Reading Lights.

Month Three. Reserve. #SEA.

It's summer and that means long beautiful days, hot afternoons at the beach, naps in the park and if you're like me ... endless time waiting around in freezing cold airports.

It's time to load up on hot summer reading that will take you awaaayyy (and probably influence your future travel plans).

Here are my top picks:

1. Bad Dirt: Wyoming Stories 2 by Annie Proulx. This series of short stories centers around life in the tiny desert towns in Wyoming. The characters weave their way in and out of each of the stories, re-visiting each other and by the end you feel like you're a part of Elk Tooth, Wyoming.

2. Generation X by Douglas Coupland. Want to reclaim that angsty post-college existentialist feeling of  wanting to run away from home, even though you're a bit too old and you hate your job and just want to drive out to the middle of the desert in the Coachella Valley and tell stories to your like-minded friends while realizing the meaning (or lack thereof) of life? Read this book. You will have all of the feelings.

3. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. Set in the not-so-distant future in England, a school of "extraordinary" children receive a prized education and are encouraged to pursue their artistic abilities. As Kathy, Ruth and Tommy grow up, they begin to question the meaning of their lives, and dare to hope for a future unlike the one that has been meticulously planned out for them.

4. The Rum Diary by Hunter S. Thompson. The ultimate fast-paced, rum and beautiful beach-filled thriller. Follow Paul Kemp and his crazy colleagues through the streets of San Juan, Puerto Rico. I know we've all seen the movie, but the book is always better.

5. Into the Wild by John Krakauer. Young Christopher McCandless' lifeless body is discovered in a remote area west of Healy, Alaska. How did this 24-year-old kid from an affluent East Coast family end up starving to death in the wilderness? Like a series of snapshots, Krakauer carefully works backwards from the boy's death and unearths the secrets of this brilliant, but complex young man who hitchhiked around the nation in search of answers.

6. The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides. The ultimate coming-of-age novel takes place in a sleepy suburb in Grosse Point, Michigan. The five Lisbon girls are beautiful, mysterious and heavily guarded by their strict Catholic parents. Written from the perspective of several neighborhood teenage boys who become infatuated with the doomed sisters, the story quickly spirals downward as the future of the girls' lives becomes unclear. In the end, it is a tragedy, but a beautiful, haunting one at that.

7. Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami. This modern-day Japanese Oedipal tragedy is just beautiful and heartbreaking all at the same time. Follow the lives of two people, 15-year-old runaway "Kafka" Tamura and 60-year-old Nakata who wander through the novel driven by something bigger than themselves. You will want to buy a ticket to Japan to wander alongside Kafka and Nakata, whose lives are intertwined more than they realize.

8. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez. The ultimate classic Márquez novel; if you haven't read it yet you absolutely must. The book follows the lives of the Buendía family, following their fate for seven generations. The book is intense and every page is packed with detail. Grab a jumpseat to Colombia and sit on a beach while taking this one in.

9. Dress your Family in Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris. Hilarious and heartbreaking, Sedaris documents his early life in Raleigh, North Carolina a series of essays. From getting the boys in his class to play strip poker to surviving his four sisters' harassment, Sedaris gives us a glimpse into middle class life in the 1960s and 70s.

10. Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald. This classic, semi-autobiographical novel takes place in the roaring 20s, where Dick and Nicole Diver are a charismatic couple vacationing along the French Riviera. Their lives seem perfect, until Rosemary Hoyt enters the picture. As the summer wears on, the cracks start to appear in the previously perfect-looking relationship between the Divers. Money really can't buy happiness, it turns out.

Happy Reading!


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