We Know What You’re Reading This Summer
By Fernanda Lazzaro, LAS Customer Service Representative
There’s nothing like losing yourself in a good book. Okay, walking through St. Mark’s Square in Venice would be nice (except for the time I was three and wearing a white dress – let’s just say, good thing social media didn’t exist back then).
With the unknown travel restrictions this summer, the LAS staff thought we would put together a book list, hoping we could escape through the power of words. Perhaps you will get some ideas and add to your own reading list.
Title: Fitzgerald: Novels and Stories 1920-1922
Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald
Santa gifted me a few collections of works from authors of the Lost Generation: F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, and John Steinbeck. I may not be able to get through all three collections, but I do plan on tackling at least one. I’ll start with Fitzgerald’s, “This Side of Paradise”, the first novel he had published, which is the first book in this collection. I know he won’t disappointed with his poetic writing and capturing of the Jazz Age. If I can’t travel outside of Toronto, I can at least travel back in time to the 1920s.
Fernanda Lazzaro, Customer Service Representative - LAS
Title: Is This Anything?
Author: Jerry Seinfeld
This book excerpts Jerry Seinfeld’s stand-up comedy material over the last 50 years
It is light and funny, perfect to read before going to bed. It allows you to disconnect your brain from the busy day bustle and end your day with positivity. It is just what the doctor prescribed to escape late night COVID and work-related anxiety and just go to sleep with a smile.
Aliya Khayat, Energy Billing & Settlement Clerk
Title: “Network Effect” (The Murderbot Diaries #5)
Author: Martha Wells
Synopsis: This is book five in the sci-fi series about an organic hybrid android security unit (SecUnit) that is contracted out to provide security to company space expeditions in case of danger. The novels are a slow burn in the first novel, but quickly escalates with danger and conspiracies by corrupt Corporations. It also deals with the relationships that this SecUnit develops with the characters, relatively similar to Data on Star Trek, but in less desirability to relate as a human, than Data wanted. This latest in the series, I personally give a 5/5 – it is that good.
Susan Weiss, Administrative Assistant – LAS
Title: Ready Play Two
Author: Ernest Cline, 2020
I plan on reading Ready Player Two, part two to Ready Player One, which I have already read. It's basically dorky, geeky video game adventure. Yes, sci fi, nostalgia (80,90's) movies, games…It's similar to Willy Wonka -- the future where people almost live completely on the internet and can be whatever they want.
Corey Brown, Team Lead – Energy Billing & Settlement
Title: The Remains of the Day
Author: Kazuo Ishiguro
Set in 1956 England, the book chronicles the life of Williams Stevens, a great Butler who served a Lord at Darlington Hall. Williams sets off on a “motoring” journey through the English countryside that allows him to reflect on memories of his life; a world where tradition, loyalty and service were highly regarded. The book is exceptionally written and moving. A highly recommended read.
Eleonore Schneider, ONE Program Manager
Author: Terry Fallis
Synopsis: Adam Coryell is an average high school student with above average skill in golf. Adam deals with the upside of being good at golf and tries to reconcile it with his real interests and passions.
Fallis’ novels are always page turners for me and often devoured in a long afternoon. His characters are often people I can place in my own world, very much like Stephen Leacock’s stories. He uses a mixture of humour and understanding of the human condition that offers a joyful small respite from reality particularly during a pandemic.
Judy Dezell, Director AMO Enterprise Centre, Business Partnerships, LAS & ONE
Author: Maggie O’Farrell
There is nothing better than reading a good book outdoors in the summer, preferably at a beach and with a cold beverage close at hand. There are quite a few books that are stacked up on my bedside table and I’m hoping to get through a handful this summer – hopefully by that beach. Top of the queue is Maggie O’Farrell’s Hamnet, a reimagination of the family relationship of William Shakespeare, his wife Anne (or Agnes) Hathaway, and their three children: Susanna and the twins Judith and Hamnet. Early modern English names were spelled in numerous ways and it’s been noted by historians and scholars of this period that “Hamnet” is interchangeable with “Hamlet”, the title of arguably the most famous of Shakespeare’s tragedies. The crucial moment of O’Farrell’s novel is the tragic loss of 11-year old Hamnet during a pandemic in the late 16th century.
Although he’s left us an embarrassment of riches in plays and poetry, we don’t have much insight into the day-to-day thoughts of Shakespeare. That Shakespeare wrote Hamlet in the years after his son’s passing and gave the tragedy the title of his son’s name, I think, suggests someone still coping with grief and loss but also someone who deeply cared for his family. I think this makes him more human and more interesting, which his worldwide fame and luminary literary status overshadows. Much like what Hilary Mantel has done reimagining the life of Thomas Cromwell to critical acclaim in the Wolf Hall trilogy, I’m looking forward to reading O’Farrell’s reimagination of this story.
Nick Ruder, Research Advisor, AMO/LAS
Title: The Way of the Monk
Author: Gaur Gopal Das
Synopsis: How to find purpose, balance, and lasting happiness
This book is all about how we can achieve peace when the world is so full of noise and conflict. He is a motivational speaker and a coach. I personally like his books and YouTube videos. He is really good.
Sujitha Cyril, Energy Billing & Settlement Clerk
Our LAS staff has an array of genre preferences. Find your favourite on this list or try something new to read this summer.