The summer syllabus
Writing Creative Nonfiction

Writing Creative Nonfiction

A writerly friend recommended this at FFW last month as a good book for improving my craft as a nonfiction writer. I ordered a copy before I unpacked my suitcase. It’s a compilation of thirty-ish short essays—from Annie Dillard, Terry Tempest Williams, Philip Gerard—focusing on different aspects of the craft. I should start this soon so I can read it slowly over the summer. More info →
Buy from Amazon
Booked: Literature in the Soul of Me

Booked: Literature in the Soul of Me

Bronwyn first talked me into reading this one, but it got bumped up my list after I heard the author speak at FFW. The title sounds fancy and staid, but Prior had us in hysterics with her excerpt that linked Thomas Hardy with her teenage attempts to lose her virginity. A possible beach read. More info →
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Barnes and Noble
The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics

The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics

$7.99$2.99
Billed as a perfect choice for fans of Unbroken, this bestselling story about an American crew team seeking Olympic gold during the Depression has garnered nearly 2000 5-star reviews on Amazon. I fully expect this to be as compelling as any novel I read this summer. More info →
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from IndieBound
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Audible.com
Buy from Barnes and Noble Nook
Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other

Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other

Technology is changing the way we interact with each other: but is that good or bad, and what should we do about it? Turkle, an MIT professor, draws on 15 years of data to show how face-to-face relationships are changing in the facebook age. Because I make my living largely from behind a screen, this is on my must-read list. More info →
Buy from Amazon
The Joy of x: A Guided Tour of Math, from One to Infinity

The Joy of x: A Guided Tour of Math, from One to Infinity

$9.99$1.99
I don’t know enough about math to even describe this book: ask me in three months? Goodreads reviewers swear it’s readable, and the author has been a frequent guest on Radiolab, which gives me hope. While it sounds interesting, this isn’t the kind of book I’d usually take to the beach. I’m making a place for it this summer. More info →
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

$12.99$2.99
I promised myself that I would read something, anything by Goodwin this year, and I did: Wait Till Next Year, which made the summer reading guide in the Nerdy Nonfiction category. I liked it so much I’m diving into the deep end with this straight-up history of the Lincoln era. My dad will be proud. More info →
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Audible.com
Buy from Barnes and Noble Nook
Chance or the Dance

Chance or the Dance

This is a book I’ve been meaning to read for years, as it’s been recommended by numerous people I respect across the years who have nothing in common (except for being older than me, wiser than me, and not afraid of reading deeply). But it sounds a little dry so I haven’t made myself pick it up—yet. More info →
Buy from Amazon
Maphead: Charting the Wide, Weird World of Geography Wonks

Maphead: Charting the Wide, Weird World of Geography Wonks

This book has been enthusiastically recommended by several book nerds with great taste, and explores the history of mapmaking from the olden days of parchment to today’s google maps and GPS. I love a good map (who doesn’t?) and am totally intrigued: when it comes to geography, I don’t know enough to know what I don’t know. More info →
Buy from Amazon
The Economy of Cities

The Economy of Cities

Author:
Series: The summer syllabus
Genre: Nonfiction
I’m weirdly fascinated by urban planning, so this follow-up to Jacob’s classic The Death and Life of Great American Cities(one of the books that makes me feel like I’m not crazy) is on my must-read list. Many consider this later work by Jacobs to be her crowning achievement as an author and shaper of society. More info →
Buy from Amazon
On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction

On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction

Imagine The Elements of Style, but meatier, and for nonfiction. I’ve read chunks of this book but never the whole thing, which is why it’s been languishing on my books I’ve been meaning to read list for too long. (With all these writing books on my list, I need to plan for extra time to write!) More info →
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon