Book Report: Summer Reading Lists

by / May. 20, 2015 12am EST

The first national Independent Bookstore Day was May 2. The celebration was marked by entertainment, reading, special releases, and a thousand other delights that booksellers across the country conceived to draw customers, old and new, into their shops.

Jonathon Welch, co-founder of Talking Leaves…Books—serving the Buffalo area since 1971—decided that, among other things, he’s solicit reading lists from some friends and long-time customers: current reads, old favorites, whatever came to mind. He posted the lists in the store’s two locations, on Main Street near UB and on Elmwood at Bidwell Parkway. We decided we’d like to repurpose Welch’s excellent idea to provide our readers with some summer reading ideas. Pick any three from the list below and take them with you to the cafe, the beach, your lunch break. Reports due back on Labor Day…

 Allen Shelton 
Writer, Sociologist at SUNY Buffalo State

Karl Ove Knausgaard, My Struggle
Helen Macdonald, H is for Hawk
Michael Joyce, Foucault in Winter
Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary (translated by Lydia Davis)
H. Guibert, Mausoleum for Lovers 

 Barbara Cole 
poet, Artistic Director at Just Buffalo Literary Center
Claudia Rankine, Citizen
Dinaw Mengestu, The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears
Louise Erdrich, Round House
Karl Ove Knausgaard, My Struggle

 Eric Gansworth 
Author & Artist, English Professor at Canisius College

Louise Erdrich, Love Medicine
Russell Banks, The Sweet Hereafter
Lynda Barry, One Hundred Demons 
Joyce Carol Oates, High Lonesome 
Stewart O’Nan, The Speed Queen
Mark Turcotte, Exploding Chippewas
Stephen King, Salem’s Lot 

 Leslie Zemsky 
Director of Fun, Larkin Square

Maeve Binchy, Chestnut Street, A Week in Winter
Lauren Belfer, City of Light 
Geraldine Brooks, Caleb’s Crossing, March, People of the Book, Year of Wonders

 Harper S.E. Bishop 

Audre Lorde, Sister Outsider
Naomi Klein, This Changes Everything
Hafiz and Daniel Ladinsky, The Subject Tonight Is Love
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Americanah
David Abram, Becoming Animal
Thich Nhat Hanh, True Love

 Janet McNally 
poet, novelist, English Professor at Canisius College
Ann Patchett, Run
Rene Denfeld, The Enchanted
Marie-Helene Bertino, Two AM at the Cat’s Pajamas
Heidi Julavits, The Folded Clock
Roxane Gay, Bad Feminist

 Paul Hogan 
poet and Vice President of the Oishei Foundation

Margaret Atwood, Maddadam Trilogy: Oryx & Crake, The Year of the Flood, Madd Addam 
Alastair Reynolds, Blue Remembered Earth, On the Steel Breeze
Max Barry, Lexicon
Czeslaw Milosz, Second Space
Isaac Asimov, Foundation Trilogy

 Stacy Hubbard 
English Professor at SUNY Buffalo

Marilynne Robinson, Lila
Russell Shorto, Amsterdam: A History of the World’s Most Liberal City
Linda Leavell, Hanging on Upside Down: The Life & Work of Marianne Moore
Judy Frank, All I Know & Love
Megan Marshall, Margaret Fuller: A New American Life

 R.D. Pohl 
writer, critic, editor of Buffalo News poetry page
Claudia Rankine, Citizen: An American Lyric
Elizabeth Willis, 
Alive: New and Selected Poems

Toni Morrison, God Help the Child
Lydia Davis, The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis

Donald Barthelme, Sixty Stories
Charles Wright, Negative Blue:Selected Later Poems