Your Official Summer Reading List
10 Great Summer Reads
- HITCH 22: A MEMOIR, CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS
Best summer read for the sensible man: Christopher Hitchens was a behemoth of opinion, a reasonable zealot and a person we wish we’d had the pleasure of a drink with. You’ll feel the same way after reading his memoir, which like any of the good ones provides lessons, easy access into an incredible man’s mind, and plenty of intriguing anecdotes.
Buy Now: $11
- DINNER WITH CHURCHILL: POLICY-MAKING AT THE DINNER TABLE, CITA STELZER
Summer Read for the man who enjoys history... but not, like, history history: Because Churchill, like Hitchens, was somebody we dream about sitting down with for an apertif, alone or with a dinner party. The interesting man, at perhaps his most interesting, captured by an excellent author.
Buy Now: $16
- A PRAYER FOR OWEN MEANY, JOHN IRVING
Summer read for the committed reader: Beauty, in long form. You still won't be tempted to set it down, not for a second.
Buy Now: $7
- TENTH OF DECEMBER: STORIES, GEORGE SAUNDERS
Editor's Pick: The New York Times (note: they know something about books) called it the best book of the year. In January. Having read Saunders, we're not surprised. His anti-utopia settings, relateable yet pitiful characters, and deeply humorous, deeply disturbing plots are edged with just the right amounts of the unique and the classic to make the literary buff swoon.
Buy Now: $16
- FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS, HUNTER S. THOMPSON
Summer Read for the obscenity junkie: Our current political situation calls for a Hunter S. Thompson. Because Charlie Pierce hasn't written a novel about Vegas yet, we'll stick to the utter classic. Thompson is raw, and brutal, and it feels oh so good. Sunbathe while you bathe in his mescaline rage.
Buy Now: $11
- LET'S EXPLORE DIABETES WITH OWLS, DAVID SEDARIS
Summer read for the humor fiend: Sedaris talks about his world travels and his offbeat family, but he still feels like the kid who lived around the corner from you as a kid. He's funny (very, very funny), and his ability to relate the quirks of daily life as the absurdity of the sanitarium (and pull out heartfelt, unforced life lessons) isn't a bit unsettling.
Buy Now: $16
- THE DUDE AND THE ZEN MASTER, JEFF BRIDGES AND BERNIE GLASSMAN
Summer read for the
stonerrelaxer: The Big Lebowski is too good of a film to be taken seriously. That’s a pitfall you’d think this book would tumble into, but that’s just like, your opinion, man. A bit of sappy zen is worth this loopy read.
Buy Now: $14
- THE ESQUIRE 4: NEW VOICES FOR A NEW ERA OF FICTION
Summer read(s) for the short story lover: Esquire’s got big fat ole short fiction chops. Now, they’re bringing back our favorite form in e-version, with little-known authors M.C. Armstrong, Jennifer duBois, Matt Sumell and Jodi Angel. It’s time you knew them, and for three bucks you really have no excuse not to.
Buy Now: $3
- A FAREWELL TO ARMS: THE HEMINGWAY LIBRARY EDITION, ERNEST HEMINGWAY
Summer read for the revisionist: If you don’t want to read A Farewell to Arms, shame on you. If you don’t want to read A Farewell to Arms with Hemingway’s notes and more than 40 alternate ending ideas… We’re not angry. We’re just disappointed.
Buy Now: $18
- A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE, GEORGE R.R. MARTIN
Summer Read for the fantasy fan -- or the HBO addict: We're saying it now, and we mean it: this series is worth reading, whether you've been glued to the series or not. It's an entirely different experience; if you're used to cheap fantasy, meet the redeemer.
Buy Now: $11
Imagine with us: You’ve just left work on a sultry Friday, and damn do you feel good. Why? Because it’s summer, for one, and you’re off for a weekend, or a long weekend, or a week even, if your boss isn’t a Nazi and your job still includes that sweet rarity, “vacation time”. The weather’s good, and you don’t have anything to do — just sit around, drink some brews, and hang with friends, if they’re lucky enough to escape slavery, too.
But you may feel an urge as you relax in the sun, or in the cool AC, or even lounge sumptuously in your pool (you lucky SOB). If only you could engage your thinker — lightly, mind you, god knows the last thing you want is a calculus set — with something pleasant, easy and entirely voluntary! And boom: you’ve got your need for a summer read. The category is entirely arbitrary. There’s not a genre that lends itself to being a “summer” book; you’re an adult, and you know what you like. Feeling adventurous? Try out that book you’ve been secretly eyeing up, embarrassed to read because it involves 50 shades of a color and some slightly taboo activities. We’re not here to judge you (note: yes we are). In any case, we’ve got some slightly better suggestions because, well, we’re pretty well-read, and we’re pretty into summer, and we’ve enjoyed the two together many a time. And hey, if nothing here works for you, you could always just pop on over to our Definitive Men’s Library for 100 options.
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1. If at all possible, a lovely assistant/better half to maintain your vital hydration/nourishment needs while you are immobilized in that comfy chair/hammock/poolside chais. If desperate, substitute offspring, needy friend types or paid help.
2. Fingertip wax for doing battle to bastard-esque slick pages, and/or usage as lip balm.
3. If outdoors, sunscreen.
4. If outdoors, sunglasses.
5. If indoors, delightful pet for interludes of partnered napping.
6. Cigar, preferably of the Churchill size.
7. Scotch, bourbon, rum, etc.
8. If reading Henry James, Pynchon, Tolstoy or Bill O’Reilly, a different book.