Elizabeth Gilbert's Summer Reading List -- Yours?

Tuesday, June 24, 2014 - 12:53 PM

summer books reading (alwaysbecool/flickr)

No surprise, your favorite authors have favorite authors. On Tuesday, best-selling author Elizabeth Gilbert will be on to discuss her latest novel, "A Signature of All Things," her approach to writing, and some of her favorite summer books.

Here is her list, if you're looking to pick up something this summer.

Books Gilbert Is Hoping to Read This Summer

Some Of Gilbert's All-Time Summer Favorites

Now -- what's on yours? Add it to the comments and we'll compile on the site.


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Comments [27]


We have listed 17 additional top favorite reads of Elizabeth Gilbert here - should we add more to the list?

Dec. 11 2014 01:27 PM
Caroline from Connecticut

Me Before You by JoJo Moyes is a must read - in fact, I have enjoyed everything she's written, but this one is a real keeper.

Aug. 22 2014 11:36 AM
Lucia from Kensington Brooklyn

I just read Birds Without Wings, which has stirred an interest in WWI and its aftermath in Turkey and Greece. I read The Summer Book several yrs ago and remember it as slow and calming, like the island it's situated on. The only similar book I can recall is Sarah Orne Jewett's The Country of the Pointed Firs, where she moves around the Maine coast and its islands a century ago. I will check out the rest of her recommendations. I already have The Flamethrowers on my shelf. I will check out the rest of Elizabeth Gilbert's recommendations.

Aug. 15 2014 11:32 AM
Millie Ehrlich

I recommend Erica Miles' DAZZLED BY DARKNESS/ SEEING THINGS IN BROOKLYN, a well-crafted work about art and relationships, set in 1960's Brooklyn, about a mixed race relationship between an artist who hallucinates and a semi-psychotic poet who hears voices.

Aug. 15 2014 11:10 AM
Linda from New York City

Summer Reads 2014:
The Fortune of the Rougons-Zola
The Echo Maker-Powers
In addition to the following: New York Review of Books, The New Yorker, and London Review of Books.

Jul. 21 2014 10:53 AM
Barbara McFadden from Mountain Lakes

Family Life by Akhil Sharma
Stillwater by Nicole Helget
The Lowland by Jhumpi Lahari
One of Ours by Willa Cather

Jun. 28 2014 09:10 PM
Eugenia Renskoff from NYC

Hi, As an author and writer, I suggest my own novel Different Flags. It is available on Kindle at Eugenia Renskoff

Jun. 27 2014 02:39 PM
Karen from New Jersey

Although I usually read more fiction over the summer, this non-fiction book that a friend recommended to me was extremely readable, intelligent and inspirational. The book is called, THE MISSING LINK by Steve Heisler. The way he writes about the critical success skills that students require is like having a great conversation with your favorite professor. This book is giving me new ideas and energy for the work ahead.

Jun. 26 2014 08:47 PM
Carrie from Boonton, NJ

I love Paulo Coehlo's "The Alchemist". I've read it several times, including aloud to my son one Summer while vacationing in Maine. I've loaned out my copy of the book often enough to have to replace it four times -- it seems others love it, too, and it seems if they NEED it, they should have it!

Jun. 25 2014 11:01 AM
Patricia Gandolfini from Midland Park NJ

For anyone middle-aged who spent their formative years at the Jersey Shore, this will be an eye-opener: Tom's River by Dan Fagin. Won Pulitzer 2014 for non fiction. Gives the history of the chemical industry, how they wound up in NJ, how a Town coped/cooperated/ and suffered because of the chemical industry. And the shore probably suffered during those years of dumping. Hard to put down, but then again, it gets so upsetting.

Jun. 25 2014 10:55 AM
Jeff from Brooklyn

After hearing Brian Lehrer interview Tom Franklin about his book "Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter" I went right out and bought it. It is now one of my favorite books and a perfect summer read - enticing crime element with great character development. Other recs: "Beautiful Ruins" by Walter, "City of Thieves" by Benioff, "The Art of Fielding" by Harbach, "Kings of Cool" by Winslow, "The Brothers K" by Duncan, and the classic that I can read over and over again, "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Lee.

Jun. 25 2014 09:27 AM

One of the best summer reads I've ever had was WAR AND PEACE. I also recommend A FINE BALANCE by Royntan Mistry.

Jun. 24 2014 09:35 PM
Aimee from Lewes, DE

The Emperor of All Maladies
The Aviator's Wife
The Invisible Wall
Blood Tango
The Oceans of Life

Jun. 24 2014 07:58 PM
Helen Stein from Roslyn, NY 11576

I've heard good things about A Replacement Life by Fishman. It seems to be on every book groups suggested reading list.
Anyone read it yet?

Jun. 24 2014 06:56 PM
Jeff from Brooklyn

Looking forward to finally getting around to UNDER THE VOLCANO by Malcolm Lowry.

Jun. 24 2014 06:52 PM
designwriter from Manhattan

Like so many of the friends whose taste I respect, I loved The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. Couldn't put it down. Feeling a bit rudderless read-wise now that I've finished it. Ms. Gilbert's suggestions give welcome direction.

Jun. 24 2014 11:35 AM
Joan K Davidson from New York

having done various programs on the pleas
ure of travel, how about doing a show on the pleasure of staying home? I believe it was

Emerson who said, on his deathbed, "I have travelled much in

Jun. 24 2014 11:33 AM
Pat from Maplewood

I generally detest mystery novels but I can highly recommend the novels of Donna Leon, The Commissario Brunetti Mysteries. They are set in a vividly described Venice, and the main character is principled, compassionate, and complex. She's written about 22 of them, I've read about seven, and my husband has read all of them. They're that good.

Jun. 24 2014 11:21 AM
Erica from UWS

For big and juicy, 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami - a true can't-put-it-down read.
For a smaller, easier to carry to the beach Murakami, read Kafka on the Shore.

Also, Khaled Hosseini is a fabulous story teller; The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns give a wonderful perspective on Afghanistan that the news just cannot supply.

At this time of the World Cup, I have to tell Elizabeth Gilbert that her description of the soccer match in Eat, Pray, Love made me laugh out loud hysterically.

Jun. 24 2014 11:20 AM
Looloo from NYC

Read Bad Monkey by Carl Hiaansen! Set in Florida and Bahamas and includes rampant land development, degradation of environment, corrupt politics, exhausted and underfunded law enforcement, horny voodoo witch, wacko heros, restaurant inspections that will make you eat in for rest of your life, smart sexy women and men, horrible but sympathetic villains, all formerly idealistic but now twisted from reality. And did I mention mention murder and mysterious body parts! And a really bad monkey comes to the rescue! Read it, it's a must for the summer. You will laugh out loud! often!

Jun. 24 2014 11:16 AM
Carol Barbieri from Long Branch, NJ

For me, it's Mark Twain in the summer and Charles Dickens in the winter. But one book I can read again and again is "The Alienist," by Caleb Carr. Great writing, a great mystery, and New York City in 1896. I love this book!

Jun. 24 2014 11:07 AM
Elisabet Cairo from LIC, NY

Oblomov by Ivan Goncharov
The Stranger by Albert Camus
Kanthapura by Raja Rao
Fear and Trembling by Soren Kierkegaard
Just to Be Held by Elisabet Cairo

Jun. 24 2014 10:58 AM
Susan from Brooklyn, NY

I loved Americanah, but I'm looking forward to digging into Hotel Florida by Amanda Vaill.

Jun. 24 2014 10:29 AM
Linda Mompalao from Staten Island

I love reading a travel-themed book each and every summer.
This year it'll be " Ramage in Italy" by Ramage, with forward by Harold Acton... In 1828 at the age of 24, Ramage, tutor to the sons of the British consul at Naples, set off on a solitary tour of southern Italy "in search of its ancient remains and local superstitions..."
Wish they'd make this a movie! I love reading books written befor World War One...they have a tenderness of word and an innocence in discovery.

Jun. 24 2014 10:21 AM

I've just completed Patrick Leigh Fermor's A Time of Gifts and Between the Woods and the Water and am looking forward to reading Broken Road, recently published, about his travels and observations made while walking across Europe in 1934.

Jun. 23 2014 09:17 PM
Suzanne from Brooklyn, NY

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I heard it was amazing.

Jun. 23 2014 02:45 PM
Sue from Westchester, NY

I am sitting on my hands to keep from reading We Were Liars, by E. Lockhart, which I'm saving for an upcoming trip to Mexico.

For our annual week on the Cape later in the summer, I've got an ARC of We Are Not Ourselves by Matthew Thomas and Emma Straub's The Vacationers.

Jun. 23 2014 02:10 PM

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