Since every school in Nashville sends home a summer reading list, we thought, “Why not StyleBlueprint?” But rather than compile our own list, we decided to call a bunch of great authors and find out what they suggest we read this summer. Great idea, no?
But a little daunting, I must admit. Great authors are, by definition, people who don’t take a lot of random calls. What if they didn’t take my call? So prepared for rejection, I contacted the following authors: Ann Patchett, David Maraniss, Susan Gregg Gilmore and Alice Randall. Luckily, most of them must not have caller ID because they answered the phone. And based on the enthusiastic responses we received, Liza and I are delighted to offer the following list of titillating and provocative books to tuck into your suitcase or stack on your bedside table.
Here are their varied and compelling suggestions:
Ann Patchett is the author of many books including: The Patron Saint of Liars,Truth and Beauty, Bel Canto and Run. The highly acclaimed Bel Canto won both the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Orange Prize in 2002 with over a million copies being sold. Word has it that Ann has a new book in the works. I can’t wait to be the first in line for an autographed copy. Here are Ann’s sizzling summer suggestions for you to consider. Note: the quotes are from Ann and the other authors regarding the books they have suggested.
- The Pursuit of Love and Love in a Cold Climate by Nancy Mitford
“The most satisfying read ever and not to be confused with the The Mitford series.”
- Endless Love by Scott Spencer.
“Don’t let the movie with Brooke Shields scare you, this is a book you can’t put down.”
- Just Kids by Patti Smith.
Patti Smith is considered the grandmother of Punk Rock. This book details her early years in NYC and her relationship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. Both were young and restless artists. “This is a beautifully written, coming-of-age memoir.”
David Maraniss is a Pulitzer prize-winning journalist and author of many books including Rome 1960: The Olympics That Changed the World; Clemente: The Passion, Grace of Baseball’s Last Hero; and First in His Class: A Biography of Bill Clinton. David gave one thoughtful suggestion, a novel which may be just right for Father’s Day.
- The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman.
“It is a funny, insightful, bittersweet book about the last days of a newspaper, written from the perspective of different characters of an English-language paper in Rome.”
Susan Gregg Gilmore
Susan Gregg Gilmore is the author of Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen. Susan also has a journalism background and has written for the Los Angeles Times, The Christian Science Monitor and Chattanooga News-Free Press. Susan has a new book, The Improper Life of Bezellia Grove, debuting later this summer.
- Mrs. Darcy and the Blue Eyed Stranger by Lee Smith.
“As you know, she once taught English at Harpeth Hall, so a nice Nashville tie-in.
- Backseat Saints by Joshilyn Jackson is due out this June.
- Bloodroot by Amy Greene.
“A wonderful new Southern voice.”
- The Lost Summer of Louisa Mae Alcott by Kelly O’Connor McNees.
Alice Randall is a Harvard educated African-American woman who writes thought-provoking novels and even country music. She has written the following novels: The Wind Done Gone, Pushkin and the Queen of Spades and Rebel Yell.
Alice gives us her tantalizing suggestions to set a nice tone for this summer, “Each is hot enough, in a smart way, to make the hottest day feel cooler.” Yo-Wee! That sounds pretty good!
Alice offers StyleBlueprint three delicious reads for the perfect summer!
- The Awakening by Kate Chopin.
- Coming Through the Slaughter by Michael Ondaatje.
- Wild Sargossa Sea by Jean Rhys and Hilary Jenkins.
I have already hit Davis Kidd, McKay’s Used Books and fired up my Amazon account to order what I could not find in stock. I hope you enjoy our favorite authors suggestions.
Happy Reading and Happy Summer!