This weekend marks the unofficial start of summer, and for me, that usually signifies the start of voluminous reading season. In a typical year, our family’s schedules begin to wind down in tandem with the weather warming up, but this year has been anything but typical. Thankfully, temperatures are getting milder right on time here in New England, but being stuck at home over the past 18 months thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic has meant I’ve plowed through many more books than usual.
Having more time to read has also meant I’ve ventured away from my favored fiction categories and into more nonfiction in the past six months than in the past six years. Julia always reads lots of nonfiction, so we decided to share a list of a few of our favorites in case you are looking to add to your summer reading list. Our fiction picks will be coming soon. Don’t be shy with your comments and your recommendations!
LOF Nonfiction Summer Picks for 2021
- Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey: If you haven’t yet had the pleasure of this surprisingly deep and insightful memoir by the Academy-Award-winning actor and possible candidate for governor of Texas, what are you waiting for? With almost equal parts humor and wisdom, McConaughey revisits the pivotal moments of his life by exploring and expounding on diaries he began writing as a kid. You probably already know his adventures began in Texas, but some very memorable anecdotes in Australia and Africa are among the book’s highlights. If you like listening to audiobooks, the actor’s soothing baritone will keep you calmly amused for the entire almost seven-hour duration.
- Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb: This inside look at life as a therapist, who is struggling with her own issues and her own therapist, was interwoven between sessions with her clients and their stories. I found myself intrigued and wondering what revelation each subsequent session would bring.
- Untamed by Glennon Doyle: Having no familiarity with the author before I picked up the book, I found myself admiring her spirit from the get-go. Doyle is a masterful storyteller and this book is written as a series of essays describing different aspects of her decision to leave her marriage for a woman, although the situation is infinitely more complicated than that. I’ll leave it there for now, but you may have noticed Doyle and her now-wife—soccer-phenom Abby Wambach—appearing everywhere this spring.
- Yes, Please by Amy Poehler: This entertaining memoir from the SNL alum came out a few years back, but it is still good for a giggle or two and features guest appearances from some of Poehler’s comedic friends. Anyone who has had kids or been divorced could probably identify with at least a few of her anecdotes and observations.
- The Faith Club: A Muslim, A Christian, A Jew by Ranya Idliby, Suzanne Oliver and Priscilla Warner: This is one of Julia’s picks that I just added to my own To-Read List, because Julia enjoyed learning about the friendship between these three women of different faiths. The idea for the book originated as a response to the horrific events of 9-11-2001, but Julia thought it is particularly relevant now given global current events and LOF’s own recent profile of the meaningful friendship between Basil and Debby.