compiled by Nicole Tomassi, Marketing & Conference Manager
In a summer season likely to be filled with “revenge travel” as people catch up on trips that were postponed the last few years, it seems fitting that several of the reading selections made by the Westchester staff explore the travel theme in varying ways. Whether your summer plans take you to far-flung destinations on the other side of the world, as close as the Adirondack chair in your yard or somewhere in between, these books will help you pass the time and transport you to another location. Click on the cover images to visit the Indiebound website, for additional details and purchasing information.
Why I want to read this book: My daughter brought this home from college—she was researching Muriel Spark and Smith quotes (and clearly is inspired by) Spark in the outset of the book, so she bought it, read it, and, as our children do, left it lying around the house. Curious, I picked it up and started reading. I’m only a chapter and a half in, but the first chapter was jaw-droppingly good. Smith experiments with form and language and bends reality in an unsettling but “gotta read more” way. The narrative is told by multiple perspectives, so I’m looking forward to seeing how some of the events unfurl through other characters eyes. If you like post-modernist literature, don’t sleep on this one.
Submitted by: Kevin J. Gray, President and Chief Content Officer, Westchester Education Services
Book Title: The Lincoln Highway
Author: Amor Towles
Why I want to read this book: This was recommended to me by my wife, and it looks like the perfect summer road trip read. It is the tale of four boys making their way from their family farm in Nebraska out west to San Francisco in search of a better life and their estranged mother. This sounds like a coming-of-age story with all of the detours and wrong turns as well as interesting folks they will encounter along the way. Perfect for passing the time while I am not behind the wheel as we head out on our own summer adventures.
Submitted by: Kevin Schroeder, Director, Client Solutions, Westchester Education Services
Why I want to read this book: When I was young, this book had fueled my interest in history and mythology (Herodotus was a little gullible and believed many of the tall tales he heard during his travels). Recently, I found my old copy of this under a seat in my pickup truck, probably packed for a road trip many years ago and forgotten. I feel the need to reunite with it, and have a nostalgia trip as to why I got so excited about the classics when I was younger. Hopefully the well-worn older printing of the Norton Critical Edition I found in the truck can stand up to a trip or two to the beach this Summer.
Submitted by: Tyler M. Carey, Chief Revenue Officer
Why I want to read this book: A lot of times the premise of a book alone can really draw me in. This fantasy includes a huge sequestered underground library, and it follows a character who grew up in the library. As a former librarian, some of my favorite moments were opening the library before any patrons came in. It was very peaceful to be surrounded by the hushed quiet and comforting presence of books. Also, it sounds like this book includes time travel elements and I love time travel!
Submitted by: Christina Jones, Resource Manager, Westchester Education Services
Why I want to read this book: Although I enjoyed the ten-episode fictional series on Amazon, I feel there could have been more to the brief interview segments. Since the book is written exclusively in an interview style between each character, the book is likely to add some texture omitted from the episodes. Taylor is a great writer and really captured what was happening in the ’70s music scene in the series. I’m excited to see how she develops the characters in the novel.
Submitted by: Darryl Keck, Pagination Specialist
Why I want to read this book: “The Book of Form and Emptiness” is a novel by Ruth Ozeki, who is a Professor of Humanities at Smith College. In addition to being a novelist, Ozeki is also a filmmaker and Zen Priest. Her exploration of contemporary topics and themes in the context of the ancient tradition of Zen intrigued me greatly. This book was recommended to me by a bookseller at Broadside Bookshop in Northampton, MA
Submitted by: Hugh Shiebler, Director, Client Solutions
Why I want to read this book: I’m a gardener, growing fruits, and vegetables. I need a go-to guide to help me in identifying which insects are beneficial and which are pests. The agricultural extension service used to be a great source of information regarding the latest gardening issues in our area, however, this is no longer the case and I’ve found this guide appears to be the best suited for my purposes.
Submitted by: Stephanie Nelson, Proofreader
Why I want to read this book: I read Adrienne Brodeur’s memoir, Wild Game, shortly after it was released in paperback in the summer of 2020. I found it to be a compelling story about the deceits family members can entrap each other in and the terrible consequences that often result. This summer, the author is returning to fiction nearly 20 years after the release of her first novel, and I’m hoping the story she tells this time around is as fascinating a page-turner as her memoir.
Submitted by: Nicole Tomassi, Marketing and Conference Manager
Looking for some other interesting books to add to your TBR list this summer? Check out the selections offered up in these lists:
These blog posts feature the titles we selected in previous summers.