Thanks to the almost 1,000 Nation readers who took the time to send us their summer reading choices. We’re reading each submission carefully and getting great tips in the process. This is our third Nation Reader’s Summer Reading List. Watch this space for future editions coming soon.
Ciara Kehoe, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness
I’m reading the excellent teen trilogy Chaos Walking, specifically the final book Monsters of Men. This trilogy did not get the attention in deserved in the US, even though it was written by an American (who lives in London).
Gary Ferrini, Harrisonburg, VA
The Man Who Never Died: The Life, Times and Legacy of Joe Hill, American Labor Icon by William Adler
In 1914, Joe Hill was convicted of murder in Utah and sentenced to death by firing squad, igniting international controversy. Many believed Hill was innocent, condemned for his association with the Industrial Workers of the World-the radical Wobblies. Now, following five years of intensive investigation, William M. Adler gives us the first full-scale biography of Joe Hill, and presents never before published documentary evidence that comes as close as one can to definitively exonerating him. Hill’s gripping tale is set against a brief but electrifying moment in American history, between the century’s turn and World War I, when the call for industrial unionism struck a deep chord among disenfranchised workers; when class warfare raged and capitalism was on the run.
Colleen Lovinello, Chesterton, Indiana
The Pope’s War by Matthew Fox
Great insight into the decline of the Roman Catholic Church.
Bert Hirsch, New York, New York
Snow by Orhan Pamuk
A surrealistic haunting tale of poets, Islamic extremists, modernity, Turkish culture, love and emigration, with a surprise plot twist midway through the book.
Barbara Browne, Scituate, Massachusetts
The Strange Case of Edward Gorey by Alexander Theroux
A cerebral treat–it’s a kind of bio. It doesn’t cover every year of the artist’s life. It covers instead, Gorey’s mindset. Theroux, a friend of Gorey’s, writes in a way you’d imagine Gorey would think.
Stephen Young, Skokie, Illinois
Inside of a Dog by Alexandra Horowitz
I’ve been around numerous dogs for most of my 60 years and this book gave me even more perspective on how dogs relate to us; how they see and smell the world, how they problem solve and I’ve seen some pretty smart dogs figure stuff out that a lot of humans would grapple with.
Scott Lahti, North Berwick, Maine
Little Wonder; or, The Reader’s Digest & How It Grew by John Bainbridge
A dryly humorous fly-on-the-wall look at how DeWitt and Lila Wallace transformed what began in 1922 in a Greenwich Village apartment as a condensed five-thousand copy tour d’horizon of often urbane, humanistic articles taken from such periodicals as The Nation and The New Yorker and (the old Frank Crowninshield) Vanity Fair, through the twenty-odd skyrocket years succeeding, as circulation and foreign editions vaulted its readership past the ten million mark, as the pocket monthly settled into its expansive Pleasantville (actually Chappaqua) campus. Bainbridge lays out the Wallaces’ many quirks, the odd habits indulged by the large tier of editors, the tangled role of the source magazines from which they reprinted and condensed, and, later, of the Digest’s original commissioned pieces, the ongoing shift to the right in the political and economic coverage, and much more. A captivating look at a bygone age in U.S. magazine publishing and the culture it reflected.