Joy the Baker

What You’re Reading

July 6, 2013


It’s always hard to leave behind a long holiday weekend.  I was away this holiday weekend.  I was less than two hours from home, but it felt like a continent away.  Big shady trees.  Skies full of stars.  Extended cocktail hours.

There’s something so essential about being away.

Being away means that I get to live in a different kitchen, leisurely eat big ol’ pineapples, sit out on different porches, sip from different glasses, and read different books.  Being surrounded by different things is good on the heart and steady on the brian.

Because it’s summer, because it’s the season of being away, because we just need to warm-weather words… I took to Twitter and asked you for great summer-read recommendations.

Your recommendations were  so excellent and enthusiastic I thought we should share this list with all of you.  Keep in mind that I haven’t read all of these books, but you have and you think they’re great!  Check them out (literally… from the library). Click around.  See if anything strikes you. These are the days and it’s such a blessing to live them.

What You’re Reading:  Summer 2013

Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls David Sedaris  (always and forever.)

Love In The Time of Cholera Gabriel Garcia Marquez

The Diviners Libba Bray

I Was Told There’d Be Cake Sloane Crosley

Sense and Sensibility Jane Austen

The Old Man and the Sea Ernest Hemingway

(there is  waaaaaay more list after the click)


In the House upon the Dirt Between the Cabin and the Woods Matt Bell

Game of Thrones #nerdalert #allduerespect

In the Land of the Blue Burqas Kate McCord

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened Jenny Lawson  (For the title alone, right!?)

Wild Cheryl Strayed

The Gread Gatsby F.Scott Fitzgerald

Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald Therese Anne Fowler  (yes…!)

Tell The Wolves I’m Home Carol Rifka Brunt  (I’m starting with this book!)

The Secret Keeper Kate Morton

Gone With The Wind Margaret Mitchell (I read this book every summer as a teenager during the darkest of my curly-bang-days.)

The Tiger’s Wife Tea Obreht

Where’d You Go Bernadette Maria Semple  (I’m looking forward to this one!)

Daring Greatly Brene Brown  (Shutterbean is reading this book and gives it a thumbs-up!)

The Ocean at the End of the Lane Neil Gaiman

The Engagements J. Courtney Sullivan

Rez Life David Treuer


The Perfume Collector Kathleen Tessaro

Sea and Sardinia DH Lawrence

Travels with Charley John Steinbeck  But really… East of Eden will change you.

The End of You Life Book Club Will Schwalbe

Brooklyn Girls Gemma Burgess

The Round House Louise Erdrich

State of Wonder Ann Patchett

Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend Matthew Dicks

Dear Girls Above Me Charlie McDowell  (I must read this.)

The Sparrow Mary Doria Russell  (I adore this story.  It’s big.)

Age of Miracles Karen Thompson Walker  (So So good!!)

Sisterland Curtis Sittenfeld

Will Write For Food Dianne Jacob

Thank you for sharing your summer reads!  I appreciate you so much.  If you have any books to add to the list, or if you’ve enjoyed any of the above mentioned books, you should totally leave a comment below!  Share your thoughts.  We’re in this together.


118 Comments Add A Comment

  • I highly recommend “Love with A Chance of Drowning”. Perfect for wanderlusters.

  • What an adorable little getaway house! Where is it? I’m new to LA and looking for some close but feels far destinations.

    And thanks for compiling a list – heading to the library website to see what’s available!

  • Any Sci-Fi fans out there? This one is by an up-and-coming author:

  • thank you for the list because i am always looking for things to read, esp in summer. I am currently reading “My life in France” Julia Childs book and its a fun read :)

    • What a fantastic book! I am on my 3rd Julia Child book for the summer, and I am loving “Aa Always, Julia”, which is a compilation of the letters between Avis & Julia herself.

  • Read Wild by Cheryl Strayed last summer – really good, really intense read, (so maybe a little less fluffy than your traditional summer read) but a great and entertaining book. There were parts in the middle where I thought to myself, ‘I can’t believe I’m enjoying reading a passage just describing wilderness”, but I really did enjoy it. Also, hit a lot of personal points for me, too…

  • Thanks so much for the list! Would also like to add In The Shadow Of The Banyan by Vaddy Ratner. I’ve rated it as one of the best books I’ve read this year.

  • I read Zelda by Nancy Milford last summer and loved it. It will make you hate Scott Fitzgerald a little to a lot, though.

    I’m currently reading Swamplandia! by Karen Russel and completely love it. And I tend to go for Southern gothic in the summer and just full on embrace the ridiculous heat instead of fighting it.

    • I literally just finished Swamplandia! a couple hours ago. It was on my to-read list for the last couple of summers. So strange, so wonderful… I’m a little sad to have left the swamp… Any other southern gothic you would recommend?

  • Arcadia by Lauren Groff is another excellent read. It chronicles the coming of age of a boy who spent his childhood and adolescence on a commune in upstate NY. The story follows the blossoming and the self-destruction of the commune, but more importantly it is a map of the main character’s crises and revelations as he is forced to go into the world and make something of a place he has very little understanding of. I would read it again in a heartbeat.

  • The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson is amazing, I loved it. So clever and funny.

  • Dear Girls Above Me is a great book! I read last month and thoroughly enjoyed it. I think you will too. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell was an endearing book and I loved 20th Century Ghosts by Joe Hill.

  • What a great list. Currently reading White Teeth by Zadie Smith and loving it.

  • I read Wild and LOVED it….The Tiger’s Wife, not so much. I just finished Jane Eyre and highly recommend it. One of the best books ever, however, was The Shadows of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon.

  • For a pleasant escape to Cape Cod, read anything by Elin Hilderbrand.

  • I just finished reading the Sea Sisters by Lucy Clarke, completely makes you want to jump on a plane and head off on an adventure…
    Love that the Great Gatsby made the list, I love that book!

  • Reading – The Fountainhead, by Ayn Rand

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