The OS Summer Reading List
When we first came up with the idea of putting together a summer reading list, we aimed to encompass all the scandal, learning curves, and unintentional humor that a traditional Summer Reading List's nominees would contain. The result is a group of five books, amassed from all genres of fiction–and we promise, there will NOT be a quiz at the end of the summer.
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
Celeste Ng’s intricate, character driven portrait of upper middle class suburban life–and scandal–takes a meandering journey through the lives of families in Shaker Heights, Illinois. The many-layered story is intriguing, emotional, and a bit far fetched–all the hallmarks of an excellent summer reading book. As an added plus, the novel’s screenplay has been picked up by Hulu and will be executive produced by both Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington (who will also star in the series!).
Great For: When you’ve already watched 3 episodes of Scandal today and need to take a break.
Less by Andrew Sean Greer
Less is a conversation starter, to say the least. In the same way that some books mark their significance by appearing on thousands of beach chairs across the nation, Less has quickly become an Instagram story staple. The comedic novel was a 2017 Pulitzer Prize winner, and has captivated readers with its beautiful metaphors and exploration of what it means to age.
Great For: In-flight, mid-commute––basically any less than comfortable public transit situation in which a little bit of humor would help to diffuse your internal irritation with the strangers around you.
Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler
It is unexpected that a novel about 22 year old recent New York transplant working as a server at a fine dining establishment would garner as much attention as this one did, but after experiencing the heartfelt, transparently naive, raw, and frankly sometimes whiney story of protagonist Tess, it’s easy to ascertain why. Sweetbitter humanizes and exposes the intricacies of the restaurant industry and reminds readers what it’s like to be young, naive, and completely at the mercy of your emotions.
Great For: When you come from an underwhelming work day– having completed a sweaty, exhaustive commute–and are in the removing your pants to settle in for the night.
Americhana by Chimimanda Ngozi Adeichi
If atypical coming-of age love stories are your weak spot, then this insightful romp through the minds and lives of two young Nigerian expats will be right up your alley. Renown author, Chimimanda Ngozi Adeichi, tackles themes of nationalism, racism, and immigration through a character study that spans continents in her sophomore novel.
Great For: Lazy outdoor afternoon reading when you’re avoiding turning on the stove and you know you’re just going to order Seamless in lieu of cooking the food in your fridge.
The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith
As a novel, The Talented Mr. Ripley speaks to the dangers of envy. Characters breeze through a mid-century Italian summer, enthralled with the trappings of lust, wealth and excess. It’s a steamy novel which exposes the dirty underbelly of greed; a perfect summer beach read if there ever was one.
Great For: When you’re lounging in the sun near a beach or pool, drinking an Aperol Spritz and need to flip over for your back to get some sun.