The Summer Stack
Hour of the Land by Terry Tempest Williams - ‘How might these public commons brings us back to a united state of humility?...If we can learn to listen to the land, we can learn to listen to each other. This is the beginning of ceremony.’ I can’t think of a better read to take on an open road this summer and ask the big questions. What’s citizenship, reconciliation, reverent activism, radical neighborhood?
Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging by Sebastian Junger - amazing what this guy does in a few pages. Profound exploration of the power of belonging.
The Overstory: Richard Powers - "She stands with her nose in the bark, perversely intimate. She doses herself for a long time, like a hospice patient self-administering the morphine." Sequoias, veterans, artificial intelligence, awe.
The Terrible by Yrsa Daley-Ward - lyrical, realist, starry-eyed, world-wise African-British coming of age.
Feel Free by Zadie Smith - anything Zadie Smith writes is a piñata.
The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Bessel van der Kolk - we know it's true, in our guts, our bones. Here's the science.
Coming to My Senses: The Making of a Counterculture Cook by Alice Waters - Sometimes Wonderwoman looks like a petite Jersey girl who eats her way through France, and lands—in the truest, rootsiest sense—in San Francisco, quietly starting an American food revolution served on second-hand china and plywood tables.
Devotion by Patti Smith - PS's diary. What more do you want?
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones - god, the layers. Can we open a bottle and talk about this? Potential-drenched romance, incarceration, fidelity, infidelity, and the two-sidedness of everything. And sentences like this: I didn't even go for a diamond at all, choosing instead a dark oval cut ruby, shot through with fire, mounted on a plain gold band. It was as though her singing voice has been solidified into a jewel." "Even when she was a little girl her voice was like the middle of the night. Singing, she wounded and healed both." "He was lonely in the way only a ladies man can be."
The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner - prison, sex work, isolation, absurdity, unflinching comic grace.
Meaty by Samantha Irby - fearlessly irreverent relief.
Calypso by David Sedaris - save this for the hottest, worst, longest travel/breakup/training day of the summer.
Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari - big questions, a big lens. The best artists make the world strange, as does Harari's bold, paradigm-shifting science.