Join the Living Book Club this season as we take on our summer reading list. Next up: Rebecca Makkai's "Music for Wartime."
Credit: Bryan Gardner

We get that summer can be hectic. After transporting your children to summer camp, taking trips to the neighborhood pool and planning that perfect vacation, there might seem like no time to do anything else, much less relax with a good book.

But that's where the next pick on our summer reading list comes in. Rebecca Makkai's "Music for Wartime" is a diverse collection of short stories, and it's the perfect book to tote along wherever your summer takes you -- you can pick it up for a quick story or let yourself really get lost in it if you If you followed our book club last summer, you might already be a fan of Makkai's, as her novel "The Hundred-Year House" was one of our picks on last summer's reading list.


A reality show producer manipulates two contestants into falling in love, even as her own relationship falls apart. Just after the fall of the Berlin Wall, a young boy has a revelation about his father's past when a renowned Romanian violinist plays a concert in their home. When the prized elephant of a traveling circus keels over dead, the small-town minister tasked with burying its remains comes to question his own faith. In an unnamed country, a composer records the folk songs of two women from a village on the brink of destruction.

These transporting, deeply moving stories-some inspired by her own family history-amply demonstrate Makkai's extraordinary range as a storyteller, and confirm her as a master of the short story form.

Which short story was your favorite? Also, let us know your favorite place to take a quick reading break in the comments below!

Want to know what else we are reading this summer?

Now out in paperback, Dan Barber's "The Third Plate: Field Notes on the Future of Food" takes a critical look at the food sustainability movement while entertaining the reader with Barber's captivating narrative. We can't wait to take a bite out of this thought-provoking nonfiction work. Who said you couldn't learn something new during summer?!

Summer definitely is the season of rest and relaxation, but that doesn't mean your summer reading list can't pack a punch with a thought-provoking, unforgettable novel. Nobel Prize winner Toni Morrison's "God Help the Child" transports us into the life of a beautiful woman named Bride.

For our historical fiction fanatics, "All the Light We Cannot See" by Anthony Doerr is the perfect beach read this summer. Set in France during World War II, this fascinating novel tells the story of how a blind French girl and a German boy's paths cross while battling the destruction of the war.


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