Skip Navigation
Falvey Memorial Library
Advanced
You are exploring: Home > Blogs

What’s on my summer reading list?

By Daniella Snyder

I’m Daniella Snyder, a graduate student at Villanova University, and your ‘Cat in Falvey’s Stacks. I’ll be posting about academics–from research to study habits and everything in between–and how the  Library can play a large role in your success here on campus!

Wildcats, this will sound nerdy, but one of my favorite parts of the summer is crafting a list of the books I plan to read over the next few months. Like a good playlist, my summer reading list must have a combination of different genres. It needs something academic, something funny, and I always add something that I should’ve read by now, but haven’t. I think you can tell a lot about a person by what books they read, so I thought I’d share this summer’s reading list.

Slaughterhouse-Five book cover

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

Even though I know that Vonnegut’s a famous author, and Slaughterhouse-Five is a classic novel, I’ve never actually read it, and I’m pretty late to the Vonnegut game. I started reading his novels in college, but have only read two or three of his works. Slaughterhouse-Five is like, the Shawshank Redemption of books. Everyone’s read it, so I should too.

 

I Might Regret this book cover

I Might Regret This: Essays, Drawing, Vulnerabilities, and Other Stuff by Abbi Jacobson

Abbi Jacobson is a comedic genius. If you’ve seen Broad City, you know what I mean. With this book, I think I’ll be LQTM (laughing quietly to myself) at the beach, at the park, and on the train.

 

Wow, no thank you book cover

Wow, No Thank You. by Samantha Irby

I was supposed to hear Samantha Irby read at the Free Library of Philadelphia in April, but reading her newest collection of essays will make up for the missed experience. Irby’s writing is biting and hysterical. I’d recommend this one to any of your funny friends.

 

How to Do Nothing book cover

How To Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy by Jenny Odell

//I don’t really like self-help books, but I think this is different. Odell writes a book that helps us think about efficiency and attention in a new way.

 

Life of the party book cover

Life of the Party by Olivia Gatwood

I had to have at least one poetry collection on the list, and Olivia Gatwood is so cool. Seriously, though. I stalk her on Instagram, and think she’s so rad. So, I have to imagine that her poetry will be relatable, interesting, and bold.

 

Such a Fun Age book cover

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

This has been a highly-anticipated book of 2020, and I don’t know much about it, other than my friends have read it and liked it, so I should read it, too.

 

The Beautiful and Damned book cover

The Beautiful and Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald

I took a Fitzgerald course in college, and I still never managed to read this novel. Since Gatsby is still one of my favorite books of all time (basic, I know) I think it’s only right that I read the rest of the Fitzgerald canon.

 

Sing, Unburied, Sing book cover

Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

Honestly, how haven’t I read this book yet? It was named a top book of the last decade. Decade! Enough said.

 

Playing to the Gallery book cover

Playing to the Gallery: Helping Contemporary Art in its Struggle to Be Understood by Grayson Perry

If you’ve known me for 15+ minutes, you would know that I studied art history in college, because I somehow incorporate that fact into every conversation I’ve ever had. This book has been on my list for a while.

 


Daniella Snyder HeadshotDaniella Snyder is a former graduate assistant in Falvey Memorial Library. This week, she’s reading The Upside of Being Down by Jen Gotch.

 

 

 

 


 


Like
1 People Like This Post

Villanova’s English Faculty 2019 Summer Reading Recommendations

To incorrectly quote the musical Grease, “Summer readin’, had me a blast/summer reading, happened so fast/I met a book, crazy for me…”

When you’re not showing off, splashing around in the water this summer, consider checking out these lit picks for those hot summer days and nights, provided by Villanova’s English Faculty (originally run on the departmental blog and republished with permission.)

TSERING WANGMO

On my list is Francisco Cantu’s nonfiction The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches from the Border.

Cantu worked as an agent for the US Border Patrol for four years. The borderlands, he writes, “have slowly become a place where citizens are subject to distinct standards for search and detention, and where due process for noncitizens is often unrecognized as anything that might exist within the American legal system.”

I’m also looking forward to reading The Truth Commissioner by David Park. I (and the Writing Through Conflict) class had the chance to see the film based on his novel on the difficult subject of truth and reconciliation in Northern Ireland.

The Line book cover

David Park The Truth Commissioner book cover
ELLEN BONDS

I plan to read Michael Ondaatje’s latest novel Warlight, about a parent-less brother and sister (they’re not orphans; their parents have moved away and left them) struggling to survive post-W. W. II London. I loved Ondaatje’s novel The English Patient and you may not be surprised to hear that I’m always interested in W.W.II stories.

Michael Ondaateje Warlight cover

ALAN DREW

If you’re looking for well-written crime fiction, try Richard Price’s Clockers. Genre fiction or not, Price is a fantastic writer who delivers complex characters, and deep insight into the socio-political problems and human frailty that help to cause crime.

Clockers Richard Price cover

KAMRAN JAVADIZADEH
This summer I hope to be rereading and writing about a book of poetry, Solmaz Sharif’s Look. One of the book’s epigraphs comes from Muriel Rukeyser: “During the war, we felt the silence in the policy of the English-speaking countries. That policy was to win the war first, and work out the meanings afterward. The result was, of course, that the meanings were lost.” Sharif’s poems look at our language—its silences, its euphemisms, its evasions—and, in another time of war, try to find the meanings again.

Look by Solmaz Sharif cover

CRYSTAL LUCKY

I am planning to read Sing Unburied Sing by Jesmyn Ward.

Chosen as the 2019 ‘One Book, One Philadelphia’ selection, “the National Book Award-winning novel is set in the fictional town of Bois Sauvage, Mississippi, and follows the story of one mixed-race family facing the impacts of racism, poverty, and incarceration.”

Sing Unburied Sing by Jesmyn-Ward book cover

DAISY FRIED

I’d suggest Ilya Kaminsky’s Deaf Republic, Jeffrey Yang’s Hey Marfa and Paisley Rekdal’s Nightingale, all poetry or poetry/prose combos.

Hey Marfa by Jeffery Yang book cover

Nightinggale by Paisley Rekdal cover

MICHAEL BERTHOLD

I’m devoting some of my summer reading to exploring world classics I’ve somehow neglected and plan to begin with Dumas’s The Count of Monte Cristo.

The count of monte cristo alexandre dumas cover

ROBERT O’NEIL

This novel was published in 1988, but it has always stayed with me.

Palm Latitudes by Kate Braverman.

Braverman’s novel chronicles the lives of three women–a prostitute, a young housewife, and an old woman–as they confront and struggle through the violence-filled Mexican barrio in Los Angeles.  Each woman struggles against defeat within a beautiful, yet dangerous landscape that Braverman poetically creates.  Remnants of this work will stay with you and surprise you long after reading it.

Palm Latitudes by Kate Braverman cover

MEGAN QUIGLEY

I’m launching off the summer with the following: The Overstory by Richard Powers (I was once a naturalist who lived in the redwoods in California, so I think I will not be able to put this down!); the new Ian McEwan, Machines Like Me; I will read a collection of essays by Zadie Smith called Feel Free (since I just advised a great honors / English thesis by Meg Carter on Smith so she is on my mind), and, I admit it, I have been lured into a series of mysteries set in an idyllic (and evil) town in Canada by Louise Penny.  Beware, there are 15 of these, so maybe don’t get started if you feel like accomplishing anything else, the first is called Still Life.

The Overstory by Richard Powers

Ian McEwan, Machines Like Me cover

Zadie Smith Feel Free book cover

Louise Penny Still Life book cover

MARY MULLEN

Isabella Hammad, The Parisian

I recently finished this novel and it has stayed with me. It’s a novel that has historical content—France and Palestine from around 1914 to 1936—but also historical form—it shares much with nineteenth-century classical realism (Zadie Smith compares Hammad to Flaubert and Stendhal, I might say George Eliot). Hammad’s use of realist conventions raises questions about Orientalism that the novel also addresses in its plot, showing how representing ordinary, everyday life is always a political act. I read the novel quickly and thoroughly enjoyed it but still find myself wondering about what it is trying to do and what it does.

Isabella Hammad, The Parisian book cover

ADRIENNE PERRY

A book I’m excited to read this summer is Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good, by adrienne maree brown (all lower case). Several of my friends and colleagues from the arts and nonprofit worlds have recommended this book as an essential read. It’s supposed to be a good one for folks looking to combine social justice with radical joy.

Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good, by adrienne maree brown cover

EVAN RADCLIFFE

For lightness, comedy, and inventive language, nothing beats P. G. Wodehouse’s Bertie and Jeeves stories, which pair the “mentally negligible” Bertie Wooster—the kind of person who says “Right Ho”—with his omni-competent valet Jeeves.  Set in England in the early 20th century, they feature various improbable scrapes from which Jeeves always rescues Bertie, but the plots hardly matter; it’s the way they speak that counts.  I’d start with the short story collections Carry On, Jeeves and Very Good, Jeeves.

P. G. Wodehouse book cover

ELYSHA CHANG

I’m looking forward to reading BOWLAWAY, Elizabeth McCracken’s latest novel. I am always struck by McCracken’s impeccable wit, oddball characters and mesmerizing style. , her story collection from 2014, is a brilliant, heart-breaking book for any short fiction readers out there!

THUNDERSTRUCK & OTHER STORIES book cover

JOE DRURY

This summer, I’ll be finishing The Guermantes Way (the Moncrieff translation, nach), the third book in Proust’s In Search of Lost Time. After that, I will be reading the final book in Elena Ferrante’s astonishing Neapolitan Quartet. I’m going to be in Edinburgh for a few days in July, so I will be taking Muriel Spark’s The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie with me for the train.

And a recommendation: over winter break, I read and adored A High Wind in Jamaica by Richard Hughes, first published in 1929. It’s a brilliant, sparkling, strange, and mesmerizing precursor of William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, about a group of English children who are captured by pirates on their way to England from Jamaica, but turn out to be much more vicious and heartless than their captors.

The Guermantes Way cover

the lost child book cover

Muriel Spark book cover

A Hig hJamaica Wind Cover


Like

 


Last Modified: May 28, 2019