June 13, 2016

In preparation for #SummerWords 2016, we wanted to share some of our favorite reads by the featured authors and faculty. These titles explore everything from the humorous but painful experience of caring for an aging parent, to road tripping with a great American writer, and a teacher’s elaborate seduction of her student. 

All of these books, and several others by our faculty, will be available at the Summer Words bookstore at The Gant Conference Center and at the Belly Up following the evening panels. Featured authors will be signing books at each event. Special thanks to Explore Booksellers, our local indie, for partnering with us.


SUMMERLONGSummerlong, by Dean Bakopoulos
“[A] sexy but surprisingly poignant new novel…Bakopoulos’s greatest talent is his ability to mix ribald comedy with heartfelt sorrow.”
―Ron Charles, Washington Post

FunnyOnce_HC_Cvr_Cat_NewFunny Once, by Antonya Nelson
“Antonya Nelson’s gloriously debauched new collection, Funny Once, finds that conventions are made for flouting, from an eminent professor who sleeps with his young wife’s best friend to former college competitors who embark on a lost weekend.” ―Vogue

bernadetteWhere’d You Go Bernadette, by Maria Semple 
“Comedy heaven…. This divinely funny, many-faceted novel…leaves convention behind.”
―Janet Maslin, The New York Times


obitThe Obituary Writer, Ann Hood 
The Obituary Writer is an unflinching exploration of loss and the love that somehow remains, one that both wounds and heals. This is a deeply engaging and moving book.”
―Andre Dubus III



Tampa, by Alissa Nutting

“Impeccably written, full of smart cultural observations, and no small amount of wit…A very bold book.”
―Daily Beast


heavenHeaven, by Rowan Ricardo Phillips
“Phillips demonstrates extraordinary range and remarkable acuity . . . Consistently smart and clearly talented, Phillips is one to read now and to watch for in the future.”
―Diego Baez, Booklist 


happy marriage jacketThis Is the Story of a Happy Marriage, by Ann Patchett
“Each of the essays is its own delight and resonates with warmth and humor… If read straight through, the book presents a lovely and lyrical look at a life well lived.”
Library Journal

bettyvilleBettyville, by George Hodgman
“A gorgeously constructed memoir . . . Hodgman creates an unforgettable portrait of his mother, Betty—a strong-willed nonagenarian struggling against the slow-motion breakdown of her mind and body. He evokes her with wit and tenderness.”
The New York Times Book Review

half lifeHalf A Life, by Darin Strauss
“A book that inspires admiration, sentence by sentence . . . This is a memoir in its finest form, a fully imagined and bittersweet book that transcends a single misstep.”
Chicago Tribune

when breath becomes air cover-web smallerWhen Breath Becomes Air, by Paul Kalanithi 
“This is one of a handful of books I consider to be a universal donor—I would recommend it to anyone, everyone.”
—Ann Patchett

lipskyAlthough of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip With David Foster Wallace, by David Lipsky
“Lipsky’s transcript of their brilliant conversations reads like a two-man Tom Stoppard play or a four-handed duet scored for typewriter.”
—Lev Grossman, Time Magazine

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