Book Club: 3 Necessary Additions to Your Summer Reading List

My mother taught me lots of wonderful life skills. Like “when you find something you like, buy it in every color” and “never put anything in writing that you might regret later.” The latter was an unrealistic expectation even in 1997 before I was allowed to dive full force into the inter webs and the former has resulted in my massive credit card debt and shopping addiction. But one piece of advice for which I am eternally grateful is “never go anywhere without a book.”...

The Interestings

In general I try to avoid absolutes and superlatives - because I have a fear of commitment - but if I had to pick a favorite book I would maybe consider adding The Interestings to my top 3 list.  This New York TimesBest Seller is a heart-wrenching story of a group of friends that meet at a Summer Camp in the 1970’s and follows them throughout their lives as they grow together and apart. My one piece of advice: make sure to have a box of tissues close by, and always know where your nearest exits are just in case you’re reading in public and need to hide your sobs. There’s also an amazing pilot on Amazon which you should watch AFTER you read it! 

 

Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg: The Letters

Alternate title suggestion: “250 pages of letters and I can’t even get a text back.” This collection of letters between Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg is a beacon of hope for every millennial struggling to maintain transnational relationships with friends and loved ones. It is admittedly voyeuristic looking so closely into the intimate interactions between these prolific writers but these letters are a time machine to a period in America that I would long to go back to if I wasn’t black. My one wish is to have a group of friends as artistically and creatively inspired as they were. Another alternate title suggestion: Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg: Ultimate Squad Goals. 

 

Sick in the Head: Conversations About Life and Comedy

My roommate, Henry, gave me this book for Christmas and I didn’t feel weird about not having read it yet until my friend Olivia grimaced and said, “well, we’re all busy!” I don’t remember reading anything in Emily Post on the gift-receiving protocol re: the amount of time in which one is expected to read the book he was gifted, but nevertheless, I bumped it to the top of the list. I’ve always been a huge fan of Judd Apatow’s humor and I’m waiting for the day when he plucks me from obscurity and becomes the patron of the many low stakes angsty millennial TV pilots I’ve written. I find myself in this position through a combination of daddy issues and a fair share of Lena Dunham idolatry but I’m happy to be here and I can’t wait to scour this book for clues on how to make it happen.