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  • Celia Heard

The Intern Speaks: Summer Reading Round-Ups

So Lit’s summer intern, Celia Heard, shares her summer reading list for 2016!

While living my university life out as an English major, most of my time is spent pouring over Shakespeare and churning through biographies of long dead poets (I’m looking at you, Edna St. Vincent Millay). The summer is my time to read for pleasure, something I am certainly guilty of shirking when the allure of Facebook and Pinterest is calling to me. This summer, however, I have vowed to myself to actually finish the books I start (though my journey to get through all of the Game of Thrones novels may never end). Here are my Summer Reading Round-ups that I plan to - and will - finish.

Welcome to Night Vale by Jeffrey Cranor and Joseph Fink

So, okay, I might be cheating a little with this one. I’d already started it earlier this year and just never really gotten a chance to finish it. Welcome to Night Vale is based on the popular podcast of the same name, and one that I, despite my best attempts, thoroughly enjoy but can never quite catch up with. (Are you sensing a theme here?) It’s a delightfully weird novel taking cues from H.P. Lovecraft about a small desert town and all the bizarre, unexplainable things that go down, from angels that don’t officially exist to a dog park that you’re not supposed to talk about.

Where the podcast focuses on Cecil, the seemingly only radio host at Night Vale Community Radio, the novel follows the lives of two residents of the small town -- Jackie Fierro, the teenage owner of the local pawnshop who has worked there for a very, very, very long time, and Diane Crayton, who is attempting to discover why her coworkers keep disappearing while dealing with her shapeshifting son and his formerly absent father. Quirky and suitably strange, Welcome to Night Vale promises to be an unforgettable read.

The Girls by Emma Cline

Though it just came out this month, The Girls has already gained attention from the $2 million dollar advance shelled out by HarperCollins. Not too unusual for an accomplished and popular author, but this is Emma Cline’s first novel. It’s been hit with mixed reviews, most disparaging the heavy and overdone inspiration from the Manson “Family” while praising her delicate and beautiful writing style. As someone currently working their way through the first season of Aquarius, I say bring it on

The Girls follows the story of Evie Boyd, a fourteen-year-old who desperately wants to become one of “the girls”. They appear to her as ethereal hippie goddesses following a Charles Manson stand-in named Russell; the book takes a look at the women of his “family” and less on the leader himself. The Girls illustrates how a culture of drugs, disillusion, and ultimately death can take it’s toll across a lifetime.

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

As a rule, I don’t generally read things that don’t involve at least one murder and/or fantastical aspect. Growing up with a mother who is a die-hard Stephen King fan, I naturally aligned myself with horror and fantasy novels. I devoured Neil Gaiman’s American Gods and relished in Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, cannibals and all.

But there is just something about the trailers for Me Before You that makes me want to read the book and watch the movie at least four times. If you’ve somehow been living under a rock for the past couple months, Me Before You tells the story of Will Traynor, a wealthy young man who was paralyzed from the neck down, and Louisa Clark, a ditzy girl who becomes his caretaker. Of course, they fall in love. It looks sweet, a bit sad, and like the perfect book to read while relaxing on the beach or by the pool.

What’s your summer reading list look like? Excited to sit back and enjoy that book you’ve just been waiting to get your hands on? Send us a tweet @SoLitAlliance and show us what you’ve been dying to read!

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