Summer Reading Guide 2024: We’re going to Book Camp!

3 days ago 4

[00:00:00] ANNE BOGEL: What do we say? Pages riffling? No drum rolls in Book Club. Pages riffling.

Hey readers, I'm Anne Bogel and this is What Should I Read Next?. Welcome to the show that's dedicated to answering the question that plagues every reader, what should I read next? We don't get bossy on this show. What we will do here is give you the information you need to choose your next read.

This week it's all summer reads because our 2024 Summer Reading Guide is coming this week. There's still time to preorder your guide and join us for the live unboxing party. As you will hear in today's conversation, our Summer Reading Guide is one of the highlights of my year and I think our team's year.

I have spent months reading and vetting both anticipated new releases and under-the-radar gems I want to find just for you and then put together this list of 42 titles with something for every reader.

Our guide also includes titles handpicked by our team here at What Should I Read Next HQ. We're doing it a little bit differently this year, and I think you're gonna like it.

[00:01:11] During our live unboxing party, which we hold twice because we know so many of you are joining from time zones around the whole world, I reveal every title in the guide and share why I picked it, always with an eye towards knowing that you're going to rely on what I say to help you decide whether or not that book belongs on your TBR. Not every book is for every reader, and the guide acknowledges that.

We will gather online on Thursday, May 16, at 1 p.m. Eastern Time, and then again at 8:30 p.m. Eastern. If you can't make either of those times, rest assured that our live replay is nearly as much fun as the live event. We've got you covered.

To join us on May 16, visit modernmrsdarcy.com/srg. That's the place where you'll find all the details on how to get your guide and RSVP for our book party. I hope we will see you there.

Now joining me today is our modern Mrs. Darcy Book Club community manager, Ginger Horton. Ginger, welcome to the show.

[00:02:10] GINGER HORTON: Hello, thank you for having me. I really want there to be theme music behind me that starts playing "it's the most nerdiest time of the year". I will not sing live on here for you all but if we can somehow make that happen, magic audio people. Just kidding. But clearly-

ANNE: We're saving that for the live show.

GINGER: I'm excited. That's right. There you go.

ANNE: All right. If you are a member of our Book Club community, you know Ginger well. If you're a What Should I Read Next? listener, well, this isn't the first time we've done this. Ginger and I dove into summer reading together here on What Should I Read Next? in 2021.

Although, Ginger, if you had told me that was last year, I would have believed you. It feels like we just had that conversation.

GINGER: I really thought it was. When you asked me, at first I had to go check. When you said, "You know, would you join me again?" I thought, "Well, I just did that last year, we can't make it a firm tradition."

ANNE: This is not the first time Ginger and I have gotten to talk on the podcast. We dove into summer reading in 2021 and in 2023. And those episodes are so good.

[00:03:09] Ginger, just to embarrass you, like, you... no, no, no. Not everyone's embarrassed. Maybe that's just what I talked about in therapy. But you are so fun and listenable. You have a great radio voice, a great video voice for unboxing and Book Club as well. But y'all, those episodes are a delight. And I know many of you really relate to some of the insights Ginger shared about her reading life.

But today we're excited to help you get ready for our Summer Reading Guide launch this Thursday.

GINGER: I can't wait.

ANNE: Oh my gosh. Well, we've been talking together about summer reading for... I don't think it's unfair to say the entire year. Because every year after the guide, we do a debrief. Like, what do we need to remember for next time? What do we want to do differently? What did we love? What would we maybe change? What do we need to finesse? So we've been talking about the 2024 reading guides since May 2023.

[00:04:01] GINGER: So true. Yeah. Can't come around soon enough for me. I am a summer-loving gal. I love the season. Summer Reading just knocks that up a notch, but I wait all year for May. It might be my favorite month of the year. Reading, hands down. Calendar, probably.

ANNE: Well, it is coming. It is coming. Thursday, May 16th is the day. And you know, for as many years as we've done this and for as big a deal as we made of our like 10th Guide, which was just a few years ago, every year I have to look up to see how many have we done now. It is our 13th year. So our 13 Summer Reading Guide is coming on Thursday.

GINGER: Wow, I cannot believe it. I have been a fan since really early on. I really wish I could remember exactly how I discovered Modern Mrs. Darcy. But I know where I was living and working. So it's been a long, long time that I've looked forward to these as a fan and now as a team member. It just gets more fun every year.

ANNE: Oh, I would have loved to see that little time capsule.

[00:05:01] GINGER: I know. I know. I have these theories because I know what I did at that job and how I might have stumbled upon you. But yeah, so fun.

ANNE: Well, a lot has changed with the reading guide but some things have stayed the same. And that is our... I mean, rather lofty and ambitious. But also very earnest and heartfelt goal with the Summer Reading Guide is to help you get more out of your summer reading life. We want to help you decide what's right for you.

This is not like a declaration from on high like we've read all the books, and these are the ones. No, it's not that at all. It's we've read a ton of books, and have some thoughts about it, like have some insights. We'd like to share what we've discovered and what we're seeing happening in summer 2024.

And then to talk about those books in such a way that you, the readers, can decide, you know what, that sounds like a reading experience I want to have this summer. And some of you get very specific. Like, that's a reading experience I want to have for this specific moment, or this specific trip, or this specific time, or something is happening in my life.

[00:06:08] Also, I genuinely hope that you hear about some of these books at the Unboxing, which is the best way to decide what you do and don't want to read this summer, or just reading through the pages of the guide and go, "Oh, absolutely not. That cover caught my eye, but no, that's not a reading experience I want to have now."

Whether you decide that's a reading experience you want to have in October or you don't want to have it this time in your life, either way, is great with me. But our goal is to put the right books in your hands at the right time.

GINGER: Yes. I generally keep my eyes off of all of the documents that some of you all are working on as much as I can. Sometimes I'll take a little peek. But I want to be surprised and delighted usually at that Unboxing. We have other team members that are better qualified for proofreading. Honestly, usually, I'm just focused on other things like lining up some authors for Book Club.

And so I am always adding books to my TBR, and then yeah, learning about others that I think, Oh, good, I'm glad Anne described it that way. That is a buzzword that other people go, "Ooh, that's for me," and I go, "Ooh, that is super not for me."

[00:07:10] ANNE: What's super not for you?

GINGER: You know, I keep trying and trying and trying to love fantasy. I finally realize sci-fi I'm kind of here for. Fantasy, it's tough on me. One of the things that you'll say is "worldbuilding". Nope, nope, that feels a lot like work to me. I do not want to do a bunch of work to enjoy a story. Just dumped me right in.

Now, here is the problem with the reading life. Because as soon as you make a declaration like that, you'll think of three examples that were the exception to the rule. Like I love N.K. Jemisin's The City We Became, which was on the reading guide a few years back. I took a chance on that one really before I kind of knew this about myself about worldbuilding.

But you know, there's always an exception to the rule. So it's what keeps making me try things. But the longer I do this reading thing, especially in community, the more I realize what was probably going to be surefire wins for me and what probably I can skip.

ANNE: So are you telling me at this moment in time you don't know what the books are?

[00:08:12] GINGER: Oh, I have almost no idea. I have looked once as Brigid-

ANNE: We're so different. I do not have that level of self-control. I love it. I love to hear about it. What a world.

GINGER: I have not always in years past. I think what has happened as Book Club has really grown is really summertime, there's a lot to do. We're actively arranging our summer, adding watch parties and author events, and I am doing a little class in June for Book Club. Like there's a lot to do. So I would like to, but I know if I pop in there, it's going to be two days lost. I'm going to read-

ANNE: You won't come out?

GINGER: I can be there for the Unboxing. Now, I have seen the titles but I have committed to not reading those blurbs until I hear them come out of your mouth on the unboxing. Wish me luck that I have such self-discipline for the next, let's see, 14 days from the moment we're recording, three from the moment that listeners are listening.

ANNE: Oh, I believe in you. Do we need some accountability? We're going to talk to you about this at the Unboxing.

[00:09:14] GINGER: There you go. There you go. Ask me again. I really do feel like part of what I get from that is just the ability to experience it with the readers, with Book Club members, patrons, those people that purchase a la carte. I'm right there with you.

Like I say sometimes, I tease a million times around here that I'm fangirl first and team member second. So yeah, that sort of lets me really live in the moment. And that's my fangirl day.

ANNE: I will say there have been a very few number of things where I have gotten to be an audience member at Book Club instead of a host. Look, I love my job. I love welcoming you all into the space and talking about books with you. Also, it's fun to sit in that chair too. I really enjoy it. I really enjoy my time there.

GINGER: I promise I'll look at the production Doc, I'll know when we need to run polls. I'll know that part of it. But I am not going to know which books are right for me until the moment. And listen, I have also definitely pressed "order" in the middle of an Unboxing before once or twice. That is not something that I will use self-control. No, no, no.

[00:10:16] ANNE: I love that you get excited about good books. I think that means that you're very well suited to your job. So thank you for bringing your entire personality to your work.

GINGER: One thing Donna always says about me is you can count on me to be excitable, which I take as a high compliment.

ANNE: I love that. Now, you and I have spent a lot of time talking about the ways we like to read, both for our own individual sakes, but also in our roles is really like shepherds to our community. So, Ginger, you know that I've learned for my own sake I get the most satisfaction out of my reading life, and I have a healthy mix of old and new.

Now, it is my pleasure and privilege to bring the new, with the Summer Reading Guide, 42 titles that I've read cover to cover and really can't wait to share with you because I think they're going to be really, really right this summer and you're going to be so glad to have found them. Not every reader will fall in love with every single book. But I think on balance, there's so much in these 42 titles that will make so many readers very, very happy.

[00:11:13] But we also love to discover new-to-us older works. I'm a big re-reader of books I've really enjoyed. So this is the tension that I'm constantly feeling in my own reading life, and that we're constantly navigating in Modern Mrs. Darcy Book Club. We say there that we are really looking for two things when we're choosing books: discoverability and discussability. But that means discovering books that are old as well as new.

Also, something we really do with Unboxing in the Summer Reading Guide is help you as readers assess your taste. And to do that, you just need books to think about and talk about. To a large degree, it doesn't matter if they're old or new, but we do it through the lens of these 42 new summer releases, which is a lot of fun and which we really made our marquee event over all these years.

Now, Ginger, because of our different roles at work and our different tastes as readers, independent of our work, we read very differently. I would love to hear a little bit about your experience last spring when every team member chose a book for the guide, and because of that, you read more new books than you typically do.

I was really surprised by your reaction to that. Like, I shouldn't have been. It made perfect sense when you shared it in hindsight, but I did not see that coming. Would you speak to that, your experience there?

[00:12:36] GINGER: I didn't really see it coming either. I think because of a holdover from summer reading in my mind still means sitting on the sofa with a glass of sweet tea, the fan spinning, my mom's in the other room and I've got my high school summer reading list.

Like, I've got to get through these classics, I'm reading Jane Eyre. I think you're in good company here if that does not feel like a dreary task to you but that feels exciting. But I still have this in my head that I should be reading like Anna Karenina or Jane Eyre in the summertime.

Over the years as I've come to the Summer Reading Guide, I think what really changed that a bit for me was community, because I think what I was after reading those old books was to be in the great conversation, to be talking about the books.

Being an old book doesn't mean it's great, and doesn't mean that there's people talking about it being a new book. But what I wanted was people talking about it. Of course, with older books, there are a ton of people talking about it throughout the ages.

[00:13:34] Last spring when you asked us each to contribute a guide book, I started furiously going through some of my favorite authors that I knew had releases coming out. I put my name in for so many ARCs, which, like I mentioned, other members of the team just are better suited to other tasks than I am.

I don't read a lot of ARCs. There are definitely people on our team that pursue a bunch of those, seek them out, read them ahead of time. And what I want is to hear from them. There's a little bit of a safety element when you've heard from people, "Yeah, this is good. This is vetted. This is good." To me, the real fun is, like I said, talking about it. I want to be in the conversation.

Half of reading to me is certainly the moment on the book with the glass of tea and mom's in the other room, but a whole lot of that is when you're sitting around a circle in your English class or you're sitting in the forums, in my case in Book Club. Most of the pleasure, maybe even in my reading life, is talking about books.

So knowing that I was sort of reading in a vacuum, it changed it for me. I was throwing books out right and left. Like, I'd get 30 pages into so many books on that meh, meh, meh. So I really realized how much I rely on, you know, talking about it with other people. Not so much that they're influencing what I like, but I can almost not even figure out if I like a book or not until I'm going to talk about it. So that was a big revelation for me.

[00:14:57] I read more and more new books in the summer now, but I think that's because, talk about safety, I know there's going to be dozens of people in the forums talking about a book. So absolutely, there will be a chance to read in community, even if that book is one day old. One day was yesterday.

ANNE: Okay. Remind us all of what book you chose for the 2023 guide.

GINGER: I would love to. I chose The Postcard. Anne did put this on my radar. The author is Anne Berest. We actually talked with the translator last year in Book Club, Tina Kover. That was a fascinating conversation. I had no idea that that much work went into translating.

I just kind of thought it was like a, well, this word means this, and I'm gonna put that on a page. No, no, no, there is so much more to translating a work and to translate a work that was that fine... I can't say enough good things about The Postcard. It was a page-turner. I got through in two days, though it's 500 pages plus. And I am a slow reader, you all. I read that thing in two days. I couldn't put it down. I wanted to know what was going to happen next.

[00:16:02] It was a hard book. And so in that way, it was almost... It gave me pause to suggest that for the Summer Reading Guide, but I just knew that there were going to be so many people reading it. And, you know, I can't get around this word talking about it. I wanted to talk about it at the end of the day with my fellow readers. I couldn't put that one back on the shelf without "we got to have a conversation about this."

ANNE: I still think about that conversation with Tina Kover all the time.

GINGER: Yes, me too.

ANNE: All the time. We won't go into the details. But I will say that we record all our Modern Mrs Darcy Book Club events. So if you join today and you want to listen to a conversation that happened in 2023, it's ready. It's waiting for you. It's there.

All right, thank you for sharing that with us. And y'all can go back and listen to the whole episode. Ginger, I know you talk about The Postcard more at length in our narrative episode that we put together that takes you all behind the scenes from our team's perspective of the Summer Reading Guide that dropped in May last year.

GINGER: I think there might be a clip of me rambling to Will about that, and he somehow salvaged that for the podcast.

ANNE: Our team uses Voxer a lot, friends. That is a tool we rely on. And yes, there's a vox from you about The Postcard, which I love it. Are you ready to share more about the 2024 guide?

[00:17:20] GINGER: Yes, please.

ANNE: Let's start with our theme. So we have been theming the Summer Reading Guide for, what, maybe 5 or 6 years now. And there is no true reason that we need to have a theme. This is mostly because we do this every year.

And it's a way for us to keep it fresh, to keep it interesting, to keep it fun, to give us a way to think about of the myriad different kinds of Summer Reading Guide photos I could shoot. What do I want to focus on? Like, what do I want to prioritize? What kind of features do we want to have?

We get to choose a fun theme. Like last year's was the idea of a literary festival. This year it's summer camp. So we're going to summer camp, we're going to book camp. We have merch along those lines. We had so much fun just building out the details of the features and the photos.

Then, Ginger, you were the first person of what was soon to become like, I don't know, four dozen who first spotted the dollar spot at Target, stuff that they had. So there's some cute-

GINGER: We're in the zeitgeist.

ANNE: I know we really are. Apparently we like... We made this zeitgeist.

GINGER: That's right. That's right.

ANNE: So thank you Target for falling in line. That really helped us with some of our late-stage photos. So in addition to helping us think about what we want the guide to look like, this also helped us dream up some fun bonus content, like how we were going to choose backlist books. And we're having some really fun Book Club events along the book camp theme line as well.

[00:18:52] GINGER: A thing that comes to my mind is when the theme sort of started emerging in one of our team meetings, I think all of us were like, how have we not done this before? I want to go to book camp, take me to book camp.

ANNE: Because that was the idea. It started as a joke. Like somebody on our team joked at one point to another, you know, like the only summer camp I want is the one where you just read books all day, preferably by the lake.

So we started joking about how, well, isn't that just like the adult dream? Like, no responsibilities. All I need to do was put on my sunscreen and get my bug spray. Or ideally, if this is just fictitious, can we go someplace with no bugs, yeah, where the only job is to read? So we just started joking about that. But this summer at least, through the pages of the Summer Reading Guide, we're going to book camp.

GINGER: Like Anne said, this really gives us a structure. It helps us keep it fresh and interesting. But then when things start emerging, you think of all the ways that you can enact that theme. And most of them are so much fun.

[00:19:50] Like I mentioned a class that I was teaching. We titled it Craft Your Reading Life. I mean, there's a little theme there. We were going to teach a class on how to get through your TBR anyway, but it can give us some fun ideas for like class titles. But what I'm really excited about too are things like our Watch Parties that aren't really all that erudite.

I mean, we're going to get together. We're going to watch The Parent Trap. They are going to be so much fun. But I really do think that things like this also make me a better reader. And here is why. I'm not overstating this here.

Whenever you're watching something with fellow readers and thoughtful people in general, it helps you notice motifs, symbols, circumstances that I haven't been in. You know, maybe I didn't go to summer camp or I actually did go to summer camp, but, maybe, you know, whatever the case may be that other fellow members are noticing. And then that makes me a better reader. It makes me a better noticer.

[00:20:46] So everything that we do is done with a lot of thoughtfulness, even sort of the ones that are just fun. You can show up without any pen in hand to watch Parent Trap and come away like really a better reader.

Somebody even mentioned in the forums that Parent Trap is based on an old, I believe, German novel, and you better believe I hopped online and ordered a copy. In English, Anne. I do not speak or read German. I have a translator. Speaking of translators. But you know, so just really fun stuff like that.

I know that I have often benefited in my own reading life by giving myself a theme for a short season. Like last year I allowed myself... and I wish you could hear my very heavy air quotes here, because I do tend to be a bit more serious of a reader. If you haven't picked up on that by my, you know, wanting to read Jane Eyre in the middle of summer.

I thought, "You know what I'm gonna do? I'm going to read the beach books. I want to read the beach books. But I never give myself permission to read the beach books." And so it just kind of pushed me by having a theme to pick up a few of those authors that have just been languishing on my TBR list.

[00:21:47] Like I read Elin Hilderbrand and I finally read The Narrowboat Summer by Anne Youngson, which was a Book Club author a few years back. I loved it.

This year I am really excited to lean into reading and rereading some, especially from that backlist feature. We've got some camp motifs going on there, and I'm going to give myself permission to go to summer camp, adult summer camp, just like we talked about.

ANNE: Yes, please. That sounds fantastic. And the theme doesn't influence the books that are picked. It's just an organizing principle for us to make decisions about what we want the color scheme to be. We did really have fun with this. So I went to the Dollar Spot, I got my stuff. There were some wardrobe choices for these photos for me that I never imagined I would have made.

Before we chose the theme, I did fun things like not friendship bracelet bookmarks on our kitchen table with my daughters for work, who are making friendship bracelets for work. Girls, I didn't see that coming.

[00:22:49] There is a really great summer camp book or two in the guide if you roll into the backlist as well. But it's not about the books, although there are interesting non-summer camp-related themes emerging in 2024.

It's always so interesting for me to see what themes come up over and over again. Like independently I imagine in lots of author' mind years ago when they started writing these stories and then that are hitting in summer 2024.

And this year there were so many ghosts and ghost stories, lots of magic, many season protagonists, so many family dramas, which is completely my cup of tea every year, midlife reckonings. It was really interesting to see what emerged. Is it too soon to share the categories in this year's guide?

GINGER: I mean, I think that listeners would love to hear those. I know that I am really excited about certain categories. Go for it.

[00:23:47] ANNE: All right. Every year since the very beginning, we have organized the books into categories just for easy browsability. There was one exception where at first I put all the books in front of you with no categorization. I mean, do we want to talk about that year?

GINGER: There was a reason but it did not go well.

ANNE: It was such an interesting experiment. The feedback and observations we got from readers was fascinating. It was so interesting.

GINGER: I should say "it did not go well" is not quite the right way to put it. But readers had strong thoughts and opinions about it, shall we say? We heard a [inaudible 00:24:27] for sure.

ANNE: This was years ago before we had a really pretty PDF like we've had for many years now. But so many readers said, like, "I feel so adrift. What have you done? How do I know where to start?" So I ended up writing every title on an index card, moving the index cards around in various possible configurations until I landed on what I liked. I ended up adding one book because I didn't like the balance of the categories.

Then just like a day or two later we put out a newly categorized guide, and the feedback was so interesting. So many readers said absent the categories, I didn't skip over the kinds of books that I tell myself I don't like. I read through every description and chose that way, and I ended up with a very different list than I would have had otherwise.

[00:25:16] GINGER: I really liked that experiment for that reason. It is good sometimes to get out of our own little heads in categories.

ANNE: Yeah. And all of that is really not just to relive the great reader uprising of whatever year that was, but also to tell you that these books are categorized roughly by genre or type of book, by feel. And yet I really encourage you to read through every book in the guide, to read through every description, know that some of these books could easily have been categorized in three of the different categories.

There's a reason I put it where it landed, but they wouldn't be out of place in one of the other categories as well. And just really think about what you're looking for from a book and not just "Well, I don't like mysteries. I'm just not even gonna look at that." Please, don't say that. Look at them all, I beg you. Do I sound desperate enough?

So, for the sake of your own reading life and knowing that so frequently I hear from readers that their very favorite books, like the best of the year, best of the decade, are the ones that they didn't see coming, that are off their beaten path, that are not the kind of thing they typically read.

[00:26:29] So with that in mind, there are seven categories this year. So 42 books arranged into seven different categories. And they are, what do we say, pages riffling. No drum rolls in Book Club. Pages riffling.

We have family dramas. This category has sometimes been called family is complicated. These are my favorite sorts of books frequently. And some of my favorite books that I have read for the guide are in this category.

We have mysteries and thrillers, historical fiction. We have love stories and marriage plots, magical and otherworldly tales. This is really interesting. Because of the themes emerging in 2024, we have a category devoted to tales of coming of age and midlife reckonings. Then we have memoir and nonfiction.

GINGER: I love that. There's a couple of new ones there or maybe newly stated. Like I was just admitting that I'm not a big fantasy reader, but you know it will get me every time magical realism. There's a thin line that divides those two genres, but they are firmly different in my brain. I'll be checking that category out for sure, as well as coming-of-age and life reckonings. Yes, please.

[00:27:46] ANNE: I remember you really enjoying some books that were very much grounded in the real world, but still had like a magical element or a magical feel to them.

GINGER: That's right. I still think about Exit West by Mohsin Hamid, which we read in Book Club as a flight pick a few years ago. It was one of the most creative premises I've ever come across, even to this day. I really enjoyed the concept of this couple that was so almost like a sliding doors plot, where they were sliding in between places much more easily than people are generally allowed to when they're trying to escape a situation.

I don't want to say any more than that, because the unveiling and the unfolding of why they would need to do that and how they would, is part of the charm of this novel. But I still think of it.

ANNE: Now, some years in Book Club, we have drawn our selections for June, July, and August 100% from the Summer Reading Guide. And that is not what we've done this year. We like to keep things fresh and also want to maintain a real, ongoing balance of old and new.

[00:28:53] GINGER: Yes, there's several reasons for that. One of that is we know that we are going to give you a lot of choices for brand-new books, but we also want to make sure that you can get your hands on these if you so choose to. Some of the availability is just easier with a slightly older book.

So these aren't, you know, deep, deep backlist. These are still new fresh things that we're really excited about. But I loved one summer when we read older books in Book Club that had a real connection to new books or things that were on the Summer Reading Guide. I think it really added to the conversations because we weren't just talking, once again conversations, we weren't just talking about the books we're reading together. People were making connections about, oh yeah, and I read this one from the Summer Reading Guide, and that author has a new book.

And really, at the end of the day, Anne, I don't know if you remember this, but my proudest moment is we were agonizing, we were agonizing, we were agonizing we have all of these different categories. I think there were like three categories of three. We kept trying to put these into neat little categories.

ANNE: We did.

GINGER: We do love it. We were trying to shoehorn them into a theme. And I remember saying, "Anne, which three are you just the most excited about?" That to me is the theme I want to read. I want to read the books that Anne Bogel’s taste is the most excited about.

[00:30:04] And that's really how we landed on these three. I think at the end of the day, because these are the ones on your tongue.

ANNE: I did not know that.

GINGER: Yeah. I don't know if that's really how we picked, but when they tripped off your tongue, I was certainly the most interested in reading those three of all the choices. And we had good ones.

ANNE: Well, they're so good. And you know what else is interesting that we haven't talked about on the podcast and maybe not in Book Club, is now that we do seasonal book previews in those communities, one in the fall for books coming out in the fall and one in the spring for books coming out between... Well, publishing doesn't have a winter calendar. There are three seasons and they are summer, fall, and spring.

But we do a Spring Book Preview, sometimes we call it a Winter Book Preview, but it's for titles publishing between January to about the middle of April. And really, when we started doing that regularly, it shifted the time frame of the books that make up the core of the Summer Reading Guide.

I used to cut off the Summer Reading Guide about the 4th of July, and now we go into the middle of August. There's even a book publishing August 20th, which I think is an amazing bridge between summer and really like meaty literary fiction of fall.

[00:31:10] So things have shifted. Two of the books that we are reading this summer are actually books that would be so at home in the Summer Reading Guide, but we already featured them in our Spring Book Preview that we did for our Patreon and Book Club community. So they weren't going to be in the Summer Reading Guide. And of course, now we have to share the titles. Would you like to do the honors?

GINGER: I would love to. They are sitting right beside me within arm's reach. So we are reading The Husbands by Holly Gramazio in June. We are reading Olga Dies Dreaming by Xóchitl González in July. And we are reading Katherine Center finally. Everybody loves her. The Bodyguard. So I'm really excited about that lineup that's in August.

We're also doing Austen in August, as we do every year. The members actually voted this year. And we're reading Persuasion. So talk about a really good bridge from that summer vibe to the meatier fall vibe. I mean, it doesn't get any better than that Jane Austen in August.

ANNE: Yeah. I'm so excited to read those altogether. For those of you who weren't at our Spring Book Preview, I'll share a little bit about these books.

[00:32:13] So The Husbands is the debut published in April. That is just so much fun. It's one of those books that just feels so breezy and frothy. And I just flew through it and then found myself thinking about it for months afterwards.

Like, it really reminded me of my experience reading What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty back in the day. It goes down easy, and then you realize like, Oh my gosh, she's talking about things that really matter in a way that's so, so smart. And it's stuck in my head.

But The Husband has that element of magic in an otherwise completely realistic story that you love yourself, Ginger. It's about a woman who is single, unmarried, no husband, to be clear, and comes home one day to find her husband waiting for her because it turns out he's come down from her magical attic in her London flat that suddenly has started producing husbands one at a time, man that she conceivably, in her past life, could have chosen to marry.

And she's got to figure some things out and make some choices. And it is just the perfect combination of really smart and thoughtful and bonkers zany, funny.

Then I loved Anita de Monte Laughs Last by Xóchitl González from our Spring Book Preview. I loved it so much I thought, "Why didn't I ever read her debut, Olga Dies Dreaming? And promptly fell in love with that book as well.

[00:33:39] This is the story of a woman really having a midlife reckoning. She's coming up on 40. She is planning weddings for the super-wealthy. She's thinking, what have I done with my life? Is this really what I want to be doing? Especially because her mother abandoned her and her brother when they were quite young so she could go fight for Puerto Rican independence.

So she finds herself at a crossroads. She needs to make some choices. It's set against the backdrop of fabulous, unfathomable wealth. She's living in Brooklyn contemporary times, also against the backdrop of a major hurricane. She's writing about all the things that I want to talk about with smart readers, and that's what we get to do in Book Club.

Then Katherine Center. Katherine, we love you. We've been meaning to read you for forever. And Book Club, this is the one because first of all, I loved The Bodyguard, one of my favorites of hers from two summers ago. It was in the Summer Reading Guide.

But her new book this summer, The Rom-Commers, apparently this is the title I'm going to tell you. It's in the Summer Reading Guide, folks. It's lots of fun about two screenwriters falling in love in LA. It brings back some of her characters from The Bodyguard. It was so fun.

[00:34:41] They get a little update on what's happening with them. Of course, you don't need to read those books in order, but I really like those Jack Stapleton cameos from The Bodyguard. And with the tide of those two books, I thought, well, that's a good reason to, to talk with Katherine this Summer and choose The Bodyguard as our summer pick.

GINGER: You heard it here first, people.

ANNE: You know, I didn't quite realize we are going to be dropping that title, but there you.

GINGER: I don't think readers are going to be mad about that.

ANNE: Yeah. So with all those books, we are looking for that combination of discoverability and discussability, Books that we just can't wait to have the authors take us behind the scenes. Because we are talking with all those authors in Book Club this summer, it's going to be great.

You don't have to have read the book in advance. So many of our readers will show up to the author talk not having read the book, and then leave so excited to start once they've heard an author share the fascinating behind-the-scenes of how a story came to be. I'm still thinking about that great conversation we have with Ada Calhoun the other night. She said the nerdiest thing we've ever had said on the record in Book Club. Ginger, you know what I'm talking about, right?

[00:35:43] GINGER: I absolutely do. Yeah.

ANNE: She said something like, "Oh, I just love grammar. I love grammar." And we were like, "Just tell us more." And what she said was fascinating.

GINGER: We were definitely here for it.

ANNE: Oh, it was so good. So if you all didn't hear that Ada Calhoun conversation, I'm so sorry. It was so great. Also, we have shared two Book Club conversations fairly recently here on What Should I Read Next?. You can listen to those to get a feel for what we do do in Book Club.

We had a great episode with Brendan Slocumb that we aired in this space last winter. And then we just, in April, ran our conversation with Thao Thai about Banyan Moon. That was our August 2023 Summer Book Club selection. Those are the kinds of conversations that we have regularly and will have this summer with this year's Summer Reading Guide authors.

GINGER: Whenever that Thao Thai episode dropped, I told myself I wasn't going to listen to it because I've already heard it. I was in Book Club. And I just thought," I'll only listen to the introduction." I'm an What Should I Read Next? completist. But I thought, This one I could skip. Could I skip it? Of course not. Did I have to listen to every single word of hers again? Yes, I absolutely did, and I'm not mad about that.

[00:36:51] ANNE: No, that sounds delightful, actually. All right. Ginger, I thought it would be fun to share a couple of old and new books for summer. Are you up for that?

GINGER: Yes, please.

ANNE: Now, I'm not saying we chose the summer camp theme so that you could talk about one of your lifetime favorites, but, I'm not saying we didn't.

GINGER: That's how the narrative is going in my head. At least I don't think that's entirely true. But any excuse to talk about Meg Wolitzer. I fell in love with The Interestings. Golly, when was that? I think that's been over ten years ago. I would say that that was probably 2013, 2014, that time frame, maybe 12. And I read this really thick novel. Again, I'm a slow reader, so if I'm committing to 500 pages or almost 500 pages, it's going to be good.

The Interestings is one of those sort of... I would say you would put this in the category of family dramas, but it's not technically a family. This is found family. Four friends that meet in the very early days of their... "career" is too loose of a word. For, you know, high school students, but they really know what they want to do in life.

[00:38:01] They're at an arts camp and they connect that way and become lifelong friends. They do interweave throughout each other's families. Of course, there's a lot of overlaps and lines, lines drawn, lines connected. The relationships of these four are so rich.

Nobody writes like Meg Wolitzer. I would really like to be a Meg Wolitzer completist. But the vibes are so good because they go to summer camp at the beginning... and a lot of books that kind of start at summer camp, that's the jumping-off point. The vibes are strong for the first 20 pages and then you go off.

They keep living at that summer camp for the rest of their lives. They mention it. The ones... I won't say who becomes wildly successful of them, but they donate to it. Another has a cross point later in her career with it that really changes the trajectory of not only her life but her own family.

So the summer camp vibes are thick, and I love a book with interesting family dynamics and a strong sense of place. Please sign me up. Yeah, I love this book. I actually reread it again in preparation for the summer camp vibes and the summer camp theme.

[00:39:09] I have to give a little shout out too because I did not put together that Meg Wolitzer also wants to live at summer camp apparently because she wrote one of my very favorite. I don't know if this is YA or middle grade. I wrote this title down because I'd never say it right. To Night Owl from Dogfish. I'm always mixing up those Dogfish and night owls.

But she co-wrote that with Holly Goldberg Sloan and I just didn't put together that this is with the same author for ages and ages, even though I love Meg Wolitzer. But that is a camp book as well that is really thick, and the themes live on throughout. So I have to give a quick little shout-out. Meg Wolitzer is my camp counselor. Okay, let's just call it.

ANNE: Ginger. You know, I still haven't read The Interestings, right?

GINGER: Wow.

ANNE: This is my year. This is my summer. This is my season. Maybe this is my week.

GINGER: I hope so. Now I'm so nervous because, you know, Anne mentioned that we have different reading lives. Here is what I think. And I don't even know if I told you this. I think that we have a really similar Venn diagram in what we read. But I felt like if something is a five-star for me and you're like a three-star. It's fine. It was fine.

ANNE: And vice versa.

GINGER: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Because I know how much you love a certain author that you might mention here in a moment. I've read her and I'm like, listen, if all the five possible outcomes for a reader are true, I know that these are great and I just don't get it. So I don't know if you like it or not, but it's worth a go at least. It will be worth your reading time.

[00:40:37] ANNE: I am excited to try. And I know that half of the joy is going to be talking about the book with you regardless of what kind of star rating I might have benevolently assigned to it.

GINGER: I love hearing that.

ANNE: Actually I don't. I'm not much of a star girl, but yeah, the conversation... The discussability, Ginger, is a highlight for me.

GINGER: As we've learned in Book Club, there is nothing better than a conversation where one person really loves it and then there's a healthy dissent. Because if you both just loved it, then you gush and then the combo sort of stops there. If there's a little bit of a respectful and healthy "this is why I didn't like it," I love those conversations.

ANNE: Such good conversations. Also so much insight into what makes your specific reader taste unique. Like hearing why someone that you know really well didn't respond in a book in the same way as you, or in a way you anticipated at all, can really show you a lot about them and also about your own reading taste, what you're drawn to, what you like, and why.

GINGER: That's right.

[00:41:39] ANNE: Which is super valuable. I hope that's strongly implied.

GINGER: No. Whenever people started using the word 'worldbuilding', I was like, oh yeah, that, that's what I don't like. Sometimes people talk about things they love or things they don't like. Who wants to do a bunch of work for the first 50 pages of a book? Not this girl.

ANNE: I hear you.

GINGER: I feel like I'm really harsh to worldbuilding right now. It is such a skill. And all the handclaps, all the book flaps to authors that can do that but...

ANNE: Thank you for, I want to say... Maybe exaggerating to make a point isn't quite accurate. But, you know, thank you for hammering home the idea that, like, not every book is for every reader. Also, we go through different seasons and periods as readers. Maybe like 50-year-old Ginger will not be able to get enough worldbuilding.

GINGER: It's so true. I have surprised myself before and I hope that doesn't fit. Maybe someday I will read Tolkien. Maybe. Maybe not Ronald. But maybe.

ANNE: Okay, I'm really surprised you haven't,-

GINGER: I can't.

ANNE: ...knowing you as a reader.

GINGER: It's so many true naps.

[00:42:42] ANNE: That's fair. Okay, I'm going to share a new old book by an author that may or may not just adventure the conversation aimlessly. But I was just in Germany visiting my college kid who's been on a semester abroad there and I decided... Actually, I didn't really decide. Will Bogel decided for me. My husband said, "You don't want to carry that 550-page book home in your suitcase. But I'll take it in mine."

And that is how I brought home a new German copy of Maggie O'Farrell's This Must Be the Place. Or on my cover, Hier muss es sein. I love her. I love this book so much. It's one of my lifetime favorite novels. And I'm familiar enough with it that my lapsed college German might actually get me through mostly. Although I was pleasantly surprised at how durable my German proved to be when we were in Germany.

My kids were like, what? Who are you? What? But it's not enough for me to get through a novel that I am unfamiliar with. But in English, I love this book.

And you know that I love a book with an interesting structure. And this is definitely it. It's a portrait of an unlikely but successful marriage between a floundering American linguistics professor and a British film star who hated the limelight so much at the height of her fame that she faked her own death and disappeared.

[00:44:07] The story is told in interlocking scenes from many different points of view, going back in time to 1944, spanning to 2016, which is the present day in the world of this story. And they're not told in order either, numerous voices as well as points of view.

And it's just a really beautiful, in my opinion, portrait of love and grief and marriage and parenthood. It has intricate plotting, nuanced characters who make big, big mistakes and then have to live with the consequences and work through them. It feels true to life as much as it is completely made up. And it's ultimately hopeful, even as it's just really sad throughout. Oh, I love it so much. It makes me very happy.

I'm a Maggie O'Farrell completist, and I am at the stage in my Maggie O'Farrell reading career where every three weeks I'm heading up the Google to go, When's the next book? When's the next? When's the next book?

GINGER: I love it.

ANNE: In the meantime, I'm going to try this one in German this summer. I'm not going to take it to the beach or the pool.

[00:45:08] GINGER: I will say there is one scene in that book that I do think about to this day, where they are at the gate that is leaving their property. I think about that all the time. I don't know, that was one of the best-written scenes I've ever read in literature because, like you said, it just felt so true to life and to marriage. Do you even know what I'm talking about? Is that only standing out to me?

ANNE: Is it the one where she finds out a certain something?

GINGER: Uh-huh.

ANNE: Uh-huh. Yeah, I do. I think about that all the time too.

GINGER: It's unforgettable.

ANNE: And I think about... It's about what you don't say.

GINGER: That's right.

ANNE: The problem is what you don't say. Okay, if you've read the book you know what we're talking about. And if you don't... I'm not sure if you do or you don't. This book lives in my head. I can't tell what it's like to not have this book live in your head.

ANNE: Okay. I'm impressed at your recall.

GINGER: Well, it really speaks to how strongly that scene was written, that it sticks in my brain. Because since I did read that book, I have learned.... and I think you and I are opposite on this. I cannot do fictional audio. And I will say, I listened to the audio of that book, and I'm not sure that that was the best way for me to take in that story, because it is so sprawling and it does go back and forth in time. If I had to do it over again... Of course, you can never read a book for the first time again-

ANNE: No.

[00:46:22] GINGER: But I would do that with my eyeballs, and I think it would have changed my reading experience. But live and learn.

ANNE: Interesting. I will share one more new title. This is one of our Minimalist Picks. So every year going back to, I think, 2014, I've shared the Minimalist Summer Reading Guide that started with five titles, then at a certain point became six because I couldn't keep it to just five. And then we had seven. Last year we had 12. This year we have eight titles.

But Ginger, I don't know if I even told you I chose these in a different way than I usually do. And it echoes what you said about our Book Club decision rubric. And that is I chose the books that I just loved and adored. In the past, we've talked about kind of evenly distributing them across categories or choosing ones that are real crowd-pleasers.

That's not true. This year I chose the books that I just loved. I could have added so many more to this list because I loved so many more. But these are my absolute stand out of standout books.

[00:47:25] Of those, I'm going to share one today. Oh, but first let me say the Minimalist Summer Reading Guide is free. It will appear on the blog on May 16th. Anyone with a web browser can go to modernmrsdarcy.com on May 16th, and see our Minimalist Summer Reading Guide on the page.

It will also appear in the Summer Reading Guide PDF that's available to our Modern Mrs Darcy Book Club, What Should I Read Next? Patreon and a la carte ticket purchase are so that you have everything in one place. And some of you really like to print that guide in a really beautiful version, so you can page through it and not click your way through it. But that's going to be a surprise on the 16th.

So we shared one of the books from the 42 with the Katherine Center’s, The Rom-Commers. And the way I'm choosing which title to share with you is just purely by theme. There is one summer camp book in the Summer Reading Guide.

I thought there might actually be more, Ginger. Like I remember talking at early meetings about how there were actually a fair number of books that I looked at for the Summer Reading Guide that take place at summer camp, or really have strong tie-ins to a camp theme. There's only one in the guide and it's, I don't know, pages riffling?

GINGER: Yeah. Tell us.

[00:48:42] ANNE: It's from our Modern Mrs Darcy Book Club author Liz Moore. Coming July 2nd is The God of the Woods. This is a thick book. It's almost 500 pages, but I blew through it in two days because I needed to know what was going to happen next.

This is a family saga, a missing persons tale, and a 1970s summer camp story rolled into one. The premise is so intriguing. One August morning in 1975, a camper vanishes from their cabin without a trace. But it's not just any camper. She is the daughter of the wealthy family that owns this camp in the Adirondacks. And we find out that 14 years before, her older brother disappeared from the same camp. So this is not good. Everybody's completely freaking out.

As the story goes on, the family, the campers themselves, and the neighboring blue-collar town residents gather to search for the girl. It seems obvious that these two disappearances have to be linked, but no one has any idea how. We also find out there was some unfinished business, some lingering mysteries from the previous disappearance.

[00:49:58] So the mystery is a driving force in this story. But anyone who loves compulsively readable literary fiction needs to strongly consider picking this up. This is a missing persons case. Like there's a detective. This is a procedural, but also it's such amazing literary writing.

The story is complex and carefully layered. You get to know so many of the characters so well and really get in their heads and understand them and their motivations and what they're going through. There's so much texture and nuance to this story. It's everything.

If I had commissioned a summer camp book for our Summer Reading Guide, I wouldn't even thought to ask for a story as amazing as this one. I love Liz Moore. I gave this to Will after I read it. He said, "I need a book. What do you recommend?" And I said, "Dude, go look at this one." He loved it.

If you've enjoyed her work in the past like Long Bright River or The Unseen World, this feels like a Liz Moore story, putting her mind to a, yeah, procedural in the Adirondacks. Oh, it's so good. Have we talked about that one? How does that sound?

[00:51:06] GINGER: Yes. I think you did mention that at one point when we were talking about Book Club books. I think really the only reason we didn't is because, you know, we have already had her on and she would have been great a second time. But we do want to give discoverability priority in our discussability and discoverability as well.

Liz Moore is one that just gets better and better. And that is really saying something because she's a great writer. I love that. I know we tease that we were going to title this "Take me to Summer Camp" or something like that. But I kind of think that if I was going to commission a book for the Summer Reading Guide, this might be. It is probably too long a title, but man, if that's not a line that's going to sell that book if it didn't already.

ANNE: Like no pressure. But is that on your summer reading list?

GINGER: Oh, 100%. Liz Moore for me is an auto buy. Absolutely. I do love a thick, chunky novel. I know I've mentioned a couple of times that I'm a slow reader. But if you are going to commit to a lot of pages, I will live in that world, Liz Moore's world happily. Liz Moore's world at summer camp, yeah, sign me up.

[00:52:12] ANNE: That sounds amazing. I hope you enjoyed hearing about the Liz Moore. That is one of our eight minimalist picks. The rest will be on the blog and our minimalist Summer Reading Guide on Thursday, May 16th, which is the day the whole guide goes live. Goes out by email on Thursday, May 16th at 9 a.m. Eastern Time. And we want everybody to know how to get this guide.

GINGER: That's right. I mean, we talked about the theme being to keep it fresh and interesting, but I want to mention that not only is the Unboxing Live event. So much fun to hear Anne talk about the 42 books. And really it's talk about a thriller and a page-turner, whatever the video equivalent of that. Can Anne get through 42 books in 90 minutes? That is a summer mystery every year.

But the beautiful PDF guide itself… I mean, really, the summer camp theme is going to be so much fun. I will do a lot of things for aesthetics. I do not think that I'm the only one in the Instagram generation that says like, something pretty will make me a better person, make me a better reader. It will. It will. It'll inspire. So, I know that what the team has put together is just going to be so pretty. I can't wait to see it. I haven't laid eyes on this. Anne, I'm telling you, the discipline, the discipline here.

ANNE: Well, we are talking on Thursday, May 2nd, and the final version does not exist yet.

[00:53:35] GINGER: Okay, maybe that's why I'm not using real discipline. I'm just basically-

ANNE: But it is so pretty. The books are getting laid into it right now.

GINGER: Well, I might have to take a small peak.

ANNE: I have one more blurb to write. Brenna is laying it out as we are talking, and it is so gorgeous. So y'all, we really put our heart, soul, blood, sweat, tears, all the metaphors, into this book. And your enthusiasm really means so much to us.

Also, supporting our work in this way, like by joining one of our paid communities or purchasing an a la carte ticket for the guide and unboxing, helps us so much.

Our podcast is available free and for all, our blog is available free and for all, and yet they are expensive to make. And when you say like thank you and financially, tangibly support the work with dollars, it helps us pay our team and make it staff and keep the lights.

I don't deal with the plagiarizers. But we're not going to talk about that, right? We're not going to talk about that. They pay our taxes.

[00:54:39] GINGER: That's right. I mean, I think you can tell it's a real labor of love. But it is a labor. I think a little peek behind the scenes here that we've given today, you can tell. A lot of thoughtfulness goes into this, a lot of real work. I'm excited to be a beneficiary of that. Like I said, I haven't looked at all the work that has gone in, but I cannot wait to see what you and the others produced. Oh, is it May 16th yet?

ANNE: Not quite yet. Not quite yet. But yes, this is a labor of love and it is the absolute best kind of work. We enjoy putting this together so much and also work so hard, so that you feel like you have a guide that not only is beautiful, but you can really trust and know what you're getting and know the people making it and not get distracted by, you know, somebody confusing in there.

We have like six different team members proofread this guide and make sure everything is exactly how it should be. It really means a lot to us. We hope that it really helps you in your reading life this summer.

[00:55:39] Again, we don't have a vested interest in you reading any specific books. Nothing in here is comped. There's no paid placements. I never accept money to recommend books. That's not in the spirit of what we do.

The thing we want to do is help you get more out of your reading life by helping you think about what you want from your reading this summer, what kind of reader are you, what stories do you especially enjoy. I hope we help you with that every week on the podcast.

Then by taking these 42 titles that I've read every single word of and can really answer your questions at the unboxing, answer any content questions you have really explain things about like tone and theme and comps and you know, does it match your mood? Like we are here to help you figure that out. That sounds very pragmatic. And it is that. But it's also so, so fun to do together in community. We should tell you how to get that.

So to get the guide for 2024, go to Modernmrsdarcy.com/srg, that's for Summer Reading Guide. That's our main headquarters where we have all the info you need to figure out if you want to join Book Club or Patreon, or just purchase an ala carte ticket. Either way, you get that beautiful, fully designed Summer Reading Guide and you get your access to unboxing.

You don't have to come to unboxing. We really encourage you to. It comes in the cost of your membership or your ticket. Ginger, I know you have thoughts about unboxing. Would you like to say words about that?

[00:57:05] GINGER: I do. It's just such a fun book party. Every year I love the camaraderie. The chat is flying by in the best possible way. It's a really fun book party. One of my favorite things is to hear, you know, the rituals that people... I mean, we have people that take off a day of work for this. Like it is an event. And so you are in good company.

If you are looking for a community of really enthusiastic readers and maybe you had those in your real life, maybe you don't, this is the spot. It is such a lovely spot on the internet and I always look forward to that community. I know Book Club and Patreon as well are going to be having other things all summer long.

So come and join and be a part of what we're doing. Like I mentioned, some watch parties, some classes. We always have some really fun annual episodes and annual events. Yeah, I really can't wait. Readers Weekend and Book Club, oh man, it's going to be a great time all summer long. It starts on May 16th, but it does not end on May 16th. The book party is just the beginning.

[00:58:06] ANNE: Well, here's a little time capsule for you. So now unboxing is an annual tradition. We do it every year, except there was that first year where you said, "Anne, hear me out, I have an idea. Let's do an unboxing kind of thing for the Summer Reading Guide." And I said... What did I say? I remember being like... I just didn't get it. Like, why? Who would want to watch that?

GINGER: This fan girl.

ANNE: Well, yeah. You were like, "I think this is a really good idea." And I thought, "Ginger, that sounds so uninteresting." And you were like, "No, no, no, no, no, hear me out." And, I was wrong. I was wrong. You were right. It's so much fun. I wouldn't have guessed it.

GINGER: That's my claim to fame. I'll take it, live down in bookish infamy.

ANNE: No, no, no, you're in the Hall of Heroes. Readers, if you want a taste of what this is like in that 48 hours, if you're listening to this before we're going to be unboxing at our first session, if you're a patron or Book Club member, you can access the 2023 unboxing and actually before on our sites. And you can just, you know, queue up to a random two minutes and watch it and see what it's like.

[00:59:21] Actually, if you want backlist picks from your library and to get excited about older books because that's where you are the summer, like, you could watch the whole thing right now.

GINGER: That's a genius move right there, Anne Bogel.

ANNE: Well, thank you. Thank you very much. I've been trained to look for genius moves in the reading life by my Modern Mrs. Darcy Book Club community. I get so many good ideas there. But the unboxing is so much fun and just a really great companion to the Summer Reading Guide.

This is an included perk for our Patreon in Book Club communities. If you support us there, thank you so much! Your ongoing support makes it possible for our team to do what we do, and we are so grateful. You don't have to do a thing. You have all the information already and you'll keep getting posts telling you where to show up for unboxing, how to get your Summer Reading Guide PDF. You are all set.

And if you want to get the Summer Reading Guide as soon as it drops and you are not a member of one of those communities, you have time to join the community or to buy that ala carte ticket. We've done the ala carte for, oh gosh, a couple of years now, in response to some of you who said, "I don't have the time or inclination to join a community, but I very much want this resource in my life. Help me." And ala Carte is our answer to that.

[01:00:30] Again, the minimalist guide is available for all. It's on modernmrsdarcy.com on Thursday, but for the full guide modernmrsdarcy.com/srg.

GINGER: So if you're on the fence here about Book Club, patron, a la carte, which one's right for me? Okay. I've got to put in a plug for Book Club. Of course, I'm going to say this, but I have reasons. Your a la carte price is the same price as your Book Club membership. So give it a try for one month. You can quit any time. So you would get that unboxing, a special Book Club, exclusive unboxing watch party, and then anything else that's going to happen in this next month, which is a lot of really good, fun things.

So if you're on the fence and you can't decide which one is right for you, you know, shameless plug here for Book Club. It's my favorite place on the internet.

ANNE: I think it's so evident to all our community members that you feel that way.

GINGER: I really do love it.

ANNE: Oh gosh, I am so grateful that the internet brought us together all the way back in 2016. Y'all, we have been doing that together ever since, and it's been a joy and a pleasure, regardless of how I feel about The Interestings. To begin very soon.

[01:01:36] GINGER: That's right. Well, please keep me posted.

ANNE: I will do so. Oh, thank you so much for coming on to talk summer reading with me.

GINGER: This was fun. You know, this was a really different kind of episode than I've ever been able to be a part of before, and what a blast.

ANNE: Wow, I'm so glad you could join me. Okay, so I'm just going to invite everyone to pop over to the comment section and tell us what kind of episode you'd like Ginger to participate in in the future. We would love your ideas.

Friends, I hope you enjoyed my conversation with Ginger. And if you're half as excited as we are for this year's Summer Reading Guide, if you're like 4% as excited, we have all the links and the full list of titles we talked about today at our show notes page. That's at Whatshouldireadnextpodcast.com.

To make sure you stay in the know and up on what's happening here, subscribe to our email list. To get all our updates, sign up at whatshouldIReadnextpodcast.com/newsletter. Sometimes you'll ask, what happens if I sign up, but I'm already signed up? Nothing bad will happen. whatshouldireadnextpodcast.com/newsletter to make sure you're on the list. That way you'll be sure to get the minimalist Summer Reading Guide on Thursday in your inbox.

[01:02:48] We also love connecting with listeners on Instagram, and we love it when you share our good stuff like this episode, and like the fact that the Summer Reading Guide is almost available. And as of Thursday will be available. You can find our shows page there @whatshouldireadnext?

Thanks to the people who make this show happen. What Should I Read Next? is created each week by Will Bogel, Holly Wielkoszewski, and Studio D Podcast Production. Readers, that's it for this episode. Thanks so much for listening. And as Rainer Maria Rilke said, "Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading." Happy reading, everyone.

GINGER: Happy reading.

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