What We're Reading: Summer 2019

The Celadon team shares their summer reading lists, including a sci-fi speculative thriller, a highly anticipated novel on slavery, and a beautiful-yet-accessible interior design book.

By the Celadon Team

Jamie Raab
Publisher & President

Educated by Tara Westover

I read Educated for a second time, something I rarely do. But I was thinking about what makes a memoir extraordinary and decided to reread the book with this question in mind. I think it's a matter of beautiful writing, a story with shocking elements, and raw honesty. Educated has all these elements...and more.

The Dutch House by Ann Patchett & American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins

My summer reading pile is growing, though I haven't had much time to read for pleasure. On the pile are two books not yet published – The Dutch House by Ann Patchett and American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins. I love Ann Patchett's novels and have read them all, so I am eager to read this new one. And I keep hearing good word on American Dirt; it's always fun to discover new authors.

Anne Twomey
Creative Director

Tangerine by Christine Mangan

I just started reading this. I bought this because of the cover, which signaled that it was a period piece in an exotic place, and the reviews, which compared it to Patricia Highsmith and Gillian Flynn. The story is told in the alternating voices of the two female former college roommates. After college and an accident, they meet up in Tangier, Morocco in the early 1950s. So far, it’s descriptive of markets and watering holes and ancient balconies and the tension is building with each page.

Homebody: A Guide to Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave by Joanna Gaines

I’m a junkie for interior design books. What is unique about this interior design book is Joanna Gaines shows you how to recognize and blend styles for your own unique look. Most peoples’ homes are a blend of two or three of the styles she identifies. She documents the interior design of about twelve clients’ homes. Each home uniquely speaks to lifestyle and personalities of each family by the blending of styles. I realized my taste was about fifty percent Modern and the other half a mixture of Farmhouse and Traditional, and I can find the balance and mix it up with new confidence. She additionally identifies shapes and textures and materials of each style. It’s both a reference and coffee table book with beautiful photography.

Christine Mykityshyn
Director of Publicity

Fleishman Is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner

Next up in my pile is Fleishman Is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner. I've been a longtime admirer of Taffy's incredible journalism (if you missed her profile of Gwyneth Paltrow, bookmark it immediately!) and get really excited when I see her byline anywhere. I'm thrilled she has taken her talents to fiction, and I cannot wait to spend some time in her imagination.

Randi Kramer
Editorial Assistant

The Glitch by Elisabeth Cohen

The next book on my TBR is The Glitch, which was my book club pick! If you love satirizing Silicon Valley and our tech-obsessed, over-connected world, this is for you! Fans of Severance by Ling Ma and Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman will enjoy this.

Do No Harm by Henry Marsh

Do No Harm is a window into the mysterious world of neurosurgery. This book makes you think actively about how your brain works, and makes you appreciate your functioning brain! If you love dramatic hospital shows, Dr. Marsh brings all the drama of a heart-in-your-throat surgery onto the page. I originally picked up this book because Celadon is working on a book that might be structured similarly to this one, so I wanted to read it and see what made it so great.

Clay Smith
Junior Designer

Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris

This book had been on my "want to read" list for a while, so I finally decided to listen to the audio version (mostly because Sedaris reads it). Sedaris' darkly funny stories about growing up in the South with a speech impediment and navigating France as a young adult really come to life when hearing his Southern drawl and great comedic timing. Fans of comedic memoirs and short story collections alike would enjoy this. Sedaris has obviously been around for a while but wasn't on my radar until his most recent book, Calypso came out. I was really attracted to Calypso's cover, and from there was easily sucked in to the world of Sedaris on Goodreads. I soon learned from his fans that Me Talk Pretty One Day was a good Sedaris book to start with.

The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates

As a fan of Coates’ journalism and nonfiction, I am in love with the idea of him dabbling in fiction. I'm excited to see how his writing style translates into novel form, in what I'm sure will be an ultimately important book on slavery and the Underground Railroad. Fans of The Power and The Underground Railroad would enjoy this.

Cecily van Buren-Freedman
Cecily Van Buren-Freedman
Editorial Assistant

Long Bright River by Liz Moore

I got my hands on an early copy of this elevated thriller (out January 2020) and was immediately hooked. So much more than just the straightforward detective novel it seems to be, this book is a moving story about sisters and a deeply humanizing look at the opioid epidemic's victims and its impact on communities and families. As a former Philadelphia resident, I also can't pass up the rare novel set in Philly!

Recursion by Blake Crouch

I have a soft spot for sci-fi/speculative thrillers, and Blake Crouch is the master of this genre. Recursion has a fabulous and fresh conceit about memory and perception, and I won't say anymore because I don't want to spoil it. But this book is page-turning book candy, and it also really made me think about the role memory has had in shaping my identity. As always with Crouch, what makes this book so good is the way that he uses his sci-fi concepts to talk about love and relationships. I felt attached to these characters from page one!

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