue. My mom, who is much hipper than me and ought to have her own book blog, recommends it. From the descriptions, it kind of sounds like what Key and Peele would write if they were novelists rather than comedians. I’m looking forward to it!

4. Sofia Samatar’s A Stranger in Olondria is on my iPad. I’m always on the lookout for high fantasy novels that don’t suck, and I have high hopes for this one, especially since my students and I loved her short story “Selkie Stories are for Losers.” Plus, The Toast says she’s on fire, and The Toast is rarely wrong.

5. I checked out George Saunders’ short story collection Tenth of December from the library, but I read “Puppy” and it sent me into a paralysis of despair, so I’m not sure if I will actually finish the book or not. Don’t read “Puppy,” you guys. That’s my PSA for the day.

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