Monday, June 16, 2014

Top 12 Summer Reads of 2014

By Jordana Horn

Welcome to the Third Annual Jordana Horn Summer Reading List! This list is by no means conclusive, but it’s a list of books I’ve read in the past six months that I thought were particularly terrific. Please put your own ideas and suggestions for great reads in the comments, and friend me on GoodReads (I’m “Jordana Horn Gordon” there) so we can keep talking books, which I love passionately. Without further ado, here are some great reads that should sit on your shelf or device this summer, in no particular order.

To Rise Again1. To Rise Again at a Decent Hour, by Joshua Ferris

This one is demanding and intellectually ambitious, but well worth your time. It’s the story of dentist Paul O’Rourke, who is bored with his life, dental practice, and his relationship to the world at large–until his online identity begins to be recreated by strangers. These strangers claim to be the descendants of Amalekites, the ancient enemy of the Jewish people–which is interesting enough without including the fact that they claim that Paul is one of them, and he just might believe them. This is a book about identity–what it means to be part of a people and a person. It’s jaw-droppingly good.

2. When It Happens To You, by Molly Ringwald

When It Happens To YouI didn’t want to read this one at first, because, really? Wasn’t it enough that you were the star of “Sixteen Candles” and “The Breakfast Club,” Molly Ringwald? Let well enough alone, lady. Well, apparently it wasn’t, because Ringwald is actually a kickass writer as well. I stand corrected. This book of interlocking short stories, in which each story ties in through threads of characters to the one before it, is really enjoyable. It’s a clever, well-written exploration of humans and human nature, and all the greater for being such a pleasant surprise.

Continue reading.

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