What Our Writers Are Reading This Summer

BooksImages for ChildNabokov, Lethem, Guralnick, Bardugo, McDougall, Cutrone via Amazon. Ballard via W.W. Norton.

At ModCloth, we have writers on multiple teams, all specializing in different types of media and writing — some script ads, others work on app copy, and some spend their days penning product descriptions, stylebooks, newsletters, blog posts, and more. One thing we all share, though, is a love of literature, and of finding the perfect summer read. Here’s a peek at what our writers are reading this summer:

“I’m reading The Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Lethem. I’m a huge fan of Lethem’s playful approach to classic genres, and this take on the coming-of-age novel is just the unique, riveting story to sweep me up and carry me away this summer.”
Molly, Fashion Writing 

It’s not all that new on the scene, but Born to Run. Also on my nightstand is If You Have to Cry, Go Outsidebut that’s a guilty pleasure. It’s like 150 pages or something, clearly ghostwritten. I read the whole thing on a flight from NYC to Chicago, so… WORTH IT.”
- Chris, Fashion Writing

“I’m reading the Manhattan Memoir trilogy by Mary Cantwell. I’m in the middle of the second book, Manhattan, When I Was Young, which is about her young/single, and then married life in the Village. It’s a must for anyone into mid-century NYC writing! I also picked up J.G. Ballard’s last novel, Kingdom Come.
- Julie C., Marketing Writing

Despair by Vladimir Nabokov. Every summer, I venture into one of Nabokov’s masterpieces, approaching each novel as just that — a masterpiece which takes a certain state of patience and zen to get through. I always feel extremely motivated to write after reading Nabokov, and somehow smarter. Despair proves itself no exception; it’s got vivacious character, yet language and imagery you must shovel through — sometimes multiple times — in order for Nabokov’s true genius to pay off.”
- Christen, Fashion Writing

“The new Marc Maron book, Attempting Normal!”
- Anna, Fashion Writing 

Right now, I’m midway through Nicole Krauss’ The History of LoveIn the novel, you meet WWII refugee and retired locksmith Leo Gursky, who lives alone in New York and whose chief fear is that no one will notice when he dies. Unbeknownst to Leo, someone published a piece he wrote as a youth, except under a different man’s name, and that book has gone on to shape lives and interrupt the worlds of other characters in the book. Really great stuff. After that, I’m reading YA book Seige and Storm, which is part of a fantasy trilogy. I’m a sucker for YA books.”
- Jenn, Editorial 

“I just read My Life in France by Julia Child and Alex Prud’Homme — I love how Julia Child took full advantage of her station in France and fully immersed herself in French culture.”
- Julie, Fashion Writing & Editorial 

“Nothing says summer to me like the crooning of Sam Cooke. Just picked up Dream Boogie: The Triumph of Sam Cooke. Though I’m only a few pages into the nearly 800-page tome, it’s already painting a detailed picture of one of my favorite singer’s life.”
Sarah, Editorial 

What are you reading?

About Jenn

Jenn's first career aspiration was to be a dinosaur. After her kindergarten teacher informed her that couldn't happen, she decided she would be the next best thing: a writer. Aside from writing, Jenn loves chambray shirts, all cacti, and good typography.

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15 Responses to What Our Writers Are Reading This Summer

  1. Angela (ModCloth) 07/03/2013 at 10:38 am #

    I just finished Joan Didion’s ‘Slouching Toward Bethlehem’, a collection of essays about her experiences growing up in and venturing around the golden state, (both physical and of the mind) California up to the 1960s. And, I just started Salman Rushdie’s The Jaguar Smile, about his time in politically mercurial Nicaragua in the 80s. Both good!

    • Jenn (ModCloth) 07/03/2013 at 10:58 am #

      I have yet to read Didion, but have felt compelled to since moving to California for the reasons you described. And for her writing, of course. Thanks for the reminder to add ‘Slouching’ to my list!

  2. Cindy (ModCloth) 07/03/2013 at 10:48 am #

    Nabokov is the man.

    • Christen (ModCloth) 07/03/2013 at 10:55 am #

      Cindy, I’ve scoured many a used book store on a quest to collect every last one of his works. He’s my favorite!

    • Suzanne 07/06/2013 at 11:28 am #

      Nabokov totally is the man! I’ve only read Lolita (three times) and Pnin but I could read them a million more times. I’m reading World War Z and a few random trivia books. I love books that just give random facts because then I totally kick butt at Trivial Pursuit :)

  3. Mabel 07/03/2013 at 11:30 am #

    As a real life librarian, I like that you’re showcasing what staff members are reading! May I also suggest Aimee Bender, my favorite author.

    • Jenn (ModCloth) 07/09/2013 at 10:16 am #

      Thanks, Mabel! We love sharing, along with finding out what you guys are reading! Aimee Bender’s also a favorite of mine. Her writing puts me in the most wonderful mood.

  4. Grace 07/03/2013 at 11:50 am #

    I finished 1984 by George Orwell, and I’m reading Brave New World by Aldous Huxley right now. Both are great, classic reads!

  5. Mabel 07/03/2013 at 12:00 pm #

    Also, “Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)” by Mindy Kaling is a fun summer read.

    Mabel
    Life of Mabel

    • Sari (ModCloth) 07/03/2013 at 12:24 pm #

      I really really enjoyed The History of Love!

      Jenn- get at me when you are finished and we can discuss!

  6. Corey 07/06/2013 at 6:46 pm #

    I’m reading The Secret History. It’s about a group of elite college students who accidentally murder someone, then they murder one of their own members to keep him quiet. Yay, college!
    I love the suggestions from the Modcloth writers and have added a few to my wishlist!

  7. Susan (ModCloth) 07/09/2013 at 1:23 am #

    I just finished Neil Gaiman’s latest, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, and totally loved it!

    • Mikaela 07/17/2013 at 6:20 pm #

      I am very excited to read that as well! Course, it might be next summer when my number comes up in the long line of requests at the library :P Neil Gaiman has always been a long time favorite!

  8. nocreationwithoutchaos 07/12/2013 at 2:14 am #

    Jonathan Lethem is one of my favourite writers. At the moment I’m reading “In Boston?” by Russell Greenan – I picked it because there was a foreword by Jonathan Lethem included.

  9. Mikaela 07/17/2013 at 6:18 pm #

    I have recently fallen in love with David Sedaris’s writing! I’m reading Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim and plan to read Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls afterwards. He somehow makes the mundane feel so fascinating!

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