Top 15: Books for the Summer 2016

Collage der Sommerleseliste
©Collage: Oriane Baud / Image "Bike": James Johnston

Editor Friederike Schilbach put together her top 15 reading tips for us

Back when I wrote my first book with Jessica Weiss, we worked with Friederike. As an editor, I learned to value her expertise, and today (that was now an unbelievable seven years ago) I follow her day-to-day life at every turn as a good, intelligent mind with an impressive feel for books. Moreover, I love her humor and her warmth.

One morning an email fluttered into my inbox, a selfie of her apricot-colored pants with the comment: look, I was talking about these when you did your last interview with me. The memory of a fox, paired with the ability to conjure up a smile on my face for the rest of the day. F., as I call her, regularly shares her reading tips, Listen, on Facebook – which in my opinion call for more attention. Which makes me even more pleased to be able to introduce her Summer Edition, especially complied for us, here:

Nigel Nicolson, History of a Marriage

Nicolson tells the story of his parents, Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicolson, who lived in Sissinghurst Castle, surrounded by a wonderful garden. They had many affairs and an incredibly happy marriage at the same time.

Lisa Hannawalt, Hot Dog Taste Test

The coolest comic ever. Someone once said about the author: “She is the Matisse of the buffet line, the O’Keeffe of the fish ball, and the Vermeer of the pigeon with a hot dog in its beak.”

Luca Dotti, Audrey at Home

A book by Audrey Hepburn’s son, with private photos from the family album and Audrey’s recipes, penne alla vodka among them.

French Love Poems

It’s true what the New Directions Publishing writes: “The perfect gift for the one who makes your heart flutter.”

Charles Foster, Being a Beast

An eccentric book from England, by a researcher who goes out into nature to live in the free wild like badgers, otters, deer, and foxes. Sounds crazy, but it’s great.

Virginia Woolf, Flush

A classic that I finally want to read, told from the perspective of a cocker spaniel.

Gavin Edwards, The Tao of Bill Murray

A book on the life philosophy of Bill Murray, in which you’ll find wonderful sentences like “Surprise is golden. Randomness is lobster.”

Rebecca Schiff, The Bed Moved

I wish that this book had more than 139 pages. The stories it includes are called “My Allergies Will Charm You”, “Rate Me”, and “World Trade Date”.

Mercè Rodoreda, Der Garten über dem Meer

A discrete book: six summers long, a gardener observed the comings and goings of the young, rich owners of a magnificent house above the sea. The received their friends from Barcelona, ride water skis, throw parties, have fun. But of course the gardener picks up on something more – he knows everything about love, loss, jealousy, and loneliness. (Editor’s note: unfortunately, this title has not been translated into English, but is available in Catalan and German.)

Claudia Rankine, Citizen

The political book of the hour. Rankine writes sentences like “Because white men can’t/ police their imagination/ black men are dying.”

Andrea Grill, Schmetterlinge

What does a butterfly feel? What does it think? Does it possibly dream? Answers in this portrait of an insect. (Editor’s note: unfortunately, this title has not been translated into English, but is available in German.)

Lucia Berlin, Was ich sonst noch verpasst habe

Here, still no one knows about her, but her short stories are great.

Rivka Galchen, Little Labors

I love this little orange book and have already been carrying around with me all summer. It’s full of stories about babies, feelings, Cheerios, Rumpelstiltskin, literature, and a nasty neighbor.

Ocean Vuong, Night Sky With Exit Wounds

My favorite poetry book of the year. At first, I just thought the author’s first name was great, but then I started reading and was enchanted right away.

Maggie Nelson, Bluets

A book in which the author falls in love with the color blue on the first page shouldn’t be missing from any beach.

You can get our Top 15: Books for the Summer 2016 here.

Friederike Schilbach is an editor at S. Fischer and along with many others, prepared Jarett Kobek’s book “I Hate the Internet”, which came out in October. (Editor’s note: this refers to the German language translation. The original English language book was published in February 2016.)

©Alex de Brabant

Julia co-founded one of the first fashion blogs in Germany in 2007 and became a freelance consultant for digital strategies after publishing her first book in 2010. After an eventful four years with Condé Nast working mainly in the digital department of Vogue Germany, she decided to launch her own online magazine with her dream partner, Veronika Heilbrunner. She is based in Berlin and loves to read books.