The concept of summer reading is much more appealing after high school. Although I admit that I was the student who finished the assigned reading and essays well before the halfway point of summer and enjoyed it. Call me crazy. So far this summer my taste in books has been all over the place: from Amy Poehler's laugh-until-you-cry-from-laughing memoir and Cheryl Strayed's much more serious and motivational memoir, to the latest novel from Grisham (I think it's the latest, he just writes way too many) and a unique world history overview.
Confession time. Other than her time on Weekend Update, Mean Girls and Parks and Rec, I didn't know much about Amy Poehler's career. And I was one of those people who read through it thinking of Leslie Knope writing it, even though that's just a character she plays. But any book with a guest chapter by Seth Myers is a book worth reading in my opinion and I enjoyed the mix of memoir and comedy, although it was no "Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me." (Side note: Mindy's second book, Why Not Me, is coming out in September and I cannot wait.)
I went through a major John Grisham phase in high school. As in I've read every single one of his books and am now in the habit of automatically reading the next one year after year. Gray Mountain focuses on the coal mining industry in Appalachia and the severe impact it has on the environment as well as the economy and the people of the region. In true Grisham fashion, there were many ethical questions and law practices raised as well as seedy characters typical of small-town justice.
Months after the movie was released (on DVD) I got around to reading Wild. It was all everyone could talk about and perhaps my expectations for it were too high, but I was underwhelmed by it. It was a powerful story knowing that it was true, rather than fiction, but it would have been just as powerful without all the mentions of her toenails falling off.
And finally, A History of the World in 6 Glasses, which I highly recommend to anyone who has a love of history and how interconnected social, economic and political factors are. From prehistoric times to present day, Standage sums up the major high points of history as affected by beer, wine, spirits, tea, coffee and Coca-Cola. While I was in college, the International Programs office organized two summer trips based on this book following the history of tea (traveling to Boston, China, India and London) and coffee (traveling to Ethiopia, Turkey and Paris).
What's on your must-read list this summer?