Romans Choose Own Summer Reading


A compilation of images of book covers of books mentioned in this article.

With the lack of summer reading requirements this year, many students and faculty enjoyed having extra time to pursue pleasure reading over their long vacation. Here are some recommendations from readers in the Latin community.

Sami Aday, known for his cheery good mornings as students walk groggily through the lobby, read one of his all-time favorite books over the summer. Written by David Goggins, an ultramarathon runner and retired American Navy SEAL, “Can’t Hurt Me” centers on Goggins’ journey of fortifying and improving his mind. Sami characterized the book as “motivational … it gets you going.” He added, “I use some of his quotes on my training runs.”

Senior Anaitzel Franco read “The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo” by Taylor Jenkins Reid. The novel is about the last interview with a Hollywood actress from the 1960s: the secretive Evelyn Hugo. In the book, Hugo is not avoidant of her flaws but still manages to live a remorseless life. Anaitzel, enthusiastic about her reading experience, said, “I thought the author powerfully unveiled the harsh realities many celebrities—specifically female celebrities—face when being forced to the forefront of pop culture and critique.” Anaitzel, praising the book, explained that it is meant for everyone. “Not only does it talk about the golden era of Hollywood, but mystic femininity, sexuality, and ambition.”

Sarina Weinberg, a freshman, read “The Saturday Night Ghost Club” by Craig Davidson. In the novel, a group of kids explore their town’s ghost stories and urban legends. “It was very interesting throughout the beginning and middle,” Sarina said, “but the reveal at the end really made it one of my favorite books of the summer. I would really recommend it for anyone with an interest in the paranormal and coming-of-age stories.”

Upper School English teacher James Joyce read “Middlemarch,” the classic novel by George Eliot (the pen name of Mary Anne Evans). Since Evans was writing “Middlemarch” in the late 19th century, she wrote under a male pseudonym so that her book would be read. Mr. Joyce said, “This is a good reminder that the gendered or class-based expectations that our communities put upon us, however heavy, must come second to our ambitions and interests.” Set in the fictional town of Middlemarch, the book follows the interwoven storylines concerning education, social status, reform, medicine, idealism and the nature of marriage. Mr. Joyce also explained that he is currently “enjoying the omniscient narrator. They seem to understand where all of the characters are coming from. They’d make a patient deity.” He added, “It’s neat to see the same human behaviors two centuries ago without wifi or parking lots.”

Senior Hugh McKee read Seth Rogen’s new memoir, “Yearbook.” The book is a compilation of some of Rogen’s life stories and reflections. It also discusses how some of his movies were made. “I’m a huge Seth Rogen fan,” Hugh said, “so seeing the inspiration for his movies and how he went from this chubby loser to a chubby winner was a cool thing to see and inspiring in its own weird way.”

Finishing a book is one of the most satisfying things, especially if it’s for fun. Because there is such a wide variety of books, one can have any sort of experience while reading. From books that are funny to ones that are motivational, readers will always walk away with a new perspective of the world.