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Q&Q staff share their summer reading lists


Song of the Viking

Song of the Vikings: Snorri and the Making of Norse Myths, Nancy Marie Brown (Palgrave Macmillan)

Among the many gaps in my knowledge is the fact that I have never read the Norse Myths despite the fact they influenced everything from Tolkien to Wagner to George R.R. Martin. This biography of the 13th-century writer of the stories may get me closer to tackling them.

Bad Feminist, Roxane Gay (Harper Perennial)
As a bad feminist myself, I look forward to Gay’s essay collection.

The Wrong EnemyThe Wrong Enemy: America in Afghanistan, 2001-2014, Carlotta Gall (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Just started this and it’s gripping. I am always on the lookout for history written by journalists. Gall has reported for The New York Times in Afghanistan for 13 years so I have high expectations. She also co-wrote the well-received Chechnya: Calamity in the Caucasus.

Every Day Is for the Thief, Teju Cole (Random House)Every Day is for the Thief 2
Having read such names as Bruce Chatwin and W.G. Sebald invoked when reviewers are writing about this book, I look forward to the series of vignettes about life in Lagos. Cole’s photographs of Lagos are a bonus.

Summer re-reads: The Love of the Last Tycoon by F. Scott Fitzgerald and The Pillow Book by Sei Shōnagon. I have re-read different writing by Fitzgerald every summer for decades, something about his style fits the season to me. The Pillow Book is an incredible time capsule of life at the 11th Japanese court. I also reread it because it is less intimidating to me than The Tale of Genji (written about the same time), which has been on my TBR list for years.