Listen to the dramatic reading by Thomas Eggleston:
Now that the weather’s warming up, you’ve finally got the time you need to stretch out on the beach or in the park and read all the books you’ve been meaning to get to. For months, smart, thoughtful people in your life have been recommending new books to you like Michelle Obama’s breathtaking memoir, Karen Russell’s chillingly insightful novel, Julia Phillips’ dystopian thriller, and Rupi Kaur’s timeless poetry. And, don’t get me wrong, you really have been dying to read them—but, now that you find yourself with the actual time to do so, they seem hard. Or kind of tedious.
But you’re still totally going to read all those books. For sure.
At some point.
But for now, despite what you'll tell everyone, here’s an honest list of your summer 2019 reading.
A bunch of random Huffington Post articles
Sure you’ve never had a home water birth or gone through a brutal divorce or gotten an unexpected diagnosis for early onset Parkinson’s disease, but you still haven’t unliked the Huffington Post on Facebook and this is the kind of content that keeps popping up in your feed. And you find yourself reading it. A lot.
New Yorker cartoons
You love The New Yorker. You read The New Yorker. But, let’s be real: 9 out of 10 times that you buy The New Yorker, it’s for those sweet, sweet cartoons. The op-eds are timely, the fiction is raw and provocative, the Shouts and Murmurs are clever, but the cartoons are digestible. Even if you’re not smart enough to understand most of the jokes.
Lena Dunham’s memoir
After you read a Huffington Post opinion piece about the Lena Dunham controversy, you got intrigued. What’s the deal with her and her sister? What other drama can you find in those pages? You’ve got to know. So, you were curious and bought the book. It’s not a crime. Plus, it was a New York Times bestseller so that counts, right?
The backs of several “Jesus is alive” airport novels
Like every good, law-abiding citizen, you show up to the airport three hours before your flight. And, after buying airport pizza and riding around on those weird human-sized luggage conveyer belts things for a while, you’ve still got time to kill. So now you’re in the airport bookstore and you’re reading the backs of those hack “I met Jesus” accounts with photos of women’s backs or horses chilling in a field on the covers. You’re not going to buy these books, but, sure, you’ll have a glance. I mean, what else are you going to do with three hours to kill? Get work done?
Your middle school journal
You’ve finally been roped into cleaning out your parent’s basement—which smells concerningly like mothballs and old cat litter. Going through dusty boxes full of photo albums from when you were chubby in high school and a slew of macaroni art collages from elementary school, you’ll find your middle school diary. It’s just as horrifyingly cringe-worthy as you could’ve imagined, not that that will stop you from reading every single delicious word of it. Yikes.
You’ve read every Harry Potter book 7 times from cover to cover, and at this point it’s well below your reading level (probably, right?), but by July, you’ll find yourself nose deep in the worn pages again. We knew you’d end up here. No one is surprised. Plus, now you get to look for all of the Easter eggs about Dumbledore doing gay stuff. It’s practically research for half-baked Twitter jokes.
There’s always next summer.