Michael Cunningham's 5 Summer Must-Reads (The Guy Won A Pulitzer!)

UPDATE: Looks like it's a good weekend to snuggle up to your good friend, the book. Yes, remember him, the one you ditched post-college? Take advantage of the weather and get really cozy with an expert-recommended read. This article was originally published June 13.
We obviously like to party, but that doesn't mean we can't take it easy, too. You know, cuddle up with a nice summer book (and sure, a glass of rose, too). But as far as knowing which read to get cozy with, there's no better literary guru to turn to than Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Cunningham. Since we've lost days to his epic tomes — The Hours, A Home At The End Of The World, Specimen Days — we thought his own reading list would prove to be more than inspiring. Luckily, the author obliged (and told us why!)...so get your bookmark tool ready. From the best children's book that's not just for kids, to the contemporary Austen novel, to the guilty pleasure series everyone's talking about, these novels are easy and total musts for the beach (or the rooftop), but aren't your average chick-lit fare. R29 book club, anyone?
Click through for five summer must-reads c/o the brilliant Michael Cunningham.
1 of 5
Chad Harbach, The Art of Fielding 
"It’s an amazingly accomplished first novel by a young writer who may very well have a significant future ahead of him. It’s emotional and funny. It’s about baseball.  What more need be said?"

"The Art of Fielding," $15, available at Book Culture, 536 West 112t Street (at Broadway); 212-865-1588.

Photo: Via Goodreads
2 of 5
Philip Pullman, The Golden Compass trilogy 
"You have to read these three books.  What better time than to start this summer?"

"The Golden Compass," $8, available at Barnes & Noble, 396 6 Avenue (at 8th Street); 212-674-8780.

Photo: Via Amazon
3 of 5
Neil Gaiman, The Graveyard Book 
This isn’t such a new one — it was published in 2008 — but it’s one of the best children’s books that works every bit as well for adults.  It’s just scary enough. It’s a kick.  If you haven’t read it yet, summer of 2012 does seem auspicious."

"The Graveyard Book," $8, available at Barnes & Noble, 396 6 Avenue (at 8th Street); 212-674-8780.

Photo: Via Bricabook.com
4 of 5
Arthur Phillips, The Tragedy of Arthur 
"A marvelous novel that revolves around the discovery of a lost play by Shakespeare. Does Phillips actually write the lost play? He does? Does he pull it off? I think so."

"The Tragedy of Arthur," $13, available at The Strand, 828 Broadway (at 12th Street); 212-473-1452.

Photo: Via Washington Post
5 of 5
Cathleen Schine, The Three Weissmanns of Westport
"As close to a contemporary Jane Austen as we’re going to get. And it’s not as if it’s merely a good proximity to Austen. It’s Schine as well, who is a marvelous writer, and currently not nearly as famous as she ought to be."

"The Three Weissmanns of Westport," $11, available at Barnes & Noble, 396 6 Avenue (at 8th Street); 212-674-8780.

Photo: Via Barnes & Noble

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