by Matthew Sitman
It's been the summer of 50 Shades of Grey, but Amanda Katz shows that many have resisted the trend with their beach reading:
What these atypical summer reads say about us:
[T]hese less obviously summery books show just how individual our reading pleasures are. The best-seller list is where we meet, around the books that almost everyone likes; at the margins, we disperse toward our own idiosyncratic interests and tastes. Thus, when asked to recommend summer reading for a general audience recently, I didn't quite have the nerve to suggest Geoff Dyer's weird, funny Zona, a book that marshals a shot-by-shot recounting of a Tarkovsky film into a succinct meditation on criticism and existence. Only an alien, or a film professor, would consider it a Hot Summer Read. Nevertheless, it's one of the books I most enjoyed in recent months, and some people — not all — would find it an excellent vacation companion.
If you are looking for vexing, non-trendy vacation reading, see Emily Wilkinson and Garth Hallberg's list of the top ten most difficult books at Publisher's Weekly.