Summer is upon us! Here at Coliloquy, that means Lisa is playing country music (something about sweet tea, a lake, and her very own Pennsylvania-based YA memories…), Waynn is wearing ironic t-shirts WITHOUT zip-up hoodies, and our team lunch debates revolve around whether we want a table in the sun or the shade. It also means…INTERNS!
Last summer, our editorial team was spoiled rotten by the utterly fabulous intern Mary. This summer, it’s our marketing and PR team’s turn to fall madly in love with interns Nia and Jordan. When they’re not working for us, both Nia and Jordan are voracious readers, so we asked them to give us their take on some recommended summer reads!
Nia’s Summer Picks
Nia just completed her freshman year at the Pennsylvania State University, where she is an advertising and public relations major. She also webmasters two sites and bakes the world’s best banana bread.
1. Beauty Queens by Libba Bray – When contestants for the Miss Teen Dream beauty contest crash land on a deserted island, what will they learn about themselves and each other? And (more importantly) how will they survive without eyeliner? One part Miss America pageant, one part Lord of the Flies (or Lost), one part hilarity and one part social commentary, this book is my kind of beach read.
2. The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides – The Virgin Suicides definitely has a summery feel, which I attribute to the beautiful and enigmatic presence of the Lisbon sisters, but it is also a much darker read than the others. You pretty much know the end of the book from page one, so as you keep reading, the question you ask yourself over and over is “why?”
3. Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan – This one is my Christmas in July pick. Written by one of my favorite author duos, Rachel Cohn and David Levithan, this quirky and adorable teen romance is perfect to cool you down in the middle of a hot summer. For a slightly warmer read, check out their first book together, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist.
4. Dead Letter Office by Kira Snyder – My Coliloquy pick is the Parish Mail mail series. I love a good supernatural mystery, and it’s an awesome example of active fiction if you haven’t tried the genre yet. Kira just started writing for one of the fall’s buzziest new TV shows, and you’ll love the twists and turns she packs into this series. Celia and Tilly are so much fun to hang out with, and the boys…let’s just say there’s someone for everyone!
5. The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud by Ben Sherwood – Charlie St. Cloud is the young caretaker at the cemetery where his younger brother is buried, but his life takes a turn for the brighter when he meets Tess Carroll, a professional sailor. The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud is a sweet summer romance in the style of Nicholas Sparks (though perhaps a bit shorter) with an unexpected supernatural twist.
Jordan’s Summer Picks
Jordan just finished his freshman year at UNC. He is a Global Studies major and spends his free time reading, playing video games, and taking care of his school’s poison dart frogs.
1. Georgetown Academy Season One by Jessica Koosed Etting and Alyssa Embree Schwartz – My Coliloquy pick is Georgetown Academy. The series is set in an elite DC prep school, populated by the children of politicians. It’s so interesting to see how the teens are influenced by their parents — everything from classroom debates to the color of their Solo cups at parties. One of my favorite parts of the book is that it lets you choose your favorite characters to follow. The book is very well written, full of pop culture and political references, and very fun and engaging to read.
2. White Noise by Don DeLillo – If you’re looking for a serious summer read, I always recommend White Noise, a brilliant postmodern work by Don DeLillo. It tells the story of Jack Gladney, a professor in a small college town, and his family. The plot isn’t the most important part of the story– it mostly serves to hit the themes DeLillo wants to cover, including contemporary family life, how society responds to disaster, and fear of death and drug culture.
3. Fall of Giants by Ken Follett – Ken Follet’s Fall of Giants, the first part of the Century Trilogy, reads like a book version of Downton Abbey. It follows the fictional lives of various families of various social classes (Russian worker family, British nobility, Welsh miners, German diplomat) from around the world before, during, and immediately after World War One. A large book, it has something for everyone, including romance and political intrigue, along with enough well-researched historical information that makes you understand what it felt like to be in the Great War.
4. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald – With Baz Lurhman’s adaptation recently released, Summer 2013 is the perfect time to re-read or discover the life of Jay Gatsby. The book is narrated by Nick Carraway, a bond salesman living in a small house next to Gatsby’s opulent mansion, and follows Gatsby’s romance with Daisy, his pre-war love, now married to another man. Dealing with themes of opulence and excess, it questions the relevancy and reality of the American dream.
5. The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris by David McCullough – I think everyone should try to read at least a little nonfiction during the year, and The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris is a fun, engaging, and interesting read from one of my favorite pop history writers. McCullough tells the story of young American intellectuals who stayed for extended periods in Paris, and how their stay both affected them, the city of Paris, and eventually America. These intellectuals included Oliver Wendell Holmes, Samuel Morse, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Mark Twain. The writing does not bore–instead, it tells like a collection of stories that you can’t put down.