For some reason Chicago is in the 70s and I for one will not question this. Usually winter lasts until late April or early May here, so not wearing a heavy jacket for another two months is actually really awesome. One of my favorite things to do in the summer is read outside. I’m a pretty avid reader. I read on the train and the bus, but crammed up against all those people isn’t really the most ideal situation to enjoy a book. Plus most of the time it smells like pee on there. So I give you…
Three summer reading settings and the best books to read at them.
1) The park – books that make you look smart
Stretching out at the park in your best hipster attire (I assume most people who read Heave are hipsters and nerds) with a good book is a great way to spend a lazy Sunday. I for one go to Wicker Park in Chicago, so I can look at cute dogs and watch people play chess while reading. But, since this park is in the hipster mecca, it’s best to bring a book that’ll impress.
— The Collector by John Fowles – after reading the summary on Wikipedia, this went to the top of my to read list
— Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov – I honestly think this is one of the best love stories ever written. You’ll probably look like a creeper depending on what print of these you buy, but I say let your Russian novelist flag fly
— The Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon- reading this while being surrounded by a city truly enhances the book
— The Wind-Up Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi – this book won a Nebula award AND a Hugo award. A sci-fi nerd must
2) The beach – trashy but awesome books and YA lit
When you’re at the beach, nobody is there to just chill. You’re there to get your tan on, maybe have a couple of drinks, and when the mood strikes play some volleyball. But if you want to play it cool, simple yet entertaining literature makes for the best beach reading.
— The Sookie Stackhouse series (aka the True Blood books) by Charlaine Harris – these back been a guilty pleasure of mine for the while. They’re quick reads and endlessly entertaining
— The Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan – these are a part of Riordan’s Percy Jackson series, but better reads because instead of immature 13 year olds the protagonists are hormonal teenagers
— In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin by Erik Larson – this book isn’t trashy, but it is the easiest read of the non-fiction family. Plus, you’ll look super smart
— The Skeleton Crew by Stephen King – the pop lit god of horror writes short stories, one of which became the basis of The Mist
3) Traveling in an airplane/car/train – books that are becoming movies or TV shows this year
I love reading on an airplane. It’s the perfect place to power through a book since, who wants to be the asshole on a plane with two iPads ? Side note: I seriously sat next to a person like that last week.
— The Song of Fire and Ice series (aka Game of Thrones) by George R.R. Martin – these books are long but the structure of them make it a page-turner
— Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein – before we’re inundated by boobs and bugs again, read the original version and experience the cold, calculating method behind interstellar war
— Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith – I’m not sure how faithful the film will be to the book, but I do know that Lincoln is going to kick some major ass
— The Walking Dead comics by Robert Kirkman – that way you’ll know about the horrors that face you in season three