Culture Pick | Four favorite summer reads

Culture Desk

Summer is the time for sitting by the pool, catching a plane to travel, going on road trips with friends or relaxing at home. One of the best ways to pass the time is to pick up a good book and start reading. 

 Here are some of the culture desk’s summer reading plans.  

‘The Lost Summers of Newport’ by Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig and Karen White 

Zara Morgan, a staff reporter, is reading “The Lost Summers of Newport” this summer.  

“I enjoy reading this book, because the characters have depth and the story is intriguing, but the setting also gives off those summer vibes everyone’s looking for at the pool,” Morgan said.  

Across three timelines, the authors share the mansion mystery of Sprague Hall in Newport. “The Lost Summers of Newport” is a story of family secrets, running away from the past and changing perspective. 

“These types of books are great because they feel like I’m reading someone else’s gossip, but at the same time having a conversation with an old friend,” Morgan said.  

‘These Silent Woods’ by Kimi Cunningham Grant 

McKenzie Knight, a contributing writer, is reading “These Silent Woods.”  

Similarly to “The Lost Summers of Newport,” the novel “These Silent Woods” is mysterious and involves people running away from the past. Cooper and his young daughter, Finch, have been living off the grid for eight years, but Finch has started to push back. 

“I’m a big fan of books that are about people coming to terms with events and happenings of their past, but having this one set in the woods and a remote location adds an element that was too good for me to pass up,” Knight said.  

When most people think of summer, they think of light beach reads. Knight said that she chose this book because she wanted to read something a bit heavier for a change of pace.  

“It just felt super eerie,” Knight said. “I wanted something that felt like a contrast of the generic positivity of summer, and it certainly provided that.”  

‘The Secret History’ by Donna Tartt  

Savannah Ichikawa, culture editor, is reading “The Secret History.” 

“The Secret History” is set in an elite New England college. It follows a set of students who are slowly being turned from obsession to corruption, and finally evil, by a charismatic classics professor.  

“I loved the overall writing style because it keeps the reader engaged,” Ichikawa said.  

The author has a way of making you fall in love with the characters, and the story is unique.  

“Not only was the plot mysterious, but you also end up loving the characters even though they are flawed,” Ichikawa said. “It is different than other books I’ve read.”  

‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’ by Oscar Wilde 

Rainey Hill, the assistant culture editor, is reading “The Picture of Dorian Gray.”  

For many, summer represents the prime of one’s life, but what if youth was a prison instead of years to cherish? “The Picture of Dorian Gray” is a classic that follows the ever-young main character, Dorian Gray, who sinks into crime and gross sensuality.  

“The theme is the cost of one’s sin and redemption,” Hill said. “Once one gets past the verbose writing style, Wilde’s imagery is elaborate.” 

The book is immersive and complex. 

“The reader feels like a part of every scene, and in the end, it is more than just a story,” Hill said. “I like it because it teaches a lesson about actions and consequences.”