1. The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides I actually read this book a year ago, borrowed from the library, and adored it. Eugenides never fails to deliver plots that sweep you up and drop you back in a new spot. Middlesex is another one of my favorites by him. I like that it speaks to life post grad, since that's coming up, and romance in a real and still fascinating way. If you haven't read any Eugenides, start with this, move to Middlesex, and end with The Virgin Suicides. You'll thank me later.
2. rimertown: an atlas by Laura Walker While poetry about place can sometimes feel lost to someone who has yet to experience that certain area. This wasn't the case-by the last poem I felt as though I'd walked for hours next to Walker. Her familiarities became my own.
3. A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future by Daniel H. Pink Personality types are my kryptonite. All types-enneagram, Myer-Briggs, spirit animals, and brain side dominance. This was my first introduction to personality types and I still remember a teacher gently informing me I might not have a left side of my brain. It was either after another failed math exam or in regard to one of my assignment page margin masterpieces. Thinking creatively and pursuing a job in a creative field can feel intimidating, even when it's the only thing I know. This book, though a bit dated, was a great source of encouragement and practical advice.
4. Blue Pastures by Mary Oliver By far, the most impactful book I've read this summer. I read this after listening to Mary Oliver's On Being episode. Her work beside her poetry is always captivating. Returning to her poems after reading her other work makes the experience more intimate every time.
5. At Large and At Small by Anne Fadiman I picked this book up from Politics and Prose in DC with Ruby. I'm finally working through the pile I amassed during my time in Delaware. That's one thing about traveling with Ruby, I always end up squeezing half a dozen books into my suitcase home-her recommendations are that good. Anne Fadiman is one of her favorite authors, and this little book made great plane reading material. This book in particular is a collection of "familiar essays." My favorites topics covered were ice cream and letter writing.
6. The Sound of Gravel: A Memoir by Ruth Wariner Memoirs are my genre of choice recently, especially those written by women. I know I'm not alone in my undying interest in cults and totally different cultures, so loving The Sound of Gravel was sort of inevitable. This book was soon passed on to my Geems, who enjoyed it as well. The story is gripping, haunting, and ultimately redemptive.