With the summer season already upon us, it’s time to figure out what to read this summer. A quick poll of Nation staffers produced these eclectic titles. We also want to know what’s on your summer list.
John Palattella, Literary Editor
Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945, by Tony Judt
As austerity campaigns carry the day in Europe, many are wondering if a single currency has crippled the EU. How did economic and political unity come about in Europe? Was a single currency necessary for unity? Tony Judt’s Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945 explains that and a lot more.
Miriam Markowitz, Associate Literary Editor
Masscult and Midcult: Essays Against the American Grain, by Dwight Macdonald
One Day I Will Write About This Place, by Binyavanga Wainaina
I’m reading Dwight Macdonald’s classic screed Masscult and Midcult in a new collection of his essays out from New York Review Books, as well as One Day I Will Write About This Place, a memoir, by the Kenyan writer Binyavanga Wainaina.
Betsy Reed, Executive Editor
A Visit from the Goon Squad, by Jennifer Egan
Displaced Persons, by Ghita Schwarz
Brooklyn, by Colm Tóibín
Like everyone else, I am reading (and loving) Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad. Less trendy but also riveting is Ghita Schwarz’s novel Displaced Persons, about postwar Jewish refugees in New York. I also recently read Henry Roth’s Call It Sleep and Colm Toibin’s Brooklyn, about earlier generations of New York immigrants—great books which have given me a new perspective on this great city.
Katha Pollitt, Columnist
Sempre Susan: A Memoir of Susan Sontag, by Sigrid Nunez
A wonderful novelist remembers Susan Sontag as writer, mentor, woman, friend and enthusiastic lover of a vanished New York.
Richard Kim, Executive Editor, Online
The Brothers Karamazov, by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Embassytown, by China Mieville
I am reading The Brothers Karamazov because it is reportedly Laura Bush and Hillary Clinton’s favorite book, and only now does it feel like there’s enough space to figure out why. Also just finished Embassytown, by China Mieville because I will read anything that man writes.