Summer Booklist

We are well into summer which we all know is a great time to chip away at the old book list.  Here are some of my book reading goals for this summer:  

Lab Girl - By Hope Jahren

This book sounds like a wonderful mix of lab-life anecdotes and personal reflection, with a sprinkling of interesting facts about plant science.

I Contain Multitudes:  The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life - Ed Yong

This will not be available to buy until August  so it's a good one to work into the latter half of the summer.  With our ever-expanding awareness of the ubiquity of microbes and their undeniable impact on the human existence, this will likely be a pretty eye-opening exploration of the human microbiota and beyond.  You can find more info about this book and Ed Yong's science writing on his website.

In the Company of Microbes - Elio Schaechter

Elio Schaechter is a (retired) microbiologist who runs the wonderful blog Small Things Considered. This book is a selection of entries from his past 10 years of blogging as well as his personal reflections and musings. Sounds delightful.

The Gene: An Intimate History - Siddhartha Mukherjee

This book not only details the history of genetics, it explores the future of this field as our regard for the significance of epigenetics expands and our ability to manipulate the human genome fall within reach. Sure to spark some lively debates!  Also Mukherjee is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author for the book The Emperor of All Maladies.  

On the Move - Oliver Sacks

This is a somewhat sentimental choice but it will undoubtedly be a thought provoking and emotional read.  Oliver Sacks, who wrote one of my favorite books, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for Hat (consider this a recommendation), died last summer.  His last book, On the Move, is a memoir.  See a more eloquently written review here.

When Breath Becomes Air - Paul Kalanithi

I actually cried just reading the NYT review of this book so proceed with caution.  When Breath Becomes Air is also a memoir of sorts, written by a doctor, diagnosed with terminal cancer, during his last year of life.  Absolutely astounding reviews from both “experts” and friends.  You can check out an excerpt here.

Quiet:  The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking - Susan Cain

A book about the importance of introverts in a society that undervalues them.  Interesting stuff!  Mostly I want to read this because I am an introvert and am looking for some positive reinforcement. 

My Brilliant Friend - Elena Ferrante

The number of people who have recommended this book (and series: The Neapolitan Novels) to me is astounding.  So, this summer, it’s finally happening.  This series of books explores the complexity of female friendships in the background of 20th century Naples.  These books are basically an international phenomenon, though the author herself is apparently quite a mysterious figure.

The Girls - Emma Cline

A “coming of age” story about a teenage girl drawn into the intoxicating world of a charismatic cult-leader.  Loosely based on Charles Manson’s following during the summer before the Tate-LaBianca murders, this sounds like a pretty thrilling read.  

Swann’s Way - Marcel Proust

This is on my booklist every summer. 

Any recommendations?  Want to criticize my taste in books? Make a note in the comments section! 

- AMC