"What Will You Read This Summer?" 30 Writers Name Some Titles

In this feature, thirty poets, novelists, editors, bloggers and reviewers share their summer reading lists. Many thanks to Gail Mazur, Fady Joudah, Karen Brown, Brian Teare, Ange Mlinko, Peter Grandbois, Daniel Lawless, Stona Fitch, Elaine Equi, Erika Dreifus, David Rivard, Marion Winik, Geoffrey Becker, Emilia Phillips and Daniel Lawless, Jane Ciabattari, Annie Finch, Patrick Kurp, Martha Silano, Carl Phillips, Jessica Blau, Mark Athitakis, Sally Ball, Lisa Russ Spaar, Jane Delury, David Biespiel, Craig Moodie, Fiona Maazel, Floyd Skloot, Daisy Fried, and Will Boast.

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Gail Mazur

Mazur.jpegThe Retrospective /A.B. Yehoshua (Houghton Mifflin)

Old Man Goya / Julia Blackburn (Vintage)

Thresherphobe / Mark Halliday (University of Chicago Press)

Black Aperture / Matt Rasmussen, 2013 Walt Whitman Prize (LSU Press)

Travels with Herodotus / Ryszard Kapuscinski (Vintage)

Country Girl / Edna O'Brien (Little, Brown)

Selected Letters of Willa Cather (Random House)

One of Ours / Willa Cather (out of print -- library!)

The Woman Upstairs / Claire Messud (Knopf)

The Golden Egg / Donna Leon (Atlantic Monthly Press)

The Complete Letters of Vincent Van Gogh (New York Graphic Society, out of print.)

… and as yet unidentified mysteries.

Figures in a Landscape (University of Chicago) is Gail Mazur’s sixth collection of poems. She is the Distinguished Writer in residence at Emerson College.

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Fady Joudah

Joudah_2.jpegThe Anatomy of Violence / Adrian Raine (Pantheon)

Gustave Dore: Adrift on Dreams of Splendor / David Malan (Mce Pub)

The Feeling of What Happens: Body and Emotion in the Making of Consciousness / Antonio Damasio (Mariner Books)

Sand Opera / Phillip Metres (Alice James Books)

The Least of All Possible Evils: Humanitarian Violence from Arendt to Gaza / Eyal Weizman (Verso)

The Conference of the Birds / Izz Edin al-Attar (Penguin Classic)

Fady Joudah’s second books of poems is Alight (Copper Canyon). His translation of Ghassan Zaqtan’s poetry, Like A Straw Bird It Follows Me, is a finalist for the 2013 Griffin Poetry Prize (international shortlist).

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Karen Brown

Brown_1.jpgBattleborn / Claire Vaye Watkins (Riverhead)

Life After Life / Kate Atkinson (Reagan Arthur)

The Flamethrowers / Rachel Kushner (Scribner)

Tampa / Alissa Nutting (Ecco)

The Other Typist / Suzanne Rindell (Amy Einhorn)

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena / Anthony Marra (Hogarth)

Karen Brown is the author of Little Sinners and Other Stories, winner of the Prairie Schooner Book Prize, and Pins and Needles: Stories. Her debut novel, The Longings of Wayward Girls, will be published on July 2 by Washington Square Press.

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Brian Teare

Teare_2.jpegHello, the Roses / Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge (New Directions)

Surge: Drafts 96 – 114 / Rachel Blau DuPlessis (Salt Publishing)

Plant-Thinking: A Philosophy of Vegetal Life / Michael Marder (Columbia University Press)

Silverchest / Carl Phillips (Farrar Straus & Giroux)

Calendars of Fire / Lee Sharkey (Tupelo Press)

Fieldworks: From Place to Site in Postwar Poetics / Lytle Shaw (University of Alabama Press)

Brian Teare’s new book of poems is Companion Grasses (Omnidawn Publishing). He teaches at Temple University.

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Erika Dreifus

Dreifus2.jpegTextile / Orly Castel-Bloom, translated Dalya Bilu (The Feminist Press at CUNY)

Chekhov's Major Plays

Collected Poems, 1965-2010 / Lucille Clifton, eds. Kevin Young and Michael S. Glaser (BOA Editions)

The Hypothetical Girl / Elizabeth Cohen (Other Press)

The Short, Strange Life of Herschel Grynzspan: A Boy Avenger, a Nazi Diplomat, and a Murder in Paris / Jonathan Kirsch (Liveright)

The Property / Rutu Modan. Translated by Jessica Cohen (Drawn and Quarterly)

Erika Dreifus is the author of Quiet Americans: Stories (Last Light Studio), an American Library Association Sophie Brody Medal Honor Title (for outstanding achievement in Jewish literature). She lives in New York.

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Ange Mlinko

Mlinko_0.jpegWar Diary / Ingeborg Bachmann (Seagull Books/U of Chicago)

Bewilderment / David Ferry (Phoenix Poets)

Country Music, U.S.A. / Bill C. Malone & Jocelyn R. Neal (University of Texas Press)

Ange Mlinko reviews frequently for The Nation and teaches at the University of Houston. Her fourth book of poems, Marvelous Things Overheard, will be published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in September 2013. (Photo credit: David A. Brown)

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Peter Grandbois

Grandbois_0.jpgThe Neighborhood / Gonçalo M. Tavares (Texas tech University Press)

Facing the Bridge / Yoko Tawada, translated by Margaret Mitsutani (New Directions)

Secret Rendevous / Kobo Abe (Vintage)

Suddenly a Knock on the Door / Etgar Keret (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)

Tenth of December / George Saunders (Random House)

The Thing About Life is That One Day You’ll be Dead / David Shields (Vintage)

Peter Grandbois is the author of two novels, The Gravedigger and Nahoonkara, a memoir, The Arsenic Lobster, and a collection of short fictions, Domestic Disturbances. He is an associate editor at Boulevard magazine and teaches at Denison University.

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Daniel Lawless

Lawless_0.jpegAirmail: The Letters of Robert Bly and Tomas Tranströmer (Graywolf)

Les Reposoirs de la Procession / Saint Pol-Roux (Nabu Press)

God, Death, and Time / Emmanuel Levinas, translated by Bettina Bergo (Stanford University Press)

The Golden Road: Poems / Rachel Hadas (TriQuarterly)

Doubling The Point: Essays and Interviews / J.M. Coetzee (Harvard University Press)

The Telephone Book: Technology, Schizophrenia, and Electronic Speech / Avital Ronell (University of Nebraska Press)

Daniel Lawless is the editor of Plume and teaches at St. Petersburg College.

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Stona Fitch

Fitch.jpegClaire DeWitt and the Bohemian Highway / Sara Gran (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

The Flamethrowers / Rachel Kushner (Scribner)

Life After Life / Kate Atkinson (Reagan Arthur Books)

Rake / Scott Phillips (Counterpoint)

Who Owns the Future? / Jaron Lanier (Simon and Schuster)

Stona Fitch’s sixth novel, Third Rail — the first of a Boston crime/mystery series — will be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in early 2014 under the pseudonym Rory Flynn. He is the founder of the Concord Free Press.

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Elaine Equi

Equi.jpegSupernatural Strategies for Making a Rock ‘n’ Roll Group / Ian F. Svenonius (Akashic Books)

Why People Photograph / Robert Adams (Aperture)

Herself Defined: The Poet H.D. and Her World / Barbara Guest (William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd.)

Recalculating / Charles Bernstein (University of Chicago Press)

Address / Elizabeth Willis (Wesleyan Poetry Series)

Elaine Equi’s books include Ripple Effect: New & Selected Poems, and most recently, Click and Clone, both from Coffee House Press. She lives in New York City and teaches at New York University and in the MFA programs at the New School and City College.

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David Rivard

Rivard.jpegCollected Poems / Tom Raworth (Carcanet Press)

Rough Day / Ed Skoog (Copper Canyon)

Tenth of December / George Saunders (Random House)

Straight Life / Art Pepper (Da Capo)

Coming Through Slaughter / Michael Ondaatje (Vintage)

Airmail: The Letters of Robert Bly and Tomas Tranströmer (Graywolf)

David Rivard’s most recent book of poems is Otherwise, Elsewhere (Graywolf). He teaches at the University of New Hampshire.

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Marion Winik

Winik.jpgDaily Afflictions / Andrew Boyd (Norton)

To Show and To Tell / Philip Lopate (Free Press)

An Enlarged Heart / Cynthia Zarin (Knopf)

The Wonder Bread Summer / Jessica Anya Blau (Harper Perennial)

Moth Smoke / Mohsin Hamid (Riverhead)

Marion Winik writes a biweekly column at BaltimoreFishbowl.com. Her ninth book, Highs in the Low Fifties: How I Stumbled Through The Joys of Single Living, is out in June.

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Geoffrey Becker

Becker.jpegBeautiful Ruins / Jess Walter

Our Man in Havana / Graham Greene

The Flame Throwers / Rachel Kushner

The Age of Edison: Electric Light and the Invention of Modern America / Ernest Freeberg

Displacement / Leslie Harrison

Netherland / Joseph O'Neill

Geoffrey Becker's most recent books are Hot Springs, a novel (Tin House Books), and Black Elvis, a collection of stories (U. of Georgia Press). He teaches at Towson University and in the low-residency MFA program at Queens University, Charlotte.

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Emilia Phillips

Phiullips.jpegMetaphysical Dog / Frank Bidart (FSG)

Salammbo / Gustave Flaubert (Penguin Classics)

The Right Way to Do Wrong / Harry Houdini (Neversink Library)

Speak, Memory / Vladimir Nabokov (Everyman’s Library)

The Art of Cruelty / Maggie Nelson (Norton)


Memorial / Alice Oswald (Norton)


I Want to Show You More / Jamie Quatro (Grove)


Paterson / William Carlos Williams (New Directions)

Emilia Phillips is the author of Signaletics, forthcoming this year from the University of Akron Press, and two chapbooks, including Bestiary of Gall (Sundress Publications, 2013). She is the prose editor of 32 Poems and, in August, she will join Gettysburg College as the 2013–2014 Emerging Writer Lecturer.

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Jane Ciabattari

Americanah / Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Knopf)

Astragal / Albertine Sarrazin, translated from the French by Patsy Southgate, introduction by Patti Smith (New Directions)

Ciabattari.jpgBlue Plate Special: An Autobiography of My Appetites / Kate Christensen (Doubleday)

High-Rise Stories: Voices from Chicago Public Housing / Audrey Petty, foreword by Alex Kotlowitz (McSweeneys/Voice of Witness, September 2013)

Sparta / Roxana Robinson (Sarah Crichton/FSG)

... plus every short story collection I can get my hands on. After serving as a judge for The Story Prize this year (and Flash Fiction judge for Press 53), I have renewed passion for stories.

Jane Ciabattari's Stealing the Fire is due out May 28 as a rEprint Selection from Dzanc Books. She contributes to NPR.org, The Daily Beast, Boston Globe, and many others.

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Annie Finch

Lilith's Brood / Octavia E. Butler (Grand Central Publishing)

Whence the Goddess / Miriam Robbins Dexter (Teachers College Press)

FinchB.jpgHypatia of Alexandria / Maria Dzielska, translated by F. Lyra (Harvard University Press)

The Sappho Companion / edited by Margaret Reynolds (Palgrave Macmillan)

Crystal Ball Gazing: The Complete Guide to Choosing and Reading Your Crystal Ball / Uma Silbey (Touchstone)

Eleven Plays / William Butler Yeats (Collier)

Last month, Wesleyan University Press published Spells, Annie Finch’s collection of new and selected poems. She is the Director of the Stonecoast MFA Program in Creative Writing at the University of Southern Maine.

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Patrick Kurp

Wm & H’ry: Literature, Love and the Letters between William & Henry James / J.C. Hallman (University of Iowa Press)

Johnson and Boswell: A Biography of Friendship / John B. Radner (Yale University Press)

Kurp.jpgSuitable Accommodations: An Auto¬bio¬graphical Story of Family Life — The Letters of J. F. Powers, 1942–1963 / Katherine A. Powers, ed. (Farrar Strauss Giroux)

Dead Souls / Nikolai Gogol, trans. by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky (Pantheon Books)

The Eagle Unbowed: Poland and the Poles in the Second World War / Halik Kochanski (Harvard University Press)

Shakespeare. Recently, it dawned on me that I’m almost always reading Shakespeare without plan, as inspiration strikes.

Patrick Kurp launched his literary blog Anecdotal Evidence in 2006 and writes there daily. He lives in Houston.

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Martha Silano

Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void / Mary Roach (Norton)

One with Others / CD Wright (Copper Canyon)

Silano.jpegAll the Garbage of the World Unite / Kim Hyesoon, translated by Don Mee Choi (Action Books)

Teeth / Aracelis Girmay (Curbstone)

Duppy Conqueror: New & Selected Poems / Kwame Dawes (Copper Canyon)

Into that Silent Sea: Trailblazers of the Space Era, 1961-1965 / Francis French & Colin Burgess (Bison Books)

Martha Silano's The Little Office of the Immaculate Conception was named an Academy of American Poets Noted Book of 2011 and a Washington State Book Award finalist. Her forthcoming collection, House of Mystery, will appear from Saturnalia Books in early 2014.

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Carl Phillips

Phillips.jpegThe Mushroom Feast: A Celebration of All Edible Fungi, Cultivated, Wild and Dried / Jane Grigson (Grub Street Cookery)

The Great Enigma / Tomas Tranströmer (New Directions)

Dear Life / Alice Munro (Knopf)

David Copperfield / Charles Dickens

Carl Phillips’ new book of poems is Silverchest (Farrar Straus & Giroux). He teaches at Washington University and currently serves as judge of the Yale Younger Poets Series.

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Jessica Anya Blau

High in the Low Fifties / Marion Winik (Skirt!)

The Original 1982 / Lori Carson (William Morrow)

Blau.jpgTrue Grit / Charles Portis (Overlook)

The Peripatetic Coffin / Ethan Rutherford (Ecco)

Mary Coin / Marisa Silver (Blue Rider Press)

The Slippage / Ben Greenman (Harper Perennial)

Jessica Anya Blau's new novel, The Wonder Bread Summer, is coming out on May 28th. She is the author of Drinking Closer to Home and The Summer of Naked Swim Parties (all titles, Harper Perennial).

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Mark Athitakis

Black Lamb and Grey Falcon / Rebecca West (Penguin Classics) Inspired by Geoff Dyer's admiring essay and a few enthusiasts online, I'm spending the summer braving West's hefty tome on Yugoslavia. A hundred pages in, I eagerly await the next 1,100.

Athitakis.jpegNight Film / Marisha Pessl (Random House)

The Son / Philipp Meyer (Ecco)

Suitable Accommodations: An Autobiographical Story of Family Life: The Letters of J.F. Powers, 1942-1963 / edited by Katherine A. Powers (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)

Mark Athitakis' book reviews have been published in the New York Times Book Review, Washington Post Book World, Chicago Sun-Times, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Washington City Paper and many others.

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Sally Ball

Egypt from Space / Beckian Goldberg (Oberlin University Press)

Middle C / William H. Gass (Knopf)

Ball.jpegEnd of the Sentimental Journey / Sarah Vap (Noemi Press)

Trace / Eric Pankey (Milkweed Editions)

Metaphysical Dog / Frank Bidart (Farrar Straus & Giroux)

Body Thesaurus / Jennifer Millitello (Tupelo Press)

The Celestials / Karen Shepard (Tin House Books)

Sally Ball’s second book of poems, just published, is Wreck Me (Barrow Street Books). She teaches at Arizona State University.

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Lisa Russ Spaar

Country Girl: A Memoir / Edna O'Brien (Little, Brown)

Companion Grasses: Poems / Brian Teare, (Omnidawn)

Strange Beauty: Issues in the Making and Meaning of Reliquaries / Cynthia Hahn (Penn State Press)

Spaar.jpegMy Escapee: Stories / Corinna Vallianatos, (University of Massachusetts)

Medieval Modern: Art Out of Time / Alexander Nagel (Thames & Hudson)

The Old Dominion: Poems / Jennifer Key (University of Tampa Press)

Lisa Russ Spaar’s latest book of poems is Vanitas, Rough (Persea Books, 2013). She writes about poets’ second books for Los Angeles Review of Books, and she teaches at UVA in Charlottesville.

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Jane Delury

Ghosts / César Aira, translated by Chris Andrews (New Directions)

The Wonder Bread Summer / Jessica Anya Blau (Harper Perennial)

Delury.jpgThe Longings of Wayward Girls / Karen Brown (Washington Square Press)

The Group / Mary McCarthy (Mariner Books)

Light Years / James Salter (Vintage)

The Life and Opinions of Tristam Shandy, Gentleman / Laurence Stern (Oxford)

Jane Delury’s stories are forthcoming in The Yale Review, The Southern Review, and Glimmer Train. She is on the faculty of the University of Baltimore’s MFA in Creative Writing & Publishing Arts program.

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David Biespiel

Lives of the Poets / Michael Schmidt (Phoenix/Orion House). Rereading.

The School Bag / edited by Seamus Heaney and Ted Hughes (Faber) Rereading.

Biespiel.jpeg My Bright Abyss / Christian Wiman (FSG)

Selected Translations / W. S. Merwin (Copper Canyon)

Why Orwell Matters / Christopher Hitchens (Basic Books)

… plus more poetry than you can imagine for an anthology I'm editing for Everyman Library, Poems of the American South, from the 17th to the 21st century.

David Biespiel's fifth volume of poems, Charming Gardeners, is due later this year. (Photo: Don Unrau)

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Craig Moodie

The River Swimmer / Jim Harrison (Grove Press)

The Smuggler’s Sloop / Robb White (Doubleday)

Moodie.jpegVoices / Antonio Porchia, translated by W. S. Merwin (Copper Canyon)

Early Sorrows / Danilo Kis, translated by Michael Heim (New Directions)

The Bird King: An Artist’s Notebook / Shaun Tan (Arthur A. Levine)

Craig Moodie has published four novels and four short story collections, most recently A Sailor’s Valentine and Other Stories (Concord ePress). He has worked as quahogger, a deckhand on commercial fishing vessels, an advertising agency copywriter, and a creative director in corporations. A catboat sailor, he lives with his wife in Massachusetts.

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Fiona Maazel

Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk / Ben Fountain (Ecco)

Constance / Patrick McGrath (Bloomsbury USA)

In the House upon the Dirt between the Lake and the Woods / Matt Bell (Soho Press)

Maazel.jpegA Hologram for the King / Dave Eggers (McSweeney’s)

Self-Help / Lorrie Moore (Vintage)

Light in August / William Faulkner (Vintage)

Fiona Maazel’s new novel is Woke Up Lonely, just published by Graywolf. She teaches at Brooklyn College, Princeton, NYU and Columbia.

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Daisy Fried

from the Complete Poems / Miklos Radnoti, trans. by Emery George (Ardis, 1980)

Lorine Niedecker: “I don't quite understand what's drawing me to her, precisely wherein lie these dabs of nuance.” (Collected Works available via University of California Press)

more Francis Ponge : “I've been reading him off and on this spring and will continue.”

Fried.jpegD.H. Lawrence / “It's been awhile and I think it's what I'm craving. Perhaps St. Mawr. Perhaps Women in Love, which I've never read.

What Maisie Knew / Henry James (reread)

Paterson / William Carlos Williams (reread): “Haven't been there in about 10 years.”

Women’s Poetry is the title of Daisy Fried’s third poetry collection from the University Of Pittsburgh Press.

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Floyd Skloot

My Other Life / Paul Theroux (Mariner Books)

My Secret History / Paul Theroux (Ballantine Books)

Skloot_1.jpgSleepless Nights / Elizabeth Hardwick (NYRB Classics)

True At First Light / Ernest Hemingway (Scribner)

Dylan Thomas in America / John Malcolm Brinnin (Prion)

Floyd Skloot’s fifth book of creative non-fiction, Revertigo: An Off-Kilter Memoir, will be published by the University of Wisconsin Press in early 2014. His fifth book of poems, Close Reading, will be published later this year by Tupelo Press.

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Will Boast

We're Flying / Peter Stamm, his novel translated by Michael Hoffman (Other Press)

The Legends of Last Place: A Season With America’s Worst Professional Baseball Team /Abe Streep (The Atavist)

Behind the Beautiful Forevers / Katherine Boo (Random House)

Boast.jpegThe Soccer War / Rysard Kapuscinski (Vintage)

The Wasteland / T. S. Eliot (Yale University Press)

Sentimental Education / Gustave Flaubert (Wordsworth Editions)

Will Boast’s collection of stories, Power Ballads, won the 2011 Iowa Short Fiction Award, and was published by the University of Iowa Press. His memoir, The Pantomime Horse, is forthcoming from Norton/Liverright and Granta Books.