Growing up, the only way you could get me to open up a book was if it earned me a few points with the Pizza Hut Book It program. But that was then. These days there’s nothing quite like cracking open a book on a nice summer day and digging in. So for any avid readers out there, here’s my list of summer reads.
Scale by Keith Buckley
Keith Buckley is the lead singer of the band Every Time I Die. The metalcore/rock outfit has been one of my favorite bands for the past 15 years and Buckley, one of my favorite lyricists. He has a unique grasp on the language and given his vernacular, you can tell he studied English while in college. With his songs, Buckley creates a world where the underdog strives and savagery rules. And in his first novel, this sort of chaos exists as well. Scale chronicles the dysfunctional life of Ray Goldman, a 31-year-old indie rock musician as he searches for truth and happiness. The book is loosely based off of events in Buckley’s life and is a must read for any music fan, and those who seek the human existence.
But What If We’re Wrong: Thinking about the Present as if it were the Past by Chuck Klosterman
I got introduced to the writing of Chuck Klosterman during his days with Spin and GQ. Although he can certainly be that pompous rock critic at times, Klosterman’s columns and essays always have always had a unique perspective on music, but it’s his take on pop culture that made him stand apart. But What If We’re Wrong is Klosterman’s newest book and is a take on our current world and how those in the future will perceive it. The book is built on interviews with a variety of creative thinkers including David Byrne, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Brian Greene, Junot Díaz, Amanda Petrusich, Ryan Adams, Nick Bostrom, Dan Carlin, and Richard Linklater, and of course is intermitted with Klosterman’s unique humor and perspective.
On The Road by Jack Kerouac
On The Road has become one of those cult classic books, one that people either love or have oddly somehow never even heard about. The book, originally published in 1957, unwillingly launched Kerouac into fame as the unabashed leader of the beat and counterculture generations. It’s based off the life of Kerouac and his friends as they travel across America. Anyone who’s ever longed for more out of life, to explore the unknown, or just wanted to hit the open road for an adventure can relate to the book. Kerouac’s style is frantic and chaotic; fueled by copious amounts of booze and drugs. But within that world, he strikes a nerve with what many of us are feeling. On The Road is one of my all time favorite books, and an essential summertime read.