By Deb A.
It's summer—time to curl your toes in the sand or unfurl the picnic blanket and while away an afternoon with a good book and some sunshine. This year, we've compiled some hot tips from a former U.S. President, a business leader and philanthropist, and the Queen of All Media for you to find in your local independent bookshop.
This is the only one of Obama's suggestions that is not a celebration of African culture. But he says this this memoir by his former speechwriter and aide is "one of the smartest reflections I’ve seen as to how we approached foreign policy, and one of the most compelling stories I’ve seen about what it’s actually like to serve the American people for eight years in the White House."
By Deb A.
It's time once again to find out what the Agave staff will be reading behind sunglasses in this, our third annual Summer Reads blog.
Ariana, Founder and Editor-in-Chief
Like many, I am so excited about The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy, her first novel in 20 years. She is an absolute favourite of mine, and I am hoping to look past the lukewarm reviews of her latest efforts and devour every page.
Men Without Women by Haruki Murakami: My favourite living author, hands down. So this newest book of short stories made the list, easily.
Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman: A chance to lose one's imagination in fantasy and mystical tales of far away lands - sounds perfect.
Linda, Contributing Editor: Literature
The only thing on my list is American Gods by Neil Gaiman. With our new baby reading time is sparse but this is a must-read for me!
I'm reading The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, In The Fall by Jeffrey Lent, The Alice Network by Kate Quinn, and Wonder by R.J. Palacio (with the kids).
Deb, Blog Manager
This summer I'll be savouring my most recent surprise from my Year of Books subscription from Heywood Hill: Freya by Anthony Quinn. Every book I've received so far has been fascinating, so I'm eager to see how this one measures up. I'm also catching up on old editions of the now-defunct Lucky Peach magazine and whispering Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo and The Princess and the Pony by Kate Beaton to my children at bedtime.
Grant, Business Manager
We were recent winners of an online contest for Book of the Month Club. Each month you get a book of your choice sent to your home, and there are 100 books or so from which to choose. I'm looking forward to the joy of finding new books waiting for me in my mailbox.
Emily, Editor-at-Large : Art & Photography
Earlier this summer, Emily came across Felicia Day’s memoir, You’re Never Weird On The Internet (almost), and has related to almost nothing in it, but still finds it funny. She just bought Nicotine, by Nell Zink, because of the cover illustration, and hopes to start it soon. She also may start reading her son’s The Secret Series, by Pseudonymous Bosch because, again, the cover art is compelling.
By Deb A.
Are you ready for a summer holiday? We asked Lisa Byrom, Agave Magazine's Reader, and Emily Fleischer, our Editor-at-Large: Art & Photography, what's on their reading lists for the long hot months of 2016.
Lisa: "I'm currently being a good Canadian reading Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood. Then I'm planning to read The Light Between Two Oceans by M.L. Stedman and Cotton by Christopher Wilson. I'll re-read The BFG by Roald Dahl because of the movie coming out and it was my all time favourite book growing up. After that, I'll try to find something interesting/local while vacationing in Australia this summer."
Emily: "I will admit that I started off my summer reading with Stephanie Meyer's Twilight saga. As Buffy the Vampire Slayer's number one fan, I feel obligated to keep tabs on all teen vampire angst and therefore live in a constant state of disappointment with the genre. Don't mess with perfection. If you're still reading this, and feel like I still have a shred of credibility left, then I'd like to recommend my new most favorite author ever, Caitlin Moran. How To Be A Woman, and her second book, How To Build A Girl, should be mandatory reading for every woman and their college-ageish daughter. After returning How To Be A Woman to the library, I wandered over to the new releases where a book with a cut-out clock face and glowing green lettering caught my attention. The Watchmaker Of Filigree Street, by Natasha Pulley seems good so far--three pages in. The exterior of the book also has a smooth, satin-like finish which makes me happy."
In case you're looking for a few more recommendations to round out your summer reading, Nobel Prize winner Alice Munro has some suggestions, too!
By Deb A.
It's official: it's summertime. Here are the books that will, like sunscreen, be our close companions over the next couple of months. What will you be reading?
Founder and Editor Ariana will be reading through submissions and revisiting issues of Agave Magazine, but also looks forward to finally finishing All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr and Paul Bailey's The Prince's Boy, both of which have made a semi-permanent home on her nightstand and are collecting dust.
Contributing Editor (Literature) Linda has pledged to finally read the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, after years of promising her super-fan wife that she would do so. Unable to resist a new Judy Blume book, she'll be reading In the Unlikely Event, along with Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions by Dan Ariely, since she likes to read at least one book each summer that can give her insight into what's at the core of social/new media trends. Rounding out her reading list are Mia Alvar's In the Country: Stories and Sally Ride: America's First Woman in Space by Lynn Sherr.
Blog Manager Deb will be poring over the fascinating Public Abstraction in preparation for a post-vacation interview with editor Vlado Velkov. She's also excited to finish up Steven Pinker's The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century and L.M. Montgomery's Canadian classic, Anne of Green Gables. (Guess which one is her daughter's bedtime story.)
Editor-at-Large (Art + Photography) Emily is excited to slowly re-read a new favourite book, Sh*t My Dad Says, by Justin Halpern. This gem was found in a $1.99 clearance bin around the holidays and became an instant family classic. She is also working on her (signed!) copy of Sarah Vowell's The Wordy Shipmates, and The Whole Shebang, by Timothy Ferris.
Business Manager Grant is fully entrenched in courses for Wharton Business School's online MBA in addition to working full-time, and so his reading consists of whatever is required course reading, the New York Times, and nightly bedtime stories.
And finally, something that should be on everyone's reading list: Elizabeth, a debut poetry volume by Pushcart Prize-nominated poet Charlie Baylis.
Happy reading from the Agave Magazine team!
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