The Glam Beach Book Club: Your 10 Summer Must-Reads

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By Bianca Posterli July 01, 2014
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou - While I've always been familiar with Angelou's work, I became fascinated with her power and perspective after hearing her speak at the 2009 Glamour Women of the Year Awards. Hearing her recite Phenomenal Woman at Carnegie Hall was an inspiring experience that I will never forget; thinking about it still gives me the chills. And so with the famed poets passing, I decided to dive into her works and am starting my summer reading with Angelou's 1969 autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. - Nola Weinstein, Editor in Chief
The Circle, by Dave Eggers - What begins as an entertaining story about a young college graduate who gains a job at the most important social network quickly turns into larger societal comment on our privacy and the future of the Internet. Eggers successfully shares his message in a lighthearted yet serious way that will have you thinking about your own social habits. - Bianca Posterli, Editorial Director
The Opposite of Loneliness, by Marina Keegan - I, like the rest of the internet, first discovered Marina Keegan when her essay, "The Opposite of Loneliness”, penned for her college newspaper, went viral in 2012. I was struck by her ability to articulate the very sentiments I often feel, but couldn’t fully describe. "We don’t have a word for the opposite of loneliness, but if we did, I could say that’s what I want in life,” she writes. "It’s not quite love and it’s not quite community; it’s just this feeling that there are people, an abundance of people, who are in this together. Who are on your team. When the check is paid and you stay at the table. When it’s four a.m. and no one goes to bed.” Keegan tragically died shortly after graduation, but earlier this year a collection of her work was published posthumously with the help of one of her Yale professors. When I saw the title pop up on my Facebook newsfeed, I was curious enough to download it on my Kindle. Unsurprisingly, I was particularly drawn to the second half of the book—a collection of her personal essays. Although Keegan mostly reflects on the goings-on of her youth (“Stability in Motion”), family life (“Against the Grain”) and school (“Even Artichokes Have Doubts”), she writes with such authenticity, insight, and sometimes, humor, that I can always relate to the sentiment, even if not the experience. It feels like the kind of coming-of-age story you’re never too old to read. - Carolyn Hsu, Managing Editor
Americanahhs by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie - After reading Americanah for the first time, I realized what a shame it was that I hadn’t heard of author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie before her Beyoncé endorsement. Rated as one of the top ten books of 2013 by The New York Times, Adichie’s third novel offers an intimate look on race relations from a young Nigerian woman’s perspective. Though a love story helps weave the read together, a deep examination of the differences between African and African American culture, in a way that is neither complex nor overly political, keeps you vested in the protagonist’s tale. Now that the book is being adapted for the silver screen with Lupita Nyong’o in the lead and Brad Pitt to produce, a second read will be taking up my summer free time. - Angel Lenise, Entertainment Editor
This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper - A true study in familial relationships, this book chronicles the good, the bad and the hilariously ugly, and I loved being a fly on the wall to watch it all unfold. Tropper's writing is honest and raw (if you're as obsessed with words as I am, you'll fall in love with his style), and his characters completely drew me in. The star-studded movie adaptation is set to premiere in theaters this September and it's sure to be a must-see, but the book is, first and foremost, a must-read. -Lauren Kaplan, Associate Editor
Diana Vreeland: The Vogue Years - This book is massive—and with good reason. It’s chock-full of fashionable tidbits from the woman who made Vogue what it is today, a fashion bible. I like to climb out on the fire escape, with a glass of red and digest this in slow bites after work. I take a (literal) page out of Diana Vreeland’s book and ask, why don’t you dream a little every time I open Memos. - Channing Hargrove, Fashion Reporter
Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahniuk Fans of Palahniuck may be familiar with the original satire on beauty and fashion, but the remix provides a fresh perspective. Formatted like a fashion glossy, the reader is asked to jump from chapter to chapter à la a choose your own adventure as the reader follow the unnamed fashion model protagonist who suffers a disfiguring accident. The recovery leads to our heroine to befriend the fabulous, yet incomplete, Brandy Alexander and pursue a new identity. - Valis Vicenty, Associate Editor
NY: The Novel, by Edward Rutherfurd - This historical fiction novel traces family lines through the creation of the state of New York all the way through present time. It's an incredible journey through history that leaves you inspired and amazed at the victories, hardships and triumphs the great city of New York traversed to become the center of the world. Read it this summer as you watch the Atlantic Ocean, the Hudson RIver, or New York Sound from your lounge chair and allow yourself to be awed by the way these great bodies of water created this great state. - Michelle Kushner, Designer
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg - A nonfiction book about how we can break our bad habits and adopt good ones. I love it because it's anecdotal, making it an easy read, and it offers really great, doable suggestions for leading a more productive lifestyle or business. - Jenny Lee, Intern
Mystic River, by Dennis Lehane - I like how they change perspectives and how the stories developed and because they were mysteries/drama/suspenseful both books were impossible to put down. - Sam Bortniker, Intern
Summer doesn't officially kick off until each of the Glam girls successfully stuffed their respective beach bags, backpacks, and totes with essential warm weather reads. From the murder mysteries to social commentary to the educational novels that we want to revisit from high school and college, here are the essential books that you should add to your reading list this summer. You'll thank us when September rolls around and you're vastly more intelligent and a more talented conversationalist compared to your friends.
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