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Your Summer Reading Guide


I wrote last week Finding something interesting to watch has been a challenge in recent months. In these moments, I turn to books. If we can agree that streaming options have been lackluster lately, we can also agree that there’s really no reason to complain when you and I haven’t scratched the surface of all the books we’ve been wanting to read. But why haven’t I been living my truth, the truth of being immersed in multiple books at once? I have some thoughts.

In December, I quit a two-year-old book challenge. The goal was to read a book a week, with each book falling into a specific category, like “Books Recommended by a Celebrity Book Club” or “Books in a Genre You Normally Avoid.”

This challenge was exactly what I needed in 2021: I had read two books in six months when a friend asked if I wanted to join. I jumped at it, happy to have the structure and incentive to grow my literary interests. I loved having weekly assignments. And I was excited to join a bustling Facebook group of friends and friends of friends that, over the years, has become a family, swapping reviews and recommendations.

By the second year, I was starting to get cocky. Why did I need homework now that I could finish a book or two every week? I was starting to get annoyed with the categorization. What if the book I wanted to read didn’t match any of the books? Surely my curiosity was enough to keep me reading at this pace! If I was freed from the constraints of the challenge and could read whatever book I liked, I’d probably read more, right?

You know how it goes. There are a lot of books out there. I’ve started reading most of them. To get through them all, I need a plan. I need a system, even a loose one, that will keep me on a binge (why isn’t this a more popular term?), reading one book after another.

I’m considering creating a summer reading framework that will get me back on track but also doesn’t make me feel too restricted. Should I commit to reading only the books in my stacks, the ones I’ve been craving on my nightstand and coffee table, always meaning to read next but never making any discernible progress on? Should I give myself a few books to finish by Labor Day and then let my interests run wild? Should I read all of Henry James this summer, or just the Nobel Prize winners?

My colleague in the book review column has a very attractive suggestion: 19 non-fiction works and 33 novels This summer is coming. Even at my most athletic, I can’t possibly read 54 books in 11 weeks, but maybe picking one from these lists each week would be an enjoyable but rigorous schedule.

I’ve started reading Griffin Dunne’s The Friday Afternoon Club, a memoir about his famous family (his father is crime writer Dominic Dunne; Joan Didion is his aunt), which is pretty entertaining. TV critic Emily Nussbaum’s Here Comes the Sun! The Invention of Reality TV looks irresistible. And if Tanya Smith’s Never Expected It: How I Outwitted the FBI and the Entire Banking System—and Made $40 Million sounds exciting, then there’s hope for attention spans everywhere, even for a dissolute person like me.

This summer’s novels are also quite fascinating. Two-time Booker Prize finalist Chigozie Obioma’s new novel is about a student trying to save his brother in the Nigerian civil war. After loving Needed, I’ll read everything by Helen Phillips; her novel Hum is a techno-dystopian thriller that sounds both painful and entertaining. Keanu Reeves and China Miéville’s The Book of Elsewhere looks interesting—it’s based on a comic book series about an immortal warrior who would rather be mortal. I’m not sure I can identify with the motivation, but I’m fascinated by the idea.

🎭 Tony Awards (Sunday): Broadway’s big televised gala, which will air on CBS at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT, will give theater fans the Oscar-level anticipation they crave while also feeling What tickets to buy For anyone visiting Manhattan in the coming months. Want to see if you can predict the winner? We have you coveredYou can also see what our top critics think will and should win.

🐉House of the Dragon (Sunday): second season Game of Thrones prequel returnsBringing dragons, revenge, Platinum It’s another summer of (let’s face it) incest. The only problem is, the season premiere starts… an hour before the Tony Awards. Do what you have to do.

Tomorrow is Father’s Day. Dad doesn’t want cake? One Bowl Chocolate Cake It’s quick and easy to whip up without a mixer, but tastes just as bittersweet as if it’s been baked all day. Genevieve recommends flavoring it with oolong or black tea, but mixing espresso or bourbon into boiling water works just as well (use a quarter cup of water and espresso or bourbon, respectively). Sprinkle with some powdered sugar, or go wild with Genevieve’s two-ingredient frosting to spread on top. Either way, Dad’s sure to love it.

Value for money: This summer, American tourists will find their money can buy them more in some unexpected countries. Including Japan and Australia.

Ambition Monster: One writer had a difficult childhood. Makes her a great employee.

Network troubles: The term “brain rot” describes Terminal Online.

How do we suggest making the most of summer? Start preparing now. Wirecutter’s experts have spent hundreds of hours testing everything you need for a successful season—whether your plans involve a cross-country flight, a trip to the beach, or making homemade ice cream on your porch. We rounded up some of our favorite essentials and made sure to Really huge discountsSome standout products include a set of crisp linens that will help you sleep better on hot summer nights, a mosquito repellent (ditch the citronella candles; they don’t work), and a signature beach tote that will last a lifetime. —Brittney Ho

UEFA Euro 2024: The European Championship, one of the world’s top football tournaments, has kicked off in Germany, with 24 countries set to compete for the European title next month. England is the bookmaker’s favourite and has The most star lineupdespite history being against them – the British have not won a major tournament since 1966. Germany Also talentedBut it is also struggling with history, as a country has not won the euro on its own soil for 40 years. Perhaps the safest choice is France, which has With a strong team and recent history of success. The games air each week on the Fox Network at 9am, 12pm and 3pm ET.

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