Suicides, short stories and space: Summer reading suggestions

William Price

You’ve taken countless naps. You’ve watched everything on Netflix, twice. Your fridge is empty of food and your brain is slowly melting from the Statesboro summer heat. What better way to relieve boredom and chill out than with a new book?

Check out three summer reads picked by our editors to enjoy over the last half of summer.

“A Long Way Down” By Nick Hornby

By Peyton Callanan

The George-Anne staff

While sliver screen adaptations of beloved books can range from fantastic (is it okay to talk about “Fight Club” now?) to downright terrible (lets never talk about “Eragon”), one thing most book lovers can agree upon is that the book is usually better than the movie.

So before watching Jesse Pinkman go toe-to-toe with James Bond this summer on the big screen in director Pascal Chummeil’s adaption of “A Long Way Down” staring Pierce Brosnan, Aaron Paul, Imogen Poots and Toni Collette, add Nicholas Hornby’s brilliant dark comedy novel to your poolside reading list.

The book is told from the rotating point-of-view of four strangers who form a unique bond after meeting on top of a sky scraper on New Years Eve, each with plans of committing suicide by jumping. Though they make a pact to all come down together and sort out their personal issues, their lives become increasingly more complicated the more they try to help each other.

While the plot may sound heavy, the book is full of Hornby’s signature sharp dialogue, fun pop-culture references and hilariously flawed characters.

“Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day” By Ben Loory

By Lauren Gorla

The George-Anne staff

For those that may not enjoy reading a book over 200 pages long, this collection of short stories is definitely right up your alley. With 39 stories ranging from one to 10 pages long, there’s bound to be a few that will catch your attention.

Be prepared for some weirdness though before diving right into this book while lying out by the pool or lounging at the beach. There’s stories about a TV that watches people, magic pigs and tales of the end of the world, just to name a few.

Reading through the table of contents would lead a reader to believe that the stories are just your basic, run-of-the-mill tales. However, for the overanalyzers and English majors out there, each story is really just compiled of metaphors stacked on metaphors.

On the surface each story is just part of some weird facet of life, which makes it perfect for that easy-summer-read. But it also has an appeal for those who want a little something extra in their short story readings.

Take for example ‘The Sea Monster.’ You figure it’s probably about some monster in the ocean that eats sailors and brings destruction to a town. Well you’re basically right but if you think about it from an analytical standpoint, it’s more about how society’s pressures fall back upon themselves in the end. Pretty cool, right?

To sum it all up, a story from this book might just make you cringe, but it could also make you question your entire existence.

“An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth” By Chris Hadfield

By Will Price

The George-Anne staff

Although memoirs aren’t normally my thing, the title and cover of this book were enough for me to give it the old college try. I mean, there’s an astronaut riding a skateboard, what’s not to like?

Turning the first few pages were no less inviting. Colonel Chris Hadfield details his brutally exciting, adrenaline-filled life with the tone of your cool uncle telling you one of his old stories. Hadfield goes into great detail recounting his extraordinary feats, like breaking into a space station with nothing more than a Swiss Army knife, but he is also sure to highlight what he learned from everything he’s done.

This is what makes the book so much more than the fun, witty book that it is. Hadfield humanizes all of the incredible things he’s done in a way that I hadn’t thought about before. He keeps your interest with his stories and makes you remember them with his lessons.

The book is separated into three parts, “Pre-launch,” “Liftoff,” and “Coming down to Earth.” The memoir comes in at only 282 pages and was my most surprisingly enjoyable summer read so far.