Block Club’s 2017 Summer Reading List

Now that it’s officially summer, we thought we’d start diving into our summer reading list. Here’s what the Block Club team currently has queued up on their nightstands.

NOTE: Included are links to Amazon listings for more detailed information, but we suggest you first visit your locally owned bookstore or library to see if they have it in stock, or can get it, for you. Happy reading, everyone!

Adam Beuhler, brand manager
South and West” is Joan Didion’s new collection of entries from two different personal notebooks. The first, detailing a trip to Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama in summer 1970, and the second, notes on Joan’s home state of California. I love reading Joan Didion essays because they are always short, dense and masterfully constructed, so that when you are finished you feel like you are waking up from a fever dream.

Brandon Davis, creative director
Living in one of the most segregated cities in our country, I feel I have a lot to learn about the black experience in America. I just picked up “Between the World and Me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates, which came highly recommended by a good friend.

Margaret Finan, IfThen CEO
I’m excited to dig into “The Rest is Noise” by Alex Ross. The New Yorker’s music critic, Ross tackles the vast expanse of 20th-century music in one sweeping narrative, grounding each composers’ works in lush landscapes of social and biographical context. I’m a big fan of classical music, but have only a very superficial foundation to stand on. After a pretty awe-inspiring trip to Vienna and its historic concert halls last year, I really can’t wait to take a deeper dive into the more recent origins of modern music.

Dave Horesh, director of business development
It’s a little heavy for summer reading, but I’m diving into “Six Days of War” by Michael Oren. My father fought in Israel’s Six Day War, which came to a head in his home city of Jerusalem. I’ve heard his stories over the years and I’ve always been interested in learning more about the circumstances surrounding the conflict and how it changed his life and community. So here I sit, reading about a short Middle Eastern war in the hot, humid Buffalo summer.

Ryan McMullen, designer
This summer, I’m looking forward to reading “Daybook” by Anne Truitt. This journal sounds fascinating as a meditation on pursuing art and a creative life in the context of career, family, etc. How to balance work, life and art are issues near and dear to my heart these days and I can’t wait to read her insights on these topics.

Julie Molloy, designer
I brought three books to Paris and this is the one I didn’t get to. Every year when the summer heat starts settling in I find myself reaching for something to read on the American west and a few years ago I enjoyed Mari Sandoz’s biography of Crazy Horse. “Old Jules” is the biography of her father, a Swiss immigrant to the United States who moved to the Sandhills of Nebraska in the 1880s and made a (really, really hard) life of pioneering on a seriously inhospitable stretch of land. I’m sure it will be a really light and happy read.

Ben Siegel, content strategist
I love reading about food culture, history and sociology. Food historian Jessica B. Harris’s latest, “My Soul Looks Back,” is a memoir about her time growing up in New York City in the 1970s, a time and place that I wish I could have witnessed—and tasted. Harris is a great author whose work comes highly recommended.

Steve Soroka, brand manager
I purchased “Ghostbusters: The Complete Visual History” a year or so ago. It’s an amazing book, with every.single.detail. of Ghostbusters laid out with an insane level of detail. I made it about halfway through before putting it down and I never got back to it. I found it again during our recent move and have put it on my bedside table so I can finish it up soon.

Tim Staszak, designer
I’m looking forward to finally reading the definitive graphic novel series “Sandman” by Neil Gaiman. I’m a fan of his work and am looking forward to delving into the dark mythology, the occult and anthropomorphic personalities he created in this fantasy world.