Yes, there are bragging rights allowed when you're able to check out the new It book before it blows up to Fifty Shades of Grey-sized proportions of fame. However, when it comes to summer reading, there's something about an old favorite that's even more fulfilling. With the lazy, hazy days calling for a bit of nostalgia, some of the Refinery29 editors decided to return to their own favorite piece of written work that continues to captivate no matter how many times the pages have been creased. With a mix of a old (and some newer) selects, we got the scoop from a few R29ers about the stories they're currently (and, in some cases, always) hooked on.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
"I like to reread this book every summer, because it's light and beautiful — and it makes me truly happy. Set in the Channel Islands during and after German occupation, this is a fascinating, historical story. But more importantly, it's a phenomenal portrait of some of the most eccentric, endearing characters I've ever met. Every time I put this book down, I feel a real sense of loss, leaving Juliet Ashton and the residents of Guernsey — and all of their letter-writing — behind."
—Neha Gandhi, deputy editor
"The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society," by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows, $10.20, available at Amazon.
Haunting Legacy: Vietnam and the American Presidency From Ford to Obama, by Marvin Kalb and Deborah Kalb
"This book isn't my usual literature fare (I'm more of a David Sedaris kind of gal), but the authors did a book talk with my man's policy firm so I've been meaning to give it a try. Surprisingly, I can't put it down! It's a riveting look at the consequences of the Vietnam War, from the hostages in Tehran to our war in Afghanistan, and the authors do a beautiful job of making history exciting. I definitely recommend it for any of you who accidentally snoozed through high-school social studies, or are looking for a break from The Hunger Games of the book world."
—Seija Rankin, East Coast editorial assistant
"Haunting Legacy: Vietnam and the American Presidency From Ford to Obama," by Marvin Kalb and Deborah Kalb, $24.95, available at Amazon.
On The Road, by Jack Kerouac
"My idea of a perfect summer afternoon is lounging shoreside in the picturesque Big Sur — it's one of my favored destinations in California. So, naturally, I am transfixed with the beat-generation classic that is On The Road. It's one of those tomes I find new meaning in each time. It instantly takes me back to adventurous summer days spent prowling the Ventana Wilderness."
—Angela Tafoya, S.F. editor
"On The Road," by Jack Kerouac, $9.62, available at Amazon.
Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand
"This is actually my third time reading this tome (at over a 1,000 pages, it's a hair daunting, yes, but probably my fave book of all time). Essentially, it weaves together themes of capitalism and objectivism with a captivating story centered around romance and sci-fi — hard to imagine. The protagonist, Dagny Taggart, is an enigmatic seeker of all truths, and I can't think of anything better to curl up with on a lazy Sunday afternoon to inspire me to keep believing in the absolute power of your own creativity and doing what you love."
—Jessica Teves, managing editor
"Atlas Shrugged," by Ayn Rand, $16.47, available at Amazon.
Slouching Toward Bethlehem, by Joan Didion
"Didion's fly-on-the-wall way of telling a story really brings to life her home state of California — which I had never been to until this March and suddenly found myself relating parts of my trip to this very book. While it was her essay "On Keeping A Notebook" that first hooked me (in a journalism course, of course), this entire collection of stories is an amazing read — journo or not — for anyone else who prefers an insider's view of history (in this case San Fran and various other parts of the West Coast circa the '60s) to any textbook."
—Gina Marinelli, editorial assistant
"Slouching Toward Bethlehem," by Joan Didion, $9.03, available at Amazon.
Now that you're prepped to turn pages, we want to know which book you'll be reading ASAP. And, in case you need some extra help, "Like" this post up at the top and add your reading select below for a chance to win one of three $50 Amazon gift cards!