Tag Archives: reading

Summer season reading recommendations, from 6 authors who own book shops


Tony Cenicola/ The New York Times Noteworthy summer season 2017 titles, in New York, May 23, 2017. Nothing about 2017 looks familiar, not even the lineup of hot summer books.

Sunday, May 28, 2017|2 a.m.

New York City– On a bright afternoon in late April, the day before the opening of Books Are Magic in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, the author Emma Straub was apologetically shooing away prospective clients.

A lady with a dog poked her head in the door, which was still being painted, to say that “there has actually never been more buzz” about a shop opening in the neighborhood. Straub, an owner of the bookstore, told her the location was dog-friendly and invited her to come back when it opened.

The space, a former clothes shop on Smith Street, still smelled like fresh paint and sawdust. By the register were shelves filled with new fiction and nonfiction and a bookcase devoted to eclectic titles released by The New york city Evaluation of Books. Close by, the fiction area held a mix of contemporary works and classics, consisting of two editions of “Middlemarch,” Straub’s preferred novel.

Personnel choices sat on the opposite wall– Straub, 37, had recommended “Magic for Beginners,” a collection of short stories by Kelly Link. Down a couple of stairs, a separate intense, airy space with exposed brick walls, wood rafters and a skylight was filled practically totally with children’s books.

“This is the best part of the store,” Straub stated, as she climbed up into an octagon-shaped wood reading nook for kids.

Cobble Hill has been without a bookstore given that BookCourt, a precious community organization, closed at the end of last year. Neighborhood locals were stunned to lose the store, which had been a neighborhood center and literary gathering area for 35 years.

Straub, who utilized to work as a bookseller there, was specifically troubled. It “was my outright preferred location to be,” she said.

She and her other half, Michael Fusco-Straub, asked if they could take over the shop, but the owners had chosen to sell the buildings. So the couple opened a shop nearby.

Books Are Magic is opening in the midst of a renaissance for independent booksellers. The American Booksellers Association counted 1,775 members around the country in 2016, up from 1,410 in 2010. And Straub is joining a small however growing club of novelists who moonlight as booksellers– their ranks consist of Larry McMurtry, Louise Erdrich, Ann Patchett, Judy Blume and Jeff Kinney.

Straub maintained a couple of touches from BookCourt, including the blond wood racks, which she salvaged. “The whole point of a book shop is to help people find something new,” she said.

In the spirit of driving discovery, we asked Straub and five other authors in the independent book business what they read and advising to clients this summer. Here are their choices.

Emma Straub

AUTHOR OF “Modern Lovers” BOOK SHOP: Books Are Magic in Brooklyn


“The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley” by Hannah Tinti. “She’s one of those people you can forgive for taking her time in between books, since they’re so gratifying.”

“Saints for All Events” by J. Courtney Sullivan. “It’s fabulous and clever and feels larger than her other books.”

“Mrs. Fletcher” by Tom Perrotta. “He’s coming here to have a signing and talk to Megan Abbott. This is exactly what’s so fun about having a book shop. I get to require all these authors I enjoy to come here and have conversations with other authors I love.”

Ann Patchett

AUTHOR OF “Commonwealth”BOOKSTORE: Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tennessee


“Chemistry” by Weike Wang and “The Leavers” by Lisa Ko. “These launching books could not be more different, however they each tell the story of a first-generation Chinese-American whose life kips down instructions I never saw coming. ‘”Chemistry” seems a romantic funny (it’s amusing, it’s romantic), however it just gets much deeper and darker and richer by the page. ‘”The Leavers” is a gritty and agonizing story of migration in which the American dream is continuously re-examined along with the Chinese dream. Here’s another thing Wang and Ko share: They are both terrific writers who have written 2 of this summer’s finest books.”

Jonathan Lethem

AUTHOR OF “A Gambler’s Anatomy”BOOKSTORE: Red Gap Books, a used and uncommon book shop in Blue Hill, Maine.


“Broken River” by J. Robert Lennon. “For several years now my most dependable beach reading has actually been Ross Macdonald and Barbara Pym, in old paperbacks that are just enhanced by salt air and potato-chip-greasy fingers. Both write books so just like one another that I’m never sure whether I’m rereading one I’ve checked out 2 or 3 times before– another sign of age– however I’m constantly heard chuckling greatly aloud at the accuracy of the insights or murmuring in pleasure at the freshness of the storytelling.

If I was at the counter of a brand-new book shop, nevertheless, the title I ‘d stack up by the register this summer is J. Robert Lennon’s “Broken River,” which I had the luck of reading in galleys. It’s a tense, surprising thriller, with perverse overtones of the Coen bros variety, however including an enigmatic narrative device, a kind of ‘”haunting of the point-of-view”– one which proves, as ever, that the book can do things absolutely nothing however the novel can do. I’m practically all set to reread it.”

Jeff Kinney

AUTHOR OF The best-selling “Journal of a Wimpy Kid” series

BOOKSTORE: An Unlikely Story, in Plainville, Massachusetts.


“Papi” by David Ortiz and Michael Holley. “Big Papi is a Boston icon, and I can’t wait to go into his narrative, which was co-authored by another sports icon, Michael Holley.”

“Radical Candor” by Kim Scott. “Scott’s experiences leading groups at Google and Apple resulted in this book, which upholds a workplace culture where leaders care deeply about their workers and challenge them to be their best selves.”

“Dog Man: A Tale of 2 Kitties” by Dav Pilkey. “The ‘Pet Man’ series has caught fire, with the very first 2 books taking home on The New york city Times best-seller list. Pilkey is the king of kids’ comics.”

“Borne” by Jeff VanderMeer “The cover alone had me hooked. Is the lead character a plant? An animal? Something in between?”

Louise Erdrich

AUTHOR OF “LaRose”BOOKSTORE: Birchbark Books in Minneapolis


“Al Franken: Giant of the Senate” by Al Franken. “Turns the timeless born-in-a-shack increase to political workplace tale on its head. I skipped meals to read this book– also uncommon– due to the fact that every page was amusing. It made me deliriously delighted to learn that Franken has actually banned the word ‘robust’ in his office.”

“Standard Variance” by Katherine Heiny. “About a completely mismatched New York City couple whose child, with autistic propensities, is an origami prodigy. Both heart-piercing and, crucially, uproarious.”

“The Futilitarians” by Anne Gisleson. “About an Existential Crisis Reading Group with a secret handshake.”

“The Song Poet”‘ by Kao Kalia Yang. “The charming story of Kao Kalia Yang’s father, town life, war life, refugee life, then a St. Paul housing task; America’s secret war in Laos; and an individuals’s history as sung by Bee Yang and kept in mind in remarkable and poetic detail by his daughter.”

Judy Blume

AUTHOR OF “Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret”BOOK SHOP: Books & & Books in Key West, Florida.


“Exactly what to Do About the Solomons: by Bethany Ball. “There’s nothing more exciting as a bookseller (or a reader) than finding a new author who develops remarkable characters in a setting we don’t see every day. Funny, sexy, and clever.”

“All Matured” by Jami Attenberg. “I read it two times, laughing, flinching, as well as wrecking.”

“Sunshine State” by Sarah Gerard. “Our clients constantly ask for anything embeded in Secret West. This is the next finest thing– all of Florida. And it’s got a terrific cover.”

2 detailed books for any ages:

“Some Writer! The Story of E.B. White” by Melissa Sugary food

“I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark” by Debbie Levy, highlighted by Elizabeth Baddeley

'' Reading ' Images at the Barrick Museum

While art is a focal point for visuals, this story reminds us of the effect it can have on the composed word.

Arts & & Culture| Sep 29, 2015|By UNLV News Center

English 101 students visit the “Recent Acquisitions” display at the Barrick Museum. (Courtesy Marjorie Barrick Museum)

Editor’s Note:

This short article by Ed Fuentes, a college student in the MFA in Fine Arts program, was originally published on the Barrick Museum’s blog site. Discover more about the Barrick Museum’s education programs.

A museum can be a laboratory for sticking around. When students from UNLV, College of Southern Nevada, and Nevada State College see UNLV’sMarjorie Barrick Museum to fulfill art assignments, it’s a possibility to look, not look, at art. Now UNLV English 101 students are being challenged to take a look at works and “read” them gradually.

“I’ve never been to a gallery like this before,” said Anayeli De Leon, a member of Lorinda Toledo‘s English 101 class on a recent tour of the Barrick’s “Current Acquisitions” exhibit, on display through Oct. 10. Students are appointed to select a work as a timely for an analytical essay, which teaches them to treat images like text, to discover signifiers, or just respond at seeing brushstrokes face to face. Some realize how art can be more than a fast visual reference, a trap we all fall under when bombarded by images, particularly in Las Vegas.

Writing about art not simply an exercise for the college viewer. On one Saturday afternoon, a thorough Sixth grader named Tristan may have outdone his older associates. He likewise was designated to pick an art piece and write a reflection. The young art-goer selected Justin Favela’s Estardas to study and took his time looking at the cardboard gambling establishment sign.First he stared at it up-close, then stood far; he returned to the piece to look at angles and study the edges. Then he took pictures and video to “read” later. “It was cool,” said the young art gazer.

Suggested Reading: Fiction by UNLV Alumni

Perhaps there’s been something sinister prowling on school. Writers who’ve just recently nurtured their early professions right here seem to have a bent for awesome scary and wicked humor. In the previous years, alumni from UNLV’s extremely related to graduate innovative composing program have actually been acquiring respected awards and evaluations. The program’s success in spotting, hiring, and supporting young writers has actually been bolstered by its association with the Beverly Rogers, Carol C. Harter Black Mountain Institute (BMI). Right here are a couple of works to contribute to your reading list.


W.W. Norton, 2015

Vu Tran, ’06 PhD English and a Schaeffer Fellow, is now an assistant professor in the practice of the arts at the University of Chicago. He is the recipient of 2009 Whiting Award and a 2011 finalist for the Vilcek Reward for Creative Pledge. In his first novel, Dragonfish, an American law enforcement agent searches in Las Vegas for his ex-wife, a Vietnamese refugee. The unraveling of her strange disappearance also reveals characters coming to grips with who they are in light of exactly what they’ve lost: kin, country, love, morals.

“Dragonfish is a strong very first book for its threat taking, for its collapsing of genre, for its classy language and its mediation of a history that is important to post-1960s American identity yet frequently disregarded.”– The New york city Times

“A familiar noir trope– the missing out on woman– blossoms darkly in Dragonfish as the story of a lost people, a theme that Tran renders exceptionally, rating the book a place on the top rack of literary thrillers.”– SFGate Going Anywhere. Leapfrog Press, 2014 David Armstrong, a 2014 BMI PhD Fellow, is now an assistant professor of English at the University of

the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas. His newest stories appear in Story Magazine, The Publication of Dream & Sci-fi, Best of Ohio Short Stories, and elsewhere. The short story collection Going Anywhere won the Leapfrog Fiction Contest. His 2nd story collection, Reiterations, won the New American Fiction reward and will be published in 2016. “It is Armstrong’s gift to weave the great into the mundane in order to show us how normal lives are streaked with both horror and inflammation.

Even the stories that do not clearly roam into Golden Zone area are essentially about mystery: how we love, why we cannot, how we continue on regardless.”– The Literary Evaluation”Armstrong’s characters are the mundane everymen … raised to the heights of disaster through careful focus on detail and voice. He’s able to inhabit the skin of everybody from a Midwestern band geek handling his father’s coming out to a New Yorker attempting to unload his best memory of his dead better half with the help of a strange male.”– Las Vegas Weekly Your Presence is Asked for at Suvanto. Graywolf Press, 2010 Maile Chapman, ’10 PhD English and BMI Schaeffer Fellow, is now its artistic director and editor of Witness, as well as an English teacher at UNLV. Her debut novel was short noted for the Guardian First Book Award and a finalist for the PEN Center U.S.A literary award in fiction. It is set in a 1920s women’s convalescent medical facility in Finland. The story’s intensifying threat develops to a terrifying conclusion.”The actual power here comes from the pervasive, subtle menace Chapman develops. In Suvanto, she

has developed a world where the crust of civility, like the ice of the frozen bay outside, is fragile, underlaid by darkness and on the brink of giving way.”– The New York Times”Your Presence Is Requested at Suvanto is a gem; unusual, vibrant and acrobatic, its intricacies are sophisticated, its position seductive and complex. This is an author of genuine power and aplomb. “– The Guardian That’s Not A Feeling. Soho Press, 2012 Dan Josefson, 04 MFA in Creative Writing, is the winner of a 2015 Whiting Award and the recipient of a Fulbright research study grant. He now resides in Brooklyn, New York. His first book is set in a”therapeutic”boarding school and concentrates on a 16-year-old who’s two times failed suicide. It was a New York Times Editors’Choice and Booklist Editors ‘Choice. “Josefson attempts a natty narrative trick by toggling in between first-person and third-person omniscient narrative modes, so that after Benjamin states a scene

of his own he right away switches to accounts of simultaneous(and consequently unwitnessed)occasions, with full-access passes to every character’s mind … Josefson’s deft, tempered prose style, however, supplies a procedure of


It’s unornamented however

never flat or blunted, so that the characters, not the sentences, heat the pages.”– The New York Times”That’s Not a Feeling is a sharp, advanced read, and with one book to his name Josefson has already proven himself to be a master of type. None other than David Foster Wallace described the book as a’amusing, mordant, and deeply intelligent launching.

‘”– The Atlantic Tampa. Ecco, 2013 Alissa Nutting, ’11 PhD in Innovative Composing and a BMI Schaeffer Fellow, will certainly be going back to UNLV as an English teacher. Her short story collection Dirty Jobs for Women and Girls (2010)won the Starcherone Prize for Ingenious Fiction. Her launching novel, Tampa, analyzes the desire behind its female character’s sociopathic determination to seduce a 14-year-old student. “Alissa Nutting’s astonishing launching, Tampa, is, like Nabokov’s Lolita, a story of illegal sexual fixation and corrupted innocence; its narrator a highly literate adult who exploits early adolescents. But Tampa

is a slimy, sticky inversion of the traditional old-man-meets-young-girl situation … And Nutting has announced herself as an author who is as gifted as she is strong.”– Shelf Awareness”Alissa Nutting’s debut book, Tampa, will certainly provide people something to talk about this summer and beyond. Though the novel’s subject is questionable, Tampa is likewise impeccably composed, loaded with smart cultural observations, and no small amount



Tampa is far bigger than the buzz, and more considerable than the catchwords that will unavoidably be connected to it.”– The Daily Monster