I Declare These the Best Books of Summer 2013


Much unlike many a magazine editor who recommends you buy all sorts of crap that they most likely got for free, your Jezebel staff doesn’t get jack shit (other than books, unsolicited). And that’s how it should be. But on our own time, in our personal lives, we still buy stuff. So this is Worth It, our recommendation of random things that we’ve actually spent our own money on. These are the things we buy regularly or really like, things we’d actually tell our friends about. And now we’re telling you.

I said they’re the best books of summer 2013, but I’m not sure these all came out. It’s just when I read them, and I think we can all agree, that is what matters.

Let’s dive right in before that asshole winter robs us of our final rays of delicious sunshine.

As pictures above, my four favorite summer reads were Calling Dr. Laura by Nicole Georges, Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple, Lost Cat by Caroline Paul (drawings by the ridiculously talented Wendy MacNaughton), and If You Lived Here, You’d Be Perfect By Now (The Unofficial Guide to Sweet Valley High) by Robin Hardwick.

Since I’m not going to write a review of each one, I’ll just say that you have to read all of them because they’re each amazing and special in their own way. Okay, fine, really quickly.

Calling Dr. Laura by Nicole Georges. You’ll love this gorgeous graphic novel if you love a funny/heart-breaking growing up tales. Like, if you enjoy David Sedaris, Running With Scissors by Augusten Burroughs, or Fun Home by Allison Bechdel, you’ll really get into this. It’s so great.

Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple. Such a good story from the mind of a woman who wrote for Beverly Hills, 90210, Mad About You, Saturday Night Live, Arrested Development, Suddenly Susan and Ellen. I don’t think there is anymore more to say but read it immediately.

Lost Cat by Caroline Paul (drawings by Wendy MacNaughton). A beautifully illustrated, touching, and often hilarious tale of searching for a cat gone missing. If you love animals, you will love this. (I’m terrible at blurbs, but you should really read this.)

If You Lived Here, You’d Be Perfect By Now (The Unofficial Guide to Sweet Valley High) by Robin Hardwick. If you read Sweet Valley High growing up, you will devour this critical breakdown of the series. You HAVE to read it. I laughed and laughed so much; it’s such a great ride. Hardwick dissects every issue, and it brings back so many memories. Plus, she really gets to the heart of why these books are so incredibly fucked up for young women to read. Eyes the color of the pacific ocean 4 lyfe.

Oh, and an honorary mention goes to the very enjoyable The Big Feminist But: Comics about Women, Men and the IFs, ANDs and BUTs of Feminism, which, as the title directly states, is a collection of (brilliant, funny, touching, sweet, dark, righteous) comics on the topic of feminism.

Your turn! What books do we all have to read so we can be smarter, better, faster, stronger, lazier, happier, etc?

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