Summer Reading: 12 Books that Will Grab Your Attention!

It’s that time of the year again when the blazing heat of the summer keeps many Americans indoors. If you're staying home for the coming months, one of the best past times you can switch to is reading books; if you are spending time outdoors, you can bring it along as well. That's why at Infinity Insurance we've compiled the perfect summer reading list for you:

1) Days of Awe – A.M. Homes

Language and the complexity of human communication are determining factors in A.M. Homes’ Days of Awe (Viking), her new collection of short stories, a form she returns to after a 15-year hiatus. With characteristic humor and an awkward sense of empathy, the author delves into the lives of diverse characters digging the surface: whether attending a conference on genocide or having an obscenely decadent lunch between two estranged friends' public and private behavior is quite often at odds. A fact is of great interest to Homes and enriches her sharp narrative.

2) Less – Andrew Sean Greer

A fun book and easy read are ideal for the torrid days of summer. Less by Andrew Sean Geer is just that; recently awarded the Pulitzer Prize, this delightful piece deals with Arthur Less, a moderately successful middle-aged novelist about to embark on a new adventure. A trip to Turin for an award ceremony he is not expected to win but will enable him to escape a wedding. But contrary to what his agent, sister and himself thought, Less turned out the winner.

3) Robin – Dave Itzkoff

The great Robin Williams, whose comedic range took us from his breakthrough role as Mork, the alien from Ork in Mork & Mindy to dramatic tour de force in The Dead Poet's Society and Good Will Hunting. Although The New York Times reporter Dave Itzkoff is an admirer his Robin is a factual and meticulously reported account of the comedian's evolution from an introverted wealthy kid into a "comic force of nature". Despite his many accomplishments he was troubled throughout his career, even after he achieves stardom. It is also evident that part of the intangible Williams remains up in the air.

4) The Female Persuasion – Meg Wolitzer

The Feminist Movement narrated through two protagonists: Greer Katedsky, is the wide-eyed college freshman mentored by Faith Frank, a persuasive and stunning 63-year old woman toughened through years of battles. Although in love with Corey, her boyfriend, Greer’s desire to find meaning is sparked because of Faith and her life is changed forever.

5) The Woman in The Window – A.J. Finn

A rarity for many seasoned authors but for a debut novel to place on The New York Times bestseller list from its first week in the market is really unheard of. Yet that’s what happened to A.J. Finn’s The Woman in the Window. Like Jimmy Stewart’s character in Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window, Anna Fox spies on her neighbors using a long-lens camera; she also drinks more red wine than she should to acquiesce the agoraphobia that has her restricted to the safety of her home. And it is from that vantage point that she witnesses a murder. And that sets forth the pivotal mystery in this thriller.

6) An American Marriage - Tayari Jones

Racism in the justice and penal system are key pieces in Tayari Jones’ fourth novel, An American Marriage. Both undermine the groundwork that Roy and Celeste are laying down to build the marriage on. When Roy is falsely accused of rape and sentence to 12 years in prison, that work is shattered. Although she could have chosen a different narrative form to relate the story, the characters speak directly to the reader and then an epistolary is shared between husband, wife and reader. Through it, she enhances their intimacy and humanity in our eyes.

7) Factfulness - Hans Rosling

Posthumously published, these are the conclusions by Hans Rosling, Swedish physician and statistician, left us to remind readers that when things are into perspective, we may enjoy a more optimistic view of the world. Rosling worked with his son and daughter-in-law to find the "Ten reasons we're wrong about the world and why things are better than you think." It's fitting that Bill Gates finds it to be one of the best books he's read.

8) 1984 – George Orwell

Sixty-nine years after its publication, and George Orwell nightmarish vision of a dystopian society has become a go-to-book again. It is in Nineteen eighty-four that we find the origins of many contemporary terms: Big Brother, doublethink, newspeak; all part of today’s vocabulary, as well as the term Orwellian to define a repressive or totalitarian regime. Is it “fun reading”?  Not at all, but together with Orwell’s political fable Animal Farm,1945 it is required reading to understand the evils of repressive societies.

9) Righteous – Joe Inge

Many readers compare Joe Inge’s prose to that of well-known mystery writer Elmore Leonard –author of Get Shorty (1990) one of his most popular in close to fifty novels–. Inge won the Macavity Award in 2017 under the category Best First Novel for IQ (Mulholland Books. Righteous followed closely behind with Isaiah Quintabe (IQ) again as the protagonist in a who-done-it a la Holmes. Set in a unique East LA “hood”, Isaiah also has his sidekick, Dobson and a love interest, Sarita.

10) How to Stop Time – Matt Haig

In How to Stop Time by Matt Haig, we meet time traveler Tom Hazard who appears as a middle-age London school teacher but in reality, he was born in Elizabethan England. Unlike Benjamin Button, Hazard suffers from a rare genetic disorder that slows down his aging process. By his account, he spent time with Shakespeare, Zelda and F. Scoot Fitzgerald, Lillian Gish, Gershwin; some of these encounters are expressively narrated, among them a night drinking ale with The Bard.

11) The Flight Attendant – Chris Bohjalian

Party-girl, the “flight attendant” in the title and flying alcoholic Cassandra Bowden wakes up in a Dubai hotel room clueless as to what took place the night before. Next to her lie the blood-drenched body of Alex, the Russian hedge fund manager she spent the night with on a layover from New York, now overtaken by rigidity. His throat slit and her mind racing to find a way out. Did she suffer an alcoholic blackout? Is she being set up? Did she cut his throat with broken bottle of Stolichnaya vodka? The web of lies she begins to knit will not help.

12) The Line Becomes a River - Francisco Cantú

After graduating from college Francisco Cantú, winner of the Pushcart Prize and the Whiting Award, joined the Border Patrol because, as he explained to his mother: ""Maybe it's the desert, maybe it's the closeness of life and death, maybe it's the tension between the two cultures we carry inside us. Whatever it is, I'll never understand it unless I'm close to it." The Line Becomes a River reflects his time with the department and thereafter; part of the book is focused on his acquaintance with José Martínez, a migrant who gets caught crossing back into the States, his home; he left to visit his infirm mother. Brutal recollections contrast with descriptions of the beautiful Southwestern landscape conveyed in captivating prose.

We hope that this summer reading selection will offer the entertainment you need while you spend a few days recharging your batteries. Enjoy!


The materials available in the Knowledge Center are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact legal counsel to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Use of this website or any of the links contained within the website do not create representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information, products, services, or related graphics contained on the website for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk.