Summer reading recommendations for girls (and boys?)


Here are some summer reading books that I LOVE! Some of them girly, some insightful, some scary, some sexy...

The Pigman:Beautiful, touching book

For sophomores John and Lorraine, the world feels meaningless; nothing is important. They certainly can never please their parents, and school is a chore. To pass the time, they play pranks on unsuspecting people. It's during one of these pranks that they meet the "Pigman"--a fat, balding old man with a zany smile plastered on his face. In spite of themselves, John and Lorraine soon find that they're caught up in Mr. Pignati's zest for life. In fact, they become so involved that they begin to destroy the only corner of the world that's ever mattered to them. Originally published in 1968, this novel by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Paul Zindel still sings with sharp emotion as John and Lorraine come to realize that "Our life would be what we made of it--nothing more, nothing less."

White Oleander: One of my favorites :) much more incredible than the movie

Astrid Magnussen, the teenage narrator of Janet Fitch's engrossing first novel, White Oleander, has a mother who is as sharp as a new knife. An uncompromising poet, Ingrid despises weakness and self-pity, telling her daughter that they are descendants of Vikings, savages who fought fiercely to survive. And when one of Ingrid's boyfriends abandons her, she illustrates her point, killing the man with the poison of oleander flowers. This leads to a life sentence in prison, leaving Astrid to teach herself the art of survival in a string of Los Angeles foster homes.

Dangerous Angels: The Weetzie Bat series! This book changed my life in so many ways.

"We cheer for these young women and men as they struggle with the universal trials of growing up, finding love, and letting go--all within the vivid, glittering, urban embrace of Los Angeles. Block's stories about finding yourself, being true to your dreams, and believing in what might seem impossible will inspire teens and adults alike with the resounding messages of hope and the transformative power of love."

Summer Sisters: I have read this book about a million times. If you are a girl and haven't read it, read it. It's a really girly coming of age story.

the author again explores the ramifications of love--and lust--on two friends. Initially, the differences between Caitlin Somers and Victoria Leonard (or "Vix," as Caitlin christens her) draw them together: privileged Caitlin is wild and outspoken, beautiful but emotionally fragile, while working-class Vix is shy, reserved, and plain in comparison. After Caitlin selects Vix to accompany her to her father's home in Martha's Vineyard for the summer, the two become inextricably connected as "summer sisters."

The essential Rumi: His poetry has saved me through best and worst of times.

Rumi's voice leaps off these pages with an ecstatic energy that leaves readers breathless. There are poems of love, rage, sadness, pleading, and longing; passionate outbursts about the torture of longing for his beloved and the sweet pleasure that comes from their union; amusing stories of sexual exploits or human weakness; and quiet truths about the beauty and variety of human emotion. More than anything, Rumi makes plain the unbridled joy that comes from living life fully, urging us always to put aside our fears and take the risk to do so.

Emily Dickinson: Her poetry takes my breath away

If Only, by Geri Halliwell: This is an amazing account of the Spice Girls rise to fame and Geris struggles. I love it because it gives you a real inside look at pop fame and how intense it can be for young women. It's a truly fascinating book.


Franny and Zooey: My favorite of the J.D. Salinger books!

Franny is an intellectually precocious late adolescent who tries to attain spiritual purification by obsessively reiterating the "Jesus prayer" as an antidote to the perceived superficiality and corruptness of life. She subsequently suffers a nervous breakdown. In the second story, her next older brother, Zooey, attempts to heal Franny by pointing out that her constant repetition of the "Jesus prayer" is as self-involved and egotistical as the egotism against which she rails.


Notes on a Scandall: I love the movie and the book, but the book is super fun and sexy and so fast to read!

Schoolteacher Barbara Covett has led a solitary life until Sheba Hart, the new art teacher at St. George's, befriends her. But even as their relationship develops, so too does another: Sheba has begun an illicit affair with an underage male student. When the scandal turns into a media circus, Barbara decides to write an account in her friend's defense--and ends up revealing not only Sheba's secrets, but also her own.


Even Cowgirls get the blues: A personal favorite, I like to read it slowly like I'm eating the words. Fantastic writing, a very slow read.

The whooping crane rustlers are girls. Young girls. Cowgirls, as a matter of fact, all “bursting with dimples and hormones”—and the FBI has never seen anything quite like them. Yet their rebellion at the Rubber Rose Ranch is almost overshadowed by the arrival of the legendary Sissy Hankshaw, a white-trash goddess literally born to hitchhike, and the freest female of them all.

A Jane Austen Education: A mans perspective on Jane Austens brilliance, and things you might have missed while reading the books. A real eye opening book!

In A Jane Austen Education, Austen scholar William Deresiewicz turns to the author's novels to reveal the remarkable life lessons hidden within. With humor and candor, Deresiewicz employs his own experiences to demonstrate the enduring power of Austen's teachings. Progressing from his days as an immature student to a happily married man, Deresiewicz's A Jane Austen Education is the story of one man's discovery of the world outside himself.

Pride and Prejudice: My favorite Jane Asuten story, and her first!


Nymph: A romance novel about mermaids and other creatures falling in love and having sex :) Pretty awesome. By Francesca (Athor of Weetzie Bat)

These nine interconnected tales celebrate carnal delights and the transformative power of love, with occasional lapses into syrupy repetition, but they also peek compassionately into romances laced with themes of grief, heartbreak and renewal.

The Virgin Suicides: The words of this story tangle up in your head and you cannot put it down. Incredible book, inspiring a very good movie.

Eugenides's tantalizing, macabre first novel begins with a suicide, the first of the five bizarre deaths of the teenage daughters in the Lisbon family; the rest of the work, set in the author's native Michigan in the early 1970s, is a backward-looking quest as the male narrator and his nosy, horny pals describe how they strove to understand the odd clan of this first chapter, which appeared in the Paris Review , where it won the 1991 Aga Khan Prize for fiction.

memoirs of a Geisha: This book is stunning and a million times better than the movie.

"I wasn't born and raised to be a Kyoto geisha....I'm a fisherman's daughter from a little town called Yoroido on the Sea of Japan." How nine-year-old Chiyo, sold with her sister into slavery by their father after their mother's death, becomes Sayuri, the beautiful geisha accomplished in the art of entertaining men, is the focus of this fascinating first novel.

Kiss the Girls: If you like being scared, this novel is so much fun and so disturbing!

"Casanova" works the East Coast, "The Gentleman Caller" works the West Coast, and these two serial killers might just be working together. Washed-up Washington, D.C., police detective Alex Cross gets involved when his niece is abducted.

Bridget Jones Diary: Loved this book forever, even funnier than the movie.

Lucky: Eye opening, interesting memoir of Alice Sebold's real life rape that inspired "The Lovely Bones"

When Sebold, the author of the current bestseller The Lovely Bones, was a college freshman at Syracuse University, she was attacked and raped on the last night of school, forced onto the ground in a tunnel "among the dead leaves and broken beer bottles." In a ham-handed attempt to mollify her, a policeman later told her that a young woman had been murdered there and, by comparison, Sebold should consider herself lucky. That dubious "luck" is the focus of this fiercely observed memoir about how an incident of such profound violence can change the course of one's life.

The Tipping point: This book changed my life a little. It's so very interesting!


The premise of this facile piece of pop sociology has built-in appeal: little changes can have big effects; when small numbers of people start behaving differently, that behavior can ripple outward until a critical mass or "tipping point" is reached, changing the world. Gladwell's thesis that ideas, products, messages and behaviors "spread just like viruses do" remains a metaphor as he follows the growth of "word-of-mouth epidemics" triggered with the help of three pivotal types.


Dress Your Family In Corduroy and Denim: My favorite Sedaris novel, I laughed out loud through the whole thing.

In his latest collection, Sedaris has found his heart. This is not to suggest that the author of Me Talk Pretty One Day and other bestselling books has lost his edge. The 27 essays here (many previously published in Esquire, G.Q. or the New Yorker, or broadcast on PRI's This American Life) include his best and funniest writing yet. Here is Sedaris's family in all its odd glory.













Posted on June 6, 2011 .