2015 Summer Reading List

Hey, everyone!  If you know anything about students, then you know that around this time is when we all begin counting down the days until summer.  Fortunately for college students, summer break (or graduation–congrats class of 2015!) is coming sooner rather than later.  Around this time, I also start making my summer reading list.  It always seems to make me even more excited and ready for summer to arrive.  This year, my summer reading list is:

1. Bad Feminist: Essays, Roxane Gay

“A collection of essays spanning politics, criticism, and feminism from one of the most-watched young cultural observers of her generation, Roxane Gay.

Pink is my favorite color. I used to say my favorite color was black to becool, but it is pink—all shades of pink. If I have an accessory, it is probably pink. I read Vogue, and I’m not doing it ironically, though it might seem that way. I once live-tweeted the September issue.’

In these funny and insightful essays, Roxane Gay takes us through the journey of her evolution as a woman (Sweet Valley High) of color (The Help) while also taking readers on a ride through culture of the last few years (Girls, Django in Chains) and commenting on the state of feminism today (abortion, Chris Brown). The portrait that emerges is not only one of an incredibly insightful woman continually growing to understand herself and our society, but also one of our culture.

Bad Feminist is a sharp, funny, and spot-on look at the ways in which the culture we consume becomes who we are, and an inspiring call-to-arms of all the ways we still need to do better.”  (Description from Goodreads website.)

I’ve been wanting to read this book for a while; I’ve heard nothing but good things about this book.  A few of my friends have read it and loved it.  I’m really looking forward to getting started on this, especially since I got it as a gift for my birthday way back in January.

2. Carsick: John Waters Hitchhikes Across America, John Waters

“John Waters is putting his life on the line. Armed with wit, a pencil-thin mustache, and a cardboard sign that reads ‘I’m Not Psycho,’ he hitchhikes across America from Baltimore to San Francisco, braving lonely roads and treacherous drivers. But who should we be more worried about, the delicate film director with genteel manners or the unsuspecting travelers transporting the Pope of Trash?

Before he leaves for this bizarre adventure, Waters fantasizes about the best and worst possible scenarios: a friendly drug dealer hands over piles of cash to finance films with no questions asked, a demolition-derby driver makes a filthy sexual request in the middle of a race, a gun-toting drunk terrorizes and holds him hostage, and a Kansas vice squad entraps and throws him in jail. So what really happens when this cult legend sticks out his thumb and faces the open road? His real-life rides include a gentle eighty-one-year-old farmer who is convinced Waters is a hobo, an indie band on tour, and the perverse filmmaker’s unexpected hero: a young, sandy-haired Republican in a Corvette.

Laced with subversive humor and warm intelligence, Carsick is an unforgettable vacation with a wickedly funny companion—and a celebration of America’s weird, astonishing, and generous citizenry.” (Description from Goodreads website).

I’ve heard bits and pieces about his books and this one seemed like it would just be straight up fun.  John Waters + Hitchhiking? Yes, please!

3. Apocalypse Baby, Virginie Despentes

“Apocalypse Baby is a smart, fast-paced mystery about a missing adolescent girl traveling through Paris and Barcelona. She is tailed by two mismatched private investigators: the Hyena, part ruthless interrogator, part oversexed rock star, and Lucie, her plain and passive—almost to the point of invisible—sidekick. As their desperate search unfolds, they interrogate a suspicious cast of characters, and the dark heart of contemporary youth culture is exposed.

Cult author and filmmaker Virginie Despentes has written many award-winning books, including King Kong Theory, and Apocalypse Baby, which won the 2010 Prix Renaudot when it was first published in France. She is the co-director of the screen adaptations of her controversial novels Baise-Moi and Bye Bye Blondie.” (Description from Goodreads website).

I recently saw this on a twitter post.  I also have mentioned said article on this blog, as well.  I really want to read this and it also sounds like it would be an interesting story line.  I don’t think I’ve ever read a book that was initially written in another language before, so this will be a first!

4. Earthling, Aisha Franz

“German cartoonist Aisha Franz’s new graphic novel follows a mother and two daughters over the course of 24 hours as they wait for the girls’ father to take them on a trip no one wants to go on. While the mother wrestles with lost time and lost identity and the elder sister busies herself with the boys, the youngest daughter is caught up with an alien she’s befriended. Realistic and surreal at once, Earthling reminds us of the alien feelings of adolescense and the parts of growing up that don’t shift or change as much as we expect them to.”
—Tara Michelle Ziniuk (in an email from Bitch Magazine)

I have recently started getting into graphic novels over the past year and this is one that has now been added to my list!  Earthlings will probably be my go-to for once I finish something “heavier” or more serious, like Bad FeministEssays.

5. Untlangling the Knot: Queer Voices on Marriage, Relationships, and Identity, Carter Sickels

“There’s more than just one way to be in love. Untangling the Knot collects 25 moving essays on love and marriage from queer perspectives, ranging from people who are never going to ring wedding bells to personal reflections on having family respect your vows. Each story offers a refreshing and honest take on modern relationships.”
—Sarah Mirk (in an email from Bitch Magazine)

Being engaged, this book of essays sounds like a very interesting read!  I find queer literature to be very interesting (hence one of the reasons I took Gay & Lesbian Literature last semester) and this is no exception.  I may actually want to read this book first, even though it’s numbered last on my list.

Well, that’s my reading list thus far.  I will be posting book reviews of each of these as I make my way through the list, so be sure to be on the lookout for those!  I hope y’all have gotten some new books to add to your own summer reading lists.  If you have any book suggestions you’d like to leave either for me or other readers, leave them in the comments below!

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