My first summer love: BOOKS! (Stephanie Kuehnert)

I don't have any grand summer love stories to tell. Well, I had one that would have been a great summer fling story if 1. the guy hadn't told me in August that his girlfriend was arriving the day after I was leaving, which confused me massively because I thought I was his girlfriend and 2. I hadn't continued to pursue him because of this and ended up in a long, tedious relationship. If you really want to know about that one, you can read part of that love-gone-awry story on Rookie here, but today I would like to focus on my first and truest summer love: BOOKS!

There is just nothing that says summer more to me than reading. Maybe that's because I've always been an avid library visitor, who was sucked into summer reading contests at like five (stickers! writing mini-reviews that they hung up on the walls! AND unlike athletic contests it was one I had an actual shot at winning!). But really books go perfectly with just about everything summer. They're nice by the pool, on the beach, on the drive or the flight to your vacation, at the campsite or cabin your parents dragged you to, in the ice cold air-conditioning on a sweltering day.

This summer because of the whole moving cross-country thing I didn't read nearly as much as I would have liked, but I made up for quantity with quality:

I know I'm behind on this one, but oh how I enjoyed it. The fairytale/magical realism/supernatural/can't quite put my finger on it feel. It was the perfect amount of spooky and mysterious for summer. (I did read like every Nancy Drew book ever for one of those summer reading contests!) Plus time travel! Plus those pictures!!! What a genius idea to build a book from old, found photos. 

I picked up this incredible graphic memoir by Ellen Forney on the recommendation of a friend. As someone who has struggled with depression (though not as much mania) and spent a lot of time thinking about how it impacted my art (I mean, Kurt Cobain and Sylvia Plath are my heroes! But do I want to end up like them? Will I lose the emotion in my work if I'm not wallowing in my own crazy emotions?), I related SO MUCH. It was also a delight to discover that the author is from Seattle and so there were all these places in my brand new city mentioned and drawn throughout.

I could not WAIT for this book to come out. I mean have you seen the trailer??? This book looked like it had everything I could ever want: music, fun fashion, science, A SHAMAN PANDA!!!!! This is my other kind of perfect summer read. I like either spooky and mysterious or fun stories about journeys. In this book Sophie Sofia is having these episodes--like seeing the lunch ladies dance to the Ramones and meeting her shaman panda, Walt, type episodes. She thinks her long-lost, brilliant physicist dad can explain them so she and her BFF hightail it from boring, suburban Illinois to New York City to look for him. I cannot even express what a fun and delightful read this is. It would be the perfect book to cap your summer off with, so check it out.

I am capping my summer off with this book:
I mean the other thing synonymous with summer for me is the summer blockbuster, preferably the book-based summer blockbuster, so in preparation for the movie here I am. Reading a series really is a great way to spend the summer, so in retrospect I should have done this sooner, but hey, it works!

What have you read and loved this summer?


  1. I just reviewed Kari's book for the Oregonian! And I got Divergent in preparation for the movie.

  2. That is awesome, April! I loved TTOE soooo much! Divergent is high on my must-read list too!

  3. I'm making a list of all the book recommendations! This summer I read Bennett Madison's SEPTEMBER GIRLS, which was AMAZING. So amazing, in fact, that I'm in the process of e-mailing him all the reasons it was so good. And I'm about 3/4 of the way done with Elisa Nader's ESCAPE FROM EDEN, which is also wonderful.


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