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.