We don’t need the New York Times Best Seller list, do we? If you want to know what to read, ask your friends! That’s what we did…we asked some of our favorite writers what they are reading and watching on TV this summer…and here is what they told us…
I was mesmerized (and saddened/disturbed) by A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara – an
amazing and gut-wrenching novel about four young men who meet in college and head to NYC following graduation. I’m listening to My Brilliant Friend, by Elena Ferrante, an Italian novel, the first in her trilogy about two women who meet in a poor section of Naples as young girls in the 1950s and maintain a life-long yet difficult friendship. It’s rich, character-driven and intelligent. I’m trying to like this season’s True Detective but not succeeding, yet but found Bloodline, a Florida Keys family/crime saga a riveting yet guilty pleasure.
I had a lot of fun reading/listening to the Primates of Park Avenue by Wednesday Martin. The chapter on bag hunting, particularly Birkin bag hunting, is priceless in every sense of the word. A note of caution: Don’t take these primates too seriously or you’ll miss all the fun and irony.
Most recently read and LOVED Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng and My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante.
Summer broadcast TV is a disappointment but I will always watch re-runs of fav smart, best-written show, Big Bang Theory.
I am currently reading Finders Keepers by Stephen King and binge watching Sense8 on Netflix. I adore anything by Stephen King and have been reading him since I was in my teens. He is a master at developing characters. I wholly recommend Sense8, It’s a little hard to follow at first but terribly compelling. Plus, Sayid from Lost is on Sense8, that’s enough reason right there to watch it.
I just finished reading The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain, which I loved. It’s a great story about a young woman uncovering family secrets. I don’t watch a lot of TV these days, but I have Better Call Saul on my DVR and I can’t wait to watch because I was a huge Breaking Bad fan.
I like my summers free of murders, tension and violence so I love guilty pleasures like the summer series Royal Pains and Suits…
Dr. Margaret Rutherford:
I recently read The Paris Wife by Paula McClain – a book about Ernest Hemingway’s first wife, which was a strikingly evocative story of those times and of Paris, a city I adore. (That author has a new book out I hear!) I am doing research right now on depression so am reading more “serious” stuff – like Andrew Solomon’s The Noonday Demon. His metaphors for depression are rich and I love that he writes, not as a clinician, but as someone who has struggled with the disease. I watch television after seeing patients all day – so… I watch stuff. To purely escape! For the first time, I am watching The Bachelorette. It’s a hoot!
I just read The Girl on the Train. I loved her voice, the story and the twist. As for TV, I watch American’s Got Talent because it’s a great family show, Mr. Robot ( a new one on USA) because of the acting, the mystery and my husband loves it, and don’t laugh, The Astronaut Wives Club, because I love the setting. And now of course, I’m getting hooked on the characters. Oh, and The Next Food Network Star, because my husband loves this one, too.
Summer is a disposable season, so am focused on anything imminently trashy–like most summer movies, not TV– way too serious.
And I’m reading back issues of Vanity Fair with juicy articles on the murders and sex scandals of the rich and infamous, and billionaire neighbors battling it out: Martha Stewart sewing over property lines, Julie Newmar (TV’s Cat Woman) fighting Jim Belushi for blocking the sun on her prize-winning roses. You know– the crucial stuff.
I Just finished: Poser: My Life in 23 Yoga Postures by Claire Dederer. Not really a book about yoga, but a book about finding who you are in the memories of your childhood. A great read for someone with a yoga practice that is more than just a physical practice, and a particularly great read for anyone who questions their relationship with their parents.
Currently re-reading: The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. A dinner conversation about The Doldrums reminded me what a wonderful book this is, regardless of your age or place in the time/space continuum.
About to read: The Lowland by Jumpa Lahiri. Love her writing. It’s so fluid and melodic. This book got left behind on the bedside table last summer… it’s time has come…
Watching: The Gilmore Girls on Netflix. Loved it the first time. Love it more the second time around.
Reading: I’m in the middle of Girl on a Train – enjoying the building suspense and quirky characters, The Other Wes Moore – loved seeing the parallel lives of two African American young men with the same name, born in the same town, each without a father figure in their lives, and how differently they both turned out.
TV? Who watches TV anymore now that there’s Netflix. I loved Mr. Selfridge and Doc Martin. The Brits know how to do TV. Great characters, unpredictable plot lines. Looking for another show. Any suggestions? (Something without blood or politics).
Barbara Hannah Grufferman:
I am currently reading Gut: The Inside Story of Our Body’s Most Under-Rated Organ because I’m fascinated by how little we know about our guts, and how much of an impact it has on our health and well-being.
I don’t watch much television but believe it or not, I just saw my very first episode of The Good Wife, and I’m hooked. There is a plan in my future to do a The Good Wife marathon in the very near future.
I am currently reading Remember Me Like This, an awesome story about what happens to a family when a kidnapped son is found after four years. I recently read My Korean Deli— a really fun memoir, and I hope to start on My Brilliant Friend next (see above.) I am listening to Stephen King’s Revival, but to be honest, I’ve liked others of his much better. On TV? I’m working on the current season of Orange is the New Black, I LOVED Mozart in the Jungle (Amazon Prime) and I have heard that Catastrophe, a new series out on Amazon Prime is also fabulous– can’t wait to start that…Oh, so much to watch…so little time!
I am really into non-fiction right now. I just finished Being Mortal by Atul Gawande. It’s about the responsibility of Doctor’s and how they talk to their aging patients about the inevitable — dying. It’s an important book and makes a great case for Hospice and better places for our aging parents to go. I think this book is “revolutionary” and I hope everyone reads it and talks about it with their friends and families.
I am currently reading, It’s What I Do A Photographer’s Life of Love and War by Lynsey Addario. My sister Julie recommended this to me and I love it. The life of this war photographer is bold and inspiring and it tracks her life from 9/11 through today in Iraq. Lynsey is a woman in a man’s world and she truly makes her mark. A recommended read.
Just started reading singer Patti Smith’s memoir, Just Kids. Much of it chronicles her relationship with artist, Robert Mapplethorpe, but it also gives you an understanding of how her songwriting and career evolved. It is so well-written and offers a really in-depth look into the artsy culture of New York during the late 60s. Up next will be The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy. It is written by the author of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, which I thoroughly enjoyed, and involves some of the same characters.
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