CRUSH Summer Reading List! From CRUSH Reader Sharon Weinberg, Owner of The Chatham Bookstore.

CRUSH Summer Reading List! From CRUSH Reader Sharon Weinberg, Owner of The Chatham Bookstore.

. 7 min read
PrimeCrush Summer Reading List

Crush Summer Reading List!

Passionate Crush Reader & Indie Bookshop Owner Sharon Weinberg, owner of the Chatham Bookstore in Hudson Valley, NY has created a summer reading list especially for Crush Readers. It's a list in two parts: Everything Love and Erotic Lit: Late Nights and Lazy Mornings.

"Growing up, my parents complained that  “all you want to do is sit around and read.” It took sixty years, but I have now proven them right by  buying a charming indie bookstore in the Hudson Valley, where my literal job description is: sit around and read.

The first time I realized the power of literature was when I spent a happy, if confused, few hours surreptitiously reading my mother’s library copy of  Jacqueline Susann’s “The Love Machine.”  Hard to do better than that classic, but I'll try."

Sharon Weinberg

Part 1: Everything Love. Covering everything from a classic Larry McMurtry ode to male friendship to Patricia Highsmith's psychological thriller on thwarted desire to Sue Miller's latest study of long-term marriage, Sharon's Everything Love Summer Reading List gives us a look at how love contains multitudes.

Sharon's CRUSHING Summer "Everything Love" Reading List {Click thru here to see the whole list with brief descriptions/reviews of each book on The Chatham Bookstore's Bookshop page, or click thru on each book below.}  

Mrs. Everything, Jennifer Weiner   Two sisters growing up in 1950's Detroit - one, a feminine "good girl" who enjoys all of the power her beauty confers, and the other a tomboy and bookish rebel - whose lives unfold with tragedies and traumas against the backdrop of  free love, Vietnam and women's lib.

Outlander, Diana Gabaldon   Claire Randall, a former British combat nurse, is in the Scottish Highlands just back from WWII and reunited with her husband when she walks through one of the ancient circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is an "outlander" in 1743 in a land torn by raiding clans.

Middlesex, Jeffrey Eugenides   2003 Pulitzer Prize Winner for fiction. An American epic that begins in a tiny village overlooking Mount Olympus with the tale of a gene that passes through three generations to the body of a teenage girl in Detroit 1974.

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Muriel Spark    Miss Jean Brodie is an extraordinary teacher at a school for girls in Edinburgh, Scotland where she dedicates herself to an affair with a bachelor music master, as well as to her girls. She is determined to instill in them independence, passion and ambition. But then one betrays her.

Truth & Beauty, Ann Patchett   Patchett's nonfiction account of her 20-year friendship with writer Lucy Grealy, which spans through love, fame, drugs, surgical wards, NYC book parties and despair.

A Little Life, Hanya Yanagihara   Winner of the Kirkus Prize. Follows four college classmates as they move to NYC in search of fame and fortune. While their friendship deepens over decades tinged with addiction, success and pride, it is held together primarily by their shared devotion to enigmatic and brilliant Jude, whose childhood was scarred with trauma.

Monogamy, Sue Miller   Graham and Annie are a golden couple. He is a gregarious book shop owner and she an envied dinner party host. Married for thirty years when Graham dies suddenly, and in the wake of that (and her mourning), Annie discovers a ruinous secret.

Lonesome Dove, Larry McMurtry   1985 Pulitzer Prize Winner for Fiction. Classic tale of the American West that follows two aging Texas Rangers embarking on one last adventure. An epic tale of male friendship, aging, unrequited love and death.

The Talented Mr. Ripley, Patricia Highsmith   A masterpiece of the psychological thriller genre, this is the story of Ripley, a smooth confidence man with a talent for self-invention who becomes obsessed with a wealthy, debonair acquaintance in Italy.

Part 2: EroticLit – Late Nights and Lazy Mornings.  From classic literature to emerging writers, it is an exceptional list of masterpieces.  One thing that I particularly love that Sharon has done for us is let herself wander back and forth through time, while focusing her organizing principle on books that offer the most moving, creative, provocative and lyrically written stories.

Sharon's "Late Nights & Lazy Mornings" Reading List {Click here to see all of this week's EroticLit list with brief descriptions/reviews of each book on The Chatham Bookstore's Bookshop page, or click thru on each book below to read.}  

The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love Oscar Hijuelos  1989 Pulitzer Prize Winner. The Castillo brothers make their way from Cuba to New York City's dance halls in 1949 to become the Mambo Kings. Their orchestra plays lush, sensuous, pulsing music by night; by day they are laborers. This is an exuberant portrait of the lives of the brothers, their families, fellow musicians and lovers, and their triumphs and tragedies. It recreates a tantalizing world and period in American life.

Scary Old Sex Arlene Heyman  A work of "bliss that lifts right off the page." (Dwight Garner, NYT) A beautiful young art student embarks on an affair with a much older, married , famous artist. A man finds that his father has died while in the midst of extra-marital sex and wonders what to do about the body. A woman goes about certain rituals of sex with her second husband, living with ghosts of her sexual past. This is a stunning, taboo-breaking debut of short stories by a practicing psychiatrist, who gives us what really goes on in people's minds, relatinships and beds.

The Transit of Venus Shirley Hazzard  A literary masterpiece that is considered one of the great English-language novels of the 20th Centurey (The Paris Review). The story of two beautiful orphan sisters who leave Sydney, Australia for London in the 1950s, who experience seduction and abandonment, marriage and widowhood – and whose fates are as moving and wonderful, and yet as predestined, as the transits of the planets themselves.

Fear of Flying Erica Jong  A 1973 publishing sensation that tells the uninhibited story of Isadora Wing and her desire to fly free. After thirty years, it stands as a timeless tale of self-discovery, liberation and womanhood.

What Belongs to You Garth Greenwall  Named One of the Best Books of the Year by more than 50 publications in 2016. An American teacher working in Madrid enters a public bathroom where he meets Mitko, a charismatic young hustler, and pays him for sex. A stunning novel of desire and its consequences, written with lyric intensity and startling eroticism.

Chelsea Girls Eileen Myles   This groundbreaking autobiography by "a cult figure to a generation of post-punk females forming their own literary avant garde" has been recently republished.  The poet Myles tells her story of being raised Catholic by an alcoholic father, her volatile adolescence and ultimately her riotous pursuit of survival as a poet in 1970s New York.  A funny, cool and intimate account of a writer's education suffused with sex, drugs and alcohol.

My Education Susan Choi  Though Regina had been warned about her Professor, nothing prepared her for his exceptional physical beauty. Or his charismatic, volatile wife. This story is an education in Regina's mistakes, which begin in the bedroom.

Edge Play Jane Boon  A universe beyond Fifty Shades of Grey and The Big Short, Edge Play is a novel set in the most elite, fetishistic underground circles of Wall Street mega-power and BDSM.  As the primary character, Amy Lefevre, moves from investment banking to the world of an elite S&M dungeon, she explores obsession and ambition with a fetishist's eye.

The Group Mary McCarthy  A dazzling, outspoken novel about the social history of America between the wars, McCarthy's most celebrated novel follows the lives of eight Vassar graduates through the years.

The Swimming-Pool Library Alan Hollinghurst  An enthralling, darkly erotic novel of homosexuality before the scourge of AIDS; an elegy, possessed of chilling clarity. The story of a young gay aristocrat who leads a life of privilege and promiscuity and an elderly Lord, searching for someone to write his biography and inherit his traditions.

The Unbearable Lightness of Being Milan Kundera  A young woman in love with a man torn between his love for her and his womanizing; one of his mistresses and her faithful lover – these are the two couples whose stories are told in this classic, masterful novel.  An exploration of how lives are as shaped by irrevocable choices as by fortuitous events.

Tipping the Velvet Sarah Waters  Set in 1890s London, the title is a euphemism for cunnilingus – the story is a graphic and lushly told story of lesbian sex against a dangerous and thrilling world of the theater.

Henry and June: From A Journal of Love Anais Nin  From Nin's diaries, this is an intimate account of a woman's sexual awakening, which occurs over a single momentous year in Paris 1930s, when Nin meets Henry Miller and his wife June. Nin falls in love with his writing and her beauty, but begins a fiery affair with him when June leaves Paris for a year.

Call Me By Your Name  Andre Acimen  A sudden, powerful romance blossoms between an adolescent boy and a summer guest on a cliffside mansion on the Italian Riviera. The novel that sparked a major motion picture.

Brideshead Revisted Evelyn Waugh  The fuel of desire and the impediments to love come brilliantly into focus in Waugh's masterpiece, a novel that immerses us in the glittering and seductive world of English artistrocracy in the waning days of the empire.

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