Bacon on the Bookshelf

Savory picks for the free range reader

Wednesday Special: Summer Reading – A Perfect 10


Newsflash: I am not a perfect 10 in my swimsuit this summer.  At this point, it’s all about the coverup.  I won’t be artfully disguising the books I’m reading, though!  Summer reading can make us all shine.  Below is a carefully curated selection of ten white-hot reads for Summer 2014, beginning with my top two picks, spending some time with beach reads and thrillers, and then traveling on to foreign shores.  Please visit for the rest of this post!  I’m so happy to have the chance to write today’s guest post for my good friends there.  Featured reads for your poolside pleasure are:

  • Long Man, by Amy Greene
  • The Wife, The Maid, and The Mistress, by Ariel Lawhon
  • One More Thing:  Stories and Other Stories, by B.J. Novak
  • One Plus One, by JoJo Moyes
  • Listen to the Squawking Chicken:  When Mother Knows Best, What’s A Daughter To Do (A Memoir, Sort-of), by Elaine Lui
  • Summer House With Swimming Pool, by Herman Koch
  • The Martian, by Andy Weir
  • Ghana Must Go, by Taiye Selasi
  • Prayers for the Stolen, by Jennifer Clement
  • On Such A Full Sea, by Chang-Rae Lee.

What’s on your list for this summer?  Please leave a comment at StyleBlueprint or here!  I would really be delighted to know!!


  1. Wow! These look amazing. I am excited about the BJ Novak book after reading “Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (and Other Concerns)” by his cast mate on the Office, Mindy Kaling, I am eager to read another “smart humor” book. The mother/daughter memoir looks good to me also. I read “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother” in 2011 and found it very unsettling and sad. Dysfunctional mother books, whether written by moms or daughters, would seem to create a risk of over-simplification of that entire relationship. Might I read Lui’s book and think “well, at least I am not THAT bad!” I hope not. As torts class taught me with the “taking the victim as you find him” theory — you have to be careful about everything in parenting, as you just don’t know how carelessness could play out with any particular child.

    • I think you would like the Lui book, Patricia! Just for the record I don’t think you have anything to worry about. 🙂

  2. Thanks, Jennifer, for the summer suggestions! Novels read better in the dog days of summer.

  3. Jennifer- Thanks for the suggestions. I’ll dig into a few of them this summer. I have a suggestion for you (and perhaps Parnassus). When you make recommendations for books on your blog, you could make the name of the book a hyperlink that could either i) direct you to Parnassus Books website to place an order or ii) prepare and email to Parnassus to order the book. It would be a great way to make it easy for your readers to take action on your recommendations and could direct some business toward Parnassus. Just a thought. Thanks for the blog!

    • Dave, that is SUCH a good idea! Why didn’t I think of it before?! I will link to Parnassus for sure, and I will look into an even more direct link to an order form there. Thank you so much for the wonderful suggestions! And thank you so much for following Bacon!

  4. Novels go down easy in the summer, for sure! Thank you so much for following Bacon, Todd. I can’t wait to hear what you read this summer!

  5. Hi Jennifer – you asked for more suggestions, so I was going to give a few. I just finished a book called Saint Monkey and enjoyed it. 1950s, two girls growing up in a black community in Eastern Kentucky, and their dreams to get away from there and to a better life. Great voice (told from each of the girls’ perspectives, alternating between the two). A bit reminiscent of Secret Life of Bees, and also hints of Grapes of Wrath. Speaking of A Secret Life of Bees, I also just read Sue Monk Kidd’s new book called The Invention of Wings (this one an audio book, and again great voices). It’s historical fiction set in Charleston circa 1800-1840 or so, also about two women, one white and one slave, and the abolitionist (as well as feminist, in a way) movement. And lastly, although I already read it a while ago, I can highly recommend The Rosie Project, a most wonderful (and very unique) story. Since you need some summer reads of your own, maybe there is something in there you haven’t read yet!

  6. Thank you, Sine! You are so right – I do need some summer reads – and these are terrific recommendations!! Thank you for your comment!!

  7. I’m starting off the summer thinking about the game of baseball in the delightful novel “The Art of Fielding.” I can’t believe I haven’t read this book sooner! I’m only halfway through but really enjoying it. Can’t wait to check out your summer read suggestions

  8. I need to read The Art of Fielding, too! That’s a great one to add to my summer list – I’m so glad you mentioned it!! Thanks for checking out my summer reading recs.

  9. Hi Jennifer. I thought I had commented, but maybe it never got posted. (operator error on my part, most likely!) The only thing I have to offer is that I re-read the same book almost every summer. “Delta Wedding” by Eudora Welty. My summer is not summer without it. It is akin to catching up with an old friend, who reveals nuances of character each time we visit.

    • Hi Mary Jo! Probably operator error on MY part! I don’t think I ever read Delta Wedding but you’ve made me think I need to!! Thank you so much for your comment.

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