Rec It: ModCloth Employees’ Favorite Summer Reads


In need of a good summer read? Our friendly, lit-lovin’ employees are here to help! Whether you’re looking for the intrigue of a mystery book or the startling honesty of a memoir, we’ve got book recommendations aplenty.

See which books we fell for, and let us know your recs. Impromptu book club time!

“This summer, I’m tearing through Kerry Greenwood’s Phyrne Fisher Mysteries. Phyrne’s a glamorous, intrepid lady detective in Melbourne in the ’20s; think Miss Marple with a bob and a wardrobe by Chanel.” – Martha, Social Media Editor 

“I just finished American Gods by Neil Gaiman — it definitely inspired me to take a roadtrip and visit lots of kitschy roadside attractions!” – Susan, Co-founder and CCO 

The Secret History, by Donna Tartt, is a great beach read for people who think of themselves as too intellectual to have beach reads (cough, cough). Though it’s got a great plot (you find out on the first page that a group of friends have committed a murder together), you’ve also got tons of Classics references, Greek, a thinly veiled hoity-toity college, and prose that’s nothing to sniff at. Go read it.” – Esme, Fashion Writer and Editor 

“I love Can’t Wait to Get to Heaven by Fannie Flagg. It’s such a feel-good novel. The main character is so positive and has such a jolly outlook on life. It makes you want to enjoy every moment of life. It’s a super easy read, but not too fluffy.” – Helena, Designer Relations Associate

Feminist Ryan Gosling.” – Julianne, Social Media Writer

“Reading memoirs by smart, funny women feels as indulgent as an afternoon of Real Housewives, but, unlike the constantly-catty stars of reality T.V., really recharges your faith in female awesomeness. I’d highly recommend Bossypants by Tina Fey and Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling.” – Anna, Fashion Writer 

“I really dug Thomas Pynchon’s Inherent ViceThe main character is a cool guy detective who operates out of a surf shop, and you get whisked right into the summery, 1970s LA setting.” – Cindy, Writer/Content Strategist

“Nerd alert! I like the Nate Heller Detective series. They are pretty entertaining, and spot on for historical fiction.” – Alisa, Customer Care Advocate

“Not exactly breezy reading, but I tackled the unabridged version of The Count of Monte Cristo one summer. I always like undertaking a seriously big book, preferably a classic. 1,500 pages, and it was fantastic!” – Hannah, Writing Development Editor 

“I love Chuck Klosterman’s writing. Chuck Klosterman IV: A Decade of Curious People and Dangerous Ideas is probably my favorite; his voice is really dry and sarcastic, but the people he interviews give such interesting stories.” – Erynn, Graphic Designer 

“The Dangerous Angels series by Francesca Lia Block! Weetzie Bat‘s and Witch Baby‘s eternal LA mellows you out and makes you feel magical.” – Lauren, Executive Assistant 

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed! The perfect book to inspire adventure and introspection.” – Maggie, Head of Community

“Last summer, I enjoyed F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender is the Nightwhich takes place on a beach and, thus, was quite fitting to read in sweltering weather. Plus, Fitzgerald just rocks in general.” – Christen, Fashion Writer 

What books are you loving right now? All us bibliophiles here at ModCloth would love to hear your recs!

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  1. Sunita 07/12/2012 at 7:10 am #

    I just finished reading Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. This book discusses some of the different ways of how women are oppressed in other countries and how some of them have been able to overcome it with just a little help. It was, at times, heart-breaking and enraging, but in the end, it made me feel inspired enough that I, with a few colleagues, am going to try to start a human rights and justice student club at the college at which I teach.

    The next book I may tackle is The Odyssey of KP2: An Orphan Seal, a Marine Biologist, and the Fight to Save a Species by Terrie M. Williams.

  2. Taylor P 07/12/2012 at 8:42 am #

    I love this post! I have read most of the books on this list and agree that they are great summer reading. My personal favorite is “Dandelion Wine” by Ray Bradbury; it is a collection of (fictional) stories about different people living in a sunny town in the 1960’s and their experiences with summer. It is such a rich read, his descriptions are simply lovely! I highly recommend it.

    • Lindsay 07/13/2012 at 5:28 am #

      I agree; Dandelion Wine is THE summer book!

  3. Berta 07/12/2012 at 9:01 am #

    I’m reading puppy training books, for the new addition to the family!

  4. Lindsey 07/12/2012 at 9:29 am #

    Right now I’m reading The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, and I just finished reading Divergent by Veronica Roth, and highly enjoyed it. And I totally loved Bossypants and Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? Seriously…I’m Kidding by the great Ellen deGeneres was an awesome way to round out my female comedian literary adventure. 🙂

    Et tu, tutu?

    • juliafellows 07/13/2012 at 10:27 am #

      The Great Gatsby is my favorite book! I think it’s a perfect summer read.

  5. Blythe 07/12/2012 at 12:09 pm #

    Dangerous Angels is, hands down, THE BEST summer series.

  6. Jenny Deu 07/12/2012 at 1:38 pm #

    I just finished Kick Ass 2 from Mark Millar and am about to embark to A Land More Kind Than Home when the library calls to let me know it’s available. After that it’s on to The Uninvited Guests. Happy reading, everyone!

  7. Lauren 07/12/2012 at 2:54 pm #

    I LOVE “Unnaturally Green” by Felicia Ricci. It’s a memoir and definately worth it for theatre lovers and aspring actors, etc! Felicia describes what it was like being the understudy for Elphaba in “Wicked” and promptly becoming stand-by (first understudy). She does so in such a comedic and entertaining style that I absolutely loved!

  8. Allyse 07/12/2012 at 8:53 pm #

    Just finished American Gods, so stunning and amazing. But I also love that someone here brought up the Dangerous Angels series, Francesca LIa Block will always have a place in my heart.

  9. astimegoesbuy 07/13/2012 at 1:40 am #

    I’ll have to read that first one…as I live in Ballarat…and sometimes it is…

    • Kirby 07/16/2012 at 11:30 pm #

      There is also a tv series (that was on ABC on Fridays, but alas, it just finished) called ‘Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries’ which I’m guessing is taken from the books. Beautiful looking show – I didn’t see it all, but it was beautifully styled.

      • astimegoesbuy 07/17/2012 at 12:01 am #

        I’ll have to get down to the ABC shop and see if they have it available on DVD. I know they have been filming a series up here lately but avoiding any of the sets because of the traffic. Perhaps that was the one and it would be cool to see some of the local spots.

  10. Lindsay 07/13/2012 at 5:34 am #

    Like Taylor P said above, Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury is a great book for and about summer. Some other good books that just feel like summer to me are A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole and Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Also Spencer Quinn’s Chet and Bernie Mysteries (beginning with Dog On It), which are narrated by a lovable mutt.

  11. Mae East 07/13/2012 at 9:36 pm #

    oh I just LOVE the Count of Monte Cristo — it is long but so enthralling that it is over before one begins! I once found an old book by Dumas called “The Three Guardsmen” and realized it was “The Three Musketeers” about three chapters in. It was amazing — a definite read!
    My “summer read” right now is a book called “Hungry Hill” by Daphne du Maurier -she wrote two of my favorites – Rebecca and The Birds (yes, they are both Hitchcock films) so when I found this book among an auction grab box I bid on for a buck, I knew I had to dive in! I just started it, so here is hoping….

  12. Kat Adams 07/14/2012 at 5:44 am #

    Just read American Gods. I fell in love with all the characters while being completely engrossed in the story. I really need to read some more Neil Gaiman. I am waiting to receive an advanced copy of the newest Cory Doctorow novel from a local library, and I am reading The Last Tycoon by Fitzgerald while I wait. I am so wishing that he could have lived long enough to perfect it. It had the potential to even blow the Great Gatsby out of the water.

  13. Em 07/15/2012 at 12:17 pm #

    I highly recommend Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me. Super funny and Mindy Kaling gives great dating advice about knowing when it’s time to start dating “men” instead of “boys”. Also love Tina Fey – Bossypants is what got me interested in reading non-fiction!

  14. Kate 07/17/2012 at 12:25 pm #

    I’m on a real sci-fi kick right now! Almost done with Canticle for Liebowitz, which is a real must for anyone who loves post-apocalyptic fiction. Plus, it’s engrossing enough to be a perfect beach read!

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