The perfect time for a summer reading list

Sometimes the only way to deal with the chaos of the world is not to deal. It's mid-summer after all, and perhaps time to take a day away and get absorbed in a book. A few recommendations are below, to find more, visit the independent progressive website Books We Like.

For your inner teen, check out Francesca Lia Block's latest, Violet and Clare, the un-sticky un-sweet story of two high school girls. Although Block is often recommended for reluctant teen readers, she's one of the funniest punk poet fiction writers around. Her book on mothering, Guarding the Moon, is one of the few books on parenting that didn't make me gag.

To remind yourself that things could be worse, pick up Blindness by Jose Saramago. Saragmago, who has won the Nobel Prize in Literature, obviously isn't an unknown but his smart unbound prose and progressive politics are rare. This story, of an epidemic in which almost everyone goes blind, is his best.

To escape completely, read anything by Octavia Butler. Wild Seed is my favorite, a novel that spans hundreds of years, covers race, class, slavery, and technology while maintaining a core story about how two people deal with their relationship to each other and to their very alternative families.

Finally, check out Barbara Ehrenreich's new nonfiction book, Bait and Switch:The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream. Oh wait, it's not out until September. Good thing, too, because its funny and horrifying stories of the unemployed middle class might be enough to put a cramp in your day at the beach.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card


Thanks for your support!

Did you enjoy AlterNet this year? Join us! We're offering AlterNet ad-free for 15% off - just $2 per week. From now until March 15th.