Our Summer Reads, Vol. 6 – Lauren Olmeda
Summer is finally here, and with it, the best time of year to curl up with a book, free – at least in our heads – of all obligations to read anything out of obligation. Long-anticipated leisure reads, lakeside picnics, and much-needed sunshine. This June, the Attic on Eighth writers share what it is that they’re looking forward to reading this summer season.
Summer has always been the season of long reads for me. I’m not picky – I’ve got non-fiction and fiction in equal measure on my library list, and as my two-week holiday to the US approaches, I am most certainly going to need an additional suitcase to bring my selected reads along. I love the early mornings of Michigan summers – to sit outside on the deck at my parents’ house with iced coffee and a book as the sprinklers are running, just before the sun gets hot, is one of many blissful ways to start the summer’s day. When I’m on a summer holiday, I try to make no commitments – I do hope to read more than I usually do, but mostly I prefer to have the right moment find me. Whether that’s in the car on a long drive home from my grandma’s house, on a sandy towel next to the lake, or in the air-conditioned refuge of my local library, I never want it to feel forced.
First up is a book I’ve only just started yesterday, titled Sweden’s Dark Soul by Kajsa Norman. I’ve always been very interested in Scandinavia as a region, and Sweden, once portrayed as the poster nation for harmonious democracy, has faced a reckoning in the last few years as a result of mass immigration and upheaval of the status quo.
I have been practicing yoga steadily for the past four months, and I am keen to learn more about the origins of the practice: Light on Life by B.K.S. Iyengar and Eastern Body, Western Mind: Psychology and the Chakra System as a Path to the Self by Anodea Judith have made my list for this reason. Horizon by Barry Lopez caught my eye in the bookstore a few weeks ago, and as Lopez has been described as “the greatest nature writer in the world,” I’m dying to get stuck in to his account of world travel.
With the summer heat pounding down, I plan to escape to Alaska in The Unpassing by Chia-Chia Lin, a story about a Taiwanese immigrant family who take up residence in Anchorage. It might not relieve my overheating, but a girl can dream, right? Also on my list is Trust Exercise by Susan Choi – this comes highly recommended by a friend, and will probably be my book of choice on my transatlantic flight.
The rest of my list is here:
On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, Ocean Vuong
The Sympathizer, Viet Thanh Nguyen
Disappearing Earth, Julia Phillips
Last Ones Left Alive, Sarah Davis-Goff
The Lost Properties of Love, Sophie Ratcliffe
The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper, Hallie Rubenhold
Becoming, Michelle Obama
Sing, Unburied, Sing, Jesmyn Ward
Medieval Women: A Social History of Women in England 450 – 1500, Henrietta Leyser
Nine Perfect Strangers, Liane Moriarty
The Heart’s Invisible Furies, John Boyne
A Prayer for Owen Meany, John Irving
Lauren Olmeda holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in international relations. She is an editor based in Dublin, Ireland and is Editor-at-Large of the Attic on Eighth.