With the summer in full swing, you may finally have time to read all those books you said you would -- but let's be honest: even good reads require good timing.
Activity: Enjoying the backyard breeze
Many of us neglect our porches/balconies/decks and yards most of the year, but summer allows us to make good use of them. New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast's illustrated memoir about her ageing parents is funny, sweet, relatable and touching. Go through all the motions outside in the warmth before your feelings are confined to indoor spaces. Remember, the cold air will return (likely with a polar vengeance).
Activity: Nursing a Netflix binge hangover
Sometimes summer means sitting inside an air-conditioned room and binging on all those shows you couldn't follow during the year. Actress and constant co-star Judy Greer, who is tired of folks wondering what they know her from, has penned a hilarious collection of essays that range in topics from fans telling her she's prettier in person to midnight Walgreens trips. Pair this book with the latest season of Archer and your day is made.
Activity: Freaking people out at a bonfire
Sitting around a bonfire? Need a spooky story? Too lazy to come up with your own? It's Stephen King to the rescue! This sequel to The Shining features a middle aged Danny Torrance who's been haunted by his experience at the Overlook Hotel for decades and must now save a young girl from murderous paranormal-types. This book won't just scare you, but remind you of how long it's been since the first one -- and that's truly frightening.
Activity: Drinking in a beautiful beach day
A day at the beach is best spent with good friends and lots of laughs, but when your pals are away, how will you play? Buddy up to Zarqa Nawaz's new book, and we promise: laughs are included. (She is the creator of the hilarious Little Mosque on the Prairie after all!) Lay back in the sun, immerse yourself in side-splitting stories of culture clash, and learn why the Qur'an has deemed McDonald's a-okay, but only if you order the fish fillet.
Activity: Walking around town
Take advantage of the fleeting summer heat with a leisurely walk home after work accompanied by everyone's favourite temp, B.J. Novak. Don't worry about walking and reading, because this title is also available as an audiobook
! And when you have famous friends, you get all of them to lend their voices to narrate the stories in your book -- right? So Mindy Kaling, Lena Dunham, and Rainn Wilson -- just to name a few -- will be joining you too.
Activity: Impressing friends on barbecue night
You know what will add spice to your barbecue night? If you've somehow acquired all this knowledge about food trends to make your evening not only tasty, but educational. David Sax trekked across America to uncover how mouth-watering trends emerge and even had the privilege of attending Chicago's Baconfest. Show off how savvy you are about food trends and let your guests know that kale is just a fad.
Activity: Cottage weekend
No weekend spent in cottage country is complete without a good book and a lake to read it beside (or in, if you're clumsy). Cousins Jillian and Mariko Tamaki joined forces to create this illustrated book about two pre-teen girls vacationing in a lakefront town modelled after Ontario's Muskoka region, so bonus points if you read this one while cottaging there. Pull up a chair named after the setting and get lost in summer nostalgia.
Activity: Adventuring on a road trip
Don't worry, we're not encouraging you to read and drive, just hoping you'll consider picking up a hitchhiker -- because sometimes that hitchhiker is John Waters. The audiobook
of his latest title, narrated by the man himself, follows Waters as he hitchhikes from his home in Baltimore to his apartment in San Francisco. Hit the road listening to the adventures of a man who's hitchhiking ice breaker is a sign that reads, "I'm not psycho."
Activity: Pre-fall organization
With August (otherwise known as the Sunday of months) around the corner, we must soon prep for fall -- whether that means getting back to school or just out of your summer head space. Randi Zuckerberg's book about navigating the online world, without burning bridges or losing face, is just the read you need to reorganize your web life before you start regretting all those tagged photos from summer celebrations come September.