Summer Reading Guide: the books that didn’t make the cut

I’ve known for months that I wanted to bring back a new summer reading guide for 2013. And for months, I’ve been reading like it was my job (what a great job!), vetting all the newer books that I thought might be good additions to the guide.

Here’s a sampling of books I once thought would be perfect for the 2013 summer reading guide, but that didn’t make the cut:

MWF Seeking BFF

MWF Seeking BFF: My Yearlong Search for a New Best Friend, Rachel Bertsche

This memoir about the author’s year of friend-dating (52 weeks, 52 dates) would be an excellent book club pick: conversation starters abound. But with no book club in sight, it wasn’t strong enough to earn a spot in the Memoir category.

Pat of Silver Bush

Pat of Silver Bush, L. M. Montgomery

I loved the idea of including an L. M. Montgomery book in the Kit Lit category for Anne of Green Gables fans who were ready to branch out. Pat is a sweet story, but the dialogue gets a little precious in places (a lot of places) and I just couldn’t get excited about recommending it for your summer reading.

Love in the Time of Algorithms

Love in the Time of Algorithms: What Technology Does to Meeting and Mating, Dan Slater

I’m a little obsessed with cultural trends pertaining to marriage and family, and I thought this new release sounded like a perfect pick for the Nerdy Nonfiction category. But instead, it felt a little icky…and then I abandoned it.

What to Expect When No One's Expecting

What to Expect When No One’s Expecting: America’s Coming Economic Disaster, Jonathan Last

I was eyeing this book for the Nerdy Nonfiction category. Last’s scholarly exploration of demographical trends in America and abroad is interesting, but it’s not beach reading. (Also? Terrific title.)

The Help

The Help, Kathryn Stockett

Don’t laugh–I seriously considered putting this runaway bestseller in this year’s guide as an Easy Reading Novel. But then I came to my senses, and realized you all already know about this book and don’t need me to recommend it. Besides, it was in last year’s guide.

Get your copy of the 2013 MMD summer reading guide here. Thanks so much for your enthusiasm–and kind words–on this year’s guide! 

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Comments

  1. says

    I think I’ll tuck Pat of Silver Bush on my winter reading list. Last winter I read the Emily of New Moon series and The Story Girl. I think you’re right about L.M. Montgomery, she definitely requires candlelight and hot cocoa to be properly enjoyed.

    • Kim says

      Jane of Lantern Hill was one of my favorites by L.M. Montgomery but I listened to it read by Sam Waterston. Well done! Hard to find but worth the hunt.

      • says

        I’ve never read Jane of Lantern Hill! But I know several Anne and Emily fans who say Jane is their very favorite L. M. Montgomery book. I think I need to track down a copy…

  2. says

    Last’s book was interesting — I can see that it’s not a beach read, but it was interesting! What I enjoyed about it was the idea of paradox. Things that are very good from an economic perspective (e.g. the use of women’s talents in the marketplace) can also have as effects things that are not as good economically (the end of the demographic dividend).

  3. says

    In what way was the algorithms book icky? I’ll admit it, hearing that kind of makes me want to read it, ha ha.

    Last’s book sounds interesting too, but I’ll take your advice and leave it at home when I go to the beach.

    • says

      It wasn’t that icky, but the book does delve into the online dating industry, and all the statistics and marketing schemes can induce a major “what has happened to people???” moment.

  4. says

    Next you should post on books NEVER to place on a summer reading list. I’ll start off the list:

    1983 – Orwell’s little known prequel to 1984, where society is full of not nice people, but better than it will be the following year

    Stan of Green Gables – the adventures and travails of a young orphan boy who is constantly distressed that no one – including himself – can figure out how to spell his name with an E on the end

    Julius’s Caesar – How one ancient Roman invented the salad … and then got stabbed by a jealous Marc Anthony

  5. says

    I read MWF Seeking BFF a couple years ago. It was interesting, but it took me a long time to make it through. I Rachel Bertsche hasn’t posted on her blog since February. I wonder if she has a new project in the works.

    • says

      Yep, she does. I visited her author blog after I read her friendship memoir. It’s working title is Jennifer, Gwyneth, and Me: The Pursuit of a More Perfect Existence, One Celebrity at a Time.

      (That title’s not exactly calling my name….)

  6. says

    Have you read The Unlikely Disciple: A Sinner’s Semester at America’s Holiest University by Kevin Roose? I actually listened to it on audio (and he narrated it – which I almost always prefer when it’s the actual author) and thought it was fascinating.

    Roose absolutely isn’t a Christian and sets out sort of ‘undercover’ and transfers from Brown to Liberty to see what (in his words) conservative fundamental Christians are like.

    He finds someone who teaches him some things that he should/shouldn’t say when he first gets to school and initially it seems like it might be cringeworthy book, that he’ll find nothing redeeming about anything having to do with Christianity. Some of what he finds objectionable and/or offensive in interactions at school are some of the same things that many other Christians might also feel are taken a bit further than they are comfortable with.

    Really, Roose goes into it remarkably open-minded and finds that there is a lot more people can have in common than he first thought, even if it seems on face value that the are on opposite ends of the spectrum in almost every sense of the word.

    And, in an interesting twist, Roose happened to be the last person to interview Falwell in print before he died – it was at the end of the semester before Roose was going to finish and was trying to decide how he would handle telling his new Liberty friends that he’d been there under false pretenses and was returning back to Brown.

    Definitely an interesting and surprisingly open-minded account of one guy’s experience going from one extreme to another. I don’t know how it translates to print, but it was one of the audiobooks I most enjoyed a couple years back…and could be a good summer book.

    Antarctica on a Plate is another I’d suggest (and another I listened to – I went through a period of doing A LOT of long drives!). A gal ends up wanting to restart her life after a relationship ends and she’s always been intrigued with Antarctica, so she takes a job as a cook down at a camp there (something she was grossly unqualified to actually do!). Another very interesting account – and quite different given so few books come out about anyone spending time there! She was rather entertaining and it was an interesting perspective on some of what one would encounter living there for a few months.

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