Fiction

Reading List for the Dog Days of Summer

Here we are, the dog days. Doesn’t August just seem interminable? If it were up to me, we’d all count to three, and skip ahead to September. Football! Pumpkin beer! Bonfires! But since we can’t do that, here are some suggestions to help you navigate the long, lazy days of summer’s swan song.

Sweet Summer Reads — Reinvigorate your love of summer with these summer love novels.

1. That Old Cape Magic, by Richard Russo — Two weddings, one potential divorce. Summer on the Cape.
2. Sag Harbor, by Colson Whitehead — Summer vacation, coming-of-age, first love.
3. Seating Arrangements, by Maggie Shipstead — A summer wedding. Rich people do rich people things. Hilarity ensues.

Get Back In The Swing — Your baseball squad out of the pennant race? Not to fear.

1. The Art of Fielding, by Chad Harbach — Right?!
2. The Natural, by Bernard Malamud — Dust off your yellowing copy, and watch Roy Hobbs wield his Wonderboy (not a euphemism). The quintessential baseball novel.
3. The Brothers K, by David James Duncan — One of my five favorite novels of all time, Duncan’s family saga has baseball at its (substantial) heart.

The Malaise-Breakers — These novels may make you forget there even is an outside world.

1. Beat the Reaper, by Josh Bazell — A conclusion so shocking, you’ll want to start over right away, just to get there again.
2. The History of History, by Ida Hattemer-Higgins —  A little bit Murakami, a lot unconventional, brilliant fiction.
3. Kafka on the Shore, by Haruki Murakami — All Murakami, all mind-blowing fun. Cats!

Dog Books for the Dog Days — If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.

1. The Art of Racing in the Rain, by Garth Stein — Gitchya Kleenex ready.
2. The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, by David Wroblewski — A retelling of Hamlet, but with many, many dogs. (Not as the main characters.)
3. Marley and Me, by John Grogan — Kleenex resupply, aisle 6!

Gear Up To Fall Back — Still not un-malaised? These novels will suit you up for fall.

1. The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, by David Mitchell — The only thing better than one autumn is 1,000 autumns.
2. The Cider House Rules, by John Irving — (In Homer Simpson voice) Mmmmmm. Cider. Aaaagggghhhhh.
3. House of Leaves, by Mark Danielewski — You’ll be frond of this novel. It’ll downright rake you in. (Sincerest apologies…)

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