By GARY KNOWLES
With the semester coming to a close, students’ schedules will be opening up to do things with their free time. For me, that means I get to read whatever I want to, instead of what professors have assigned.
I have a problem though with the limitless options of books every summer. We can only read so many, right?
This is my attempt to sift through some of the new and recent book releases to find out what books are worth our time this summer. I hope you find something here that speaks to you. (Note: The order in which these appear is arbitrary.)
1. “A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership” by James Comey
Comey’s memoir is great for lovers of politics, or people who still wonder how we got here as a country. Comey takes the time to share his experiences in our government over the course of his career. He takes an exploratory tone on topics such as ethics, leadership and what makes up sound judgement. As the former FBI Director and a former U.S. attorney, Comey’s background is sure to make for an interesting read.
2. “You Think It, I’ll Say It” by Curtis Sittenfeld
From established author Curtis Sittenfeld comes a new collection of short stories about class, relationships and gender roles. People who enjoy breaking down barriers that seem to divide us will love Sittenfeld’s new collection. Sittenfeld has a knack for portraying completely original and interesting women who all have a lot in common, but are haunted by their own ideas and pasts. The Boston Globe said, “[Sittenfeld] is a master of dramatic irony, creating fully realized social worlds before laying to waste her heroines’ understanding of them.” Her book is highly anticipated and was released on Apr. 24.
3. “The Merry Spinster: Tales of Everyday Horror” by Mallory Ortberg
Ortber takes a feminist approach to classic fairy tales and folk stories in her new collection of stories. She adds elements of psychological horror to children’s stories and fairy tales in her new book. These stories will make the reader question the stories we know by turning them into something new and unfamiliar. Despite these retellings, Ortberg tries to stay faithful to the original story and adds in her own nuance and perspective. People who like to read fairy tales, or something a little more fantastical will enjoy these collected stories. Feminist readers will also enjoy Ortberg’s feminist critique of the fairy tales of years past.
4. “The Vain Conversation” by Anthony Grooms
Grooms creates a historical fiction mystery in this novel, where he takes a fictional account of a group of murders that happened in 1946 Georgia. Grooms pays attention to our assumptions and actions that surround our never-ending discussion on race. The story follows a victim, the prime suspect and a witness. Grooms’ portrayal of the 1946 lynching of two different black couples will leave readers questioning their own lives in relation to the race conversation. This conversation is still important today and needs to be talked about. Grooms does a great job presenting it within an interesting novel that will haunt the reader after they finish.
5. “Tomorrow Will Be Different” by Sarah McBride
For readers who enjoyed LGBTQ+ centered books like the recently spotlighted “Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda” or “Call Me By Your Name,” this book will be an instant favorite. Sarah McBride was the first transgender person to speak at a political convention in 2016. Her nonfiction book talks about the fight for equality of transgender people in America. As one of the nation’s top transgender activists McBride constantly aims to have the government give equal rights to everyone. She even focused on the transgender bathroom debate not too long ago. McBride’s story includes ideas about love, loss and equality in contemporary America.