The Best Summer Reads

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Getting lost in a good story - the best way to spend your summer.

It’s summertime and the reading is easy. Now’s the perfect time to catch up on the buzzy novels you missed or tackle your to-read list. Leave it to the avid readers of Passerbuys to choose your ideal summer read.


Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney

Recommended by Molly young, angie venezia and nada alic

Sally Rooney’s latest novel, Normal People, arrived this year to glowing reviews. But if you’re unfamiliar with the literary wunderkind, Conversations with Friends is an excellent place to start. Frances and Bobbi are two best friends navigating the complicated universe of relationships when they meet artist couple Melissa and Nick, who change everything.

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How Should a Person Be by Sheila Heti

Recommended by Durga Chew-Bose, nada alicnicole steriovski, and emma orlow

It’s likely a friend has brought this book up over drinks or a pressed a copy into your hands at a local bookstore already. After reading it, it’s easy to see why. The book is a tour through the thoughts and questions raised in the mind of a playwright living in Canada. It’s hard to speak to the special and strange qualities that make the book so seminal.

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Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris

Recommended by Hallie Gould, jenna rosenberg and christina andrew

If you’ve never read David Sedaris, consider it your summer reading assignment. Sedaris is a master of the humorous essay and, lucky for his devoted readers, incredibly prolific. With unrelenting wit and lightning speed, he tackles a variety of essay subjects such as his life in New York, his childhood in North Carolina, and his long-term relationship.

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Dear Life: Stories by Alice Munro

Recommended by Nina Lorez Collins and julia corsaro

Short stories are the perfect genre for summer -- fast, digestible while waiting for your train out of town, and often overlooked. Munro is a great of the genre and her collection Dear Life is some of her best work. It’s four stories that are “autobiographical in feeling” but brilliant fiction at their core. Expect to become a short story fan post-read.

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Abandon Me: Memoirs by Melissa Febos

Recommended by Stephanie Danler and angie venezia

A memoir rooted in the author’s search for connection -- to herself, her family, those she loves -- might not be an obvious choice for sunny afternoons at the park. But Melissa Febos writes lyrically and almost erotically, producing mesmerizing and hard to put down accounts of life and the ways it surprises her.

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The Art of Eating by M.F.K. Fisher

Recommended by Verena Von Pfetten

If you dream of dinner al fresco but can barely find blanket space in the park, settle for M.F.K. Fisher instead. She’s one of the greatest food writers of all time and The Art of Eating is a staple of the genre. There’s something perfectly indulgent imaging lounging under the sun, reading her essays on culture and food.

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Call Me By Your Name by André Aciman

Recommended by Lauren Caruso

The pinnacle of summer read, Call Me By Your Name, was made to be paged through poolside on the Italian coast, but on the A train to the Rockaways will do just fine. It’s a story of an all-consuming romance on a cliffside mansion and perfectly captures the restless weeks of summer and the two mens’ longing for each other.

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Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill

Recommended by Alison Roman

This book is a look at marriage, but more than marriage, the total mess of intimacy and trust that makes it possible. Written in the format of a letter exchange between “the wife” and her husband, the book cites great romantics and brings to question the meaning and purpose of partnership.

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Words by Erika Veurink