One hazard of writing an independent book blog is that writing reviews can sometimes become a like job rather than a hobby. I love writing reviews of books I enjoy, but sometimes I find myself reading with a sense of obligation ("Oh, I really must write a review of this!") rather than falling heedlessly into the story as is natural to me. If I were doing paid critical reviews--reading whatever is handed to me for the purpose of reviewing a book whether or not I truly enjoy it--that would be one thing, but I started this blog to gush over books I love.
The tough part is when I truly enjoy a novel, one that is worth writing about, but one I just want to experience as a reader and nothing more. There's a different sort of compliment in reading something simply for the sake of reading it.
So, there are seven books for your Summer Reading List that I've read recently and highly recommend. Once you read them, I hope you'll see right away why they're on the list.
Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
The Cat's Table by Michael Ondaatje
The World Without You by Joshua Henkin
The Rain Before it Falls by Jonathan Coe
Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson
A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey