Imprint's Summer Reading List
One of the things I love about our editorial team at Imprint is our diversity of perspectives, writing styles, and reading habits. It leads to fascinating discussions, diverging opinions, and a magazine that’s somehow both varied and cohesive. I asked the team to share a couple book recommendations and the result is a delightful mix of to-reads you can enjoy on a patio in the city or your next cottage weekend.
From Lead Editor, Jen Pollock Michel
Seculosity: How Career, Parenting, Technology, Food, Politics, and Romance Became Our New Religion and What to Do About It by David Zahl
I think Zahl has a fascinating thesis, defining “seculosity” as the “catchall for religiosity that’s directed horizontally rather than vertically, at earthly rather than heavenly objects.” We may be more religious than we think.
Small Fry: A Memoir by Lisa Brennan-Jobs
This book showed up on a lot of important 2018 booklists, so it had been on my to-read list for a while. Brennan-Jobs is the daughter of the late Steve Jobs, born to him and his girlfriend when they were just 23.
Making Sense of God: An Invitation to the Skeptical by Tim Keller
Keller has said that he considers this book, written after The Reason for God, to be its prequel. Both are must-reads for Christians in a city like Toronto.
On Reading Well: Finding the Good Life Through Great Books by Karen Swallow Prior
It’s an important discipline to read the literary classics, and it’s helpful to have someone like Dr. Prior guide you in the journey.
From Associate Editor, Martyn Wendell Jones
Black Lamb and Grey Falcon by Rebecca West
Set in Yugoslavia in 1937, this 1200-page book is far more than a tourist's diary. Rebecca West weaves together historical asides, riffs on philosophy, cultural criticism, essays in comparative religion, excurses on ancient literature, political observations, and accounts of her encounters with representatives of groups that straddle the boundaries between East and West, ancient and modern, to create a tapestry of such breadth and brilliance that the achievement is astonishing to behold. One of the great books of the 20th century, Black Lamb and Grey Falcon holds another honorific in my mind: it's the book that's made me laugh out loud more than any other I've read in the past couple years. Don't be scared. While this tome contains a whole world, it's also endlessly inviting—one to live with. (Note: I recommend potential readers skip the Christopher Hitchens introduction in the Penguin Classics edition, and get right to the text itself.)
From Reviews Editor, Joel Faber
Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie
This inventive science-fiction novel has lots to recommend it from a critical perspective: it has remarkable style, excellent pacing, and balances ambitious world-building with a compelling focus on what is a really interesting protagonist. I also just loved reading it, as it incorporates some great space-opera tropes while reimagining them through an inventive lens. It’s not always an easy read, but a thoroughly enjoyable one—and if you like it, there are two more in the trilogy.
From Digital Editor, Katrina Togeretz
A House in the Sky by Amanda Lindhout & Sara Corbett
I’ve been on one all-inclusive beach vacation. This was one of the books I took along. It’s pretty much the opposite of your traditional beach fare—it’s not fiction or light or an easy read. It is, however, a fascinating and compelling book. Recounting the story of Amanda Lindhout, a Canadian reporter who’s kidnapped in Somalia and held hostage for 460 days, A House in the Sky portrays resiliency and hope.
Where’d You Go Bernadette? by Maria Semple
Something fun and light to round out our list. This book made the rounds of reading lists some years ago, but the movie adaptation is coming out in August, so it seemed an appropriate time to recommend it again. Maria Semple’s characters are delightful and if you read this book you will also learn some interesting things about Antarctica. And “you’ll learn some interesting things about <insert random topic>” is pretty much the best kind of recommendation I can give.
Happy summer reading.
Text: Katrina Togeretz