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Prosek’s 2023 Summer Reading List

Unboxed Thoughts Team  Follow

It’s that time of year! Whether you’re hitting the beach, the pool, the backyard, or maybe just your desk during lunchtime, it’s summer reading season, and our Prosek readers are back with their recommendations. Give our list a read (pun intended) and let us know your favorites too. 

Hugh Cunningham, Vice President, Fairfield 
Hugh’s recommendation: Malice (The Faithful and the Fallen Book #1) by John Gwynne
Genre: Fantasy
Why he loves it (and you will too!): This series is for anyone who loved the fantasy-political themes of Game of Thrones, except John Gwynne did his readers the service of actually finishing his series. Heavily pulling from Celtic mythology, this series follows the machinations of a prince and a blacksmith’s son as they, and the men and women in each of their lives, find themselves unknowingly pulled to opposite sides of a prophesized conflict between two gods that abandoned the world long ago. I devour anything I can get from John Gwynne – he’s great at driving the action forward and, unlike the works of many other epic fantasy writers, I find that the pages and chapters fly by. 

Josh Hess, Account Supervisor, New York
Josh’s recommendation: The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
Genre: True Crime / Historical Nonfiction 
Why he loves it (and you will too!): Twenty years after its publication and 130 years after the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, this is a fascinating read on two parallel true stories: the architect behind the World’s Fair and a serial killer who lured victims into his nearby hotel, nicknamed the “Murder Castle.” Those who like historical non-fiction and mystery will enjoy how these stories are weaved together, even while the protagonist and antagonist never cross paths. 

Kristina Corso, Associate Vice President, New York 
Kristina’s recommendation: Under the Whispering Door by T.J. Klune
Genre: Fantasy / Fiction 
Why she loves it (and you will too!): Under the Whispering Door is a book about life, love, and grief, and it tackles a lot of really difficult topics while still managing to be funny. It’s a beach read with a lot of heart. 

Mia Rossi, Senior Account Executive, New York
Mia’s recommendations: Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus and The Club by Ellery Lloyd
Genres: Humor and Thriller 
Why she loves them (and you will too!): Lessons in Chemistry is the perfect mix of romance, heartbreak, joy, and “girl power.” You will fall in love (or hate) with all of the characters, and it has a full circle ending with a twist that leaves you loving it even more than you thought you could! 

The Club is SoHo House, meets murder mystery, meets soap opera, meets Page Six. This book has all of the elements of a juicy Hollywood story with twists and turns on every page. It will entertain you and surprise you in all the best ways!

Jennifer Cullen, Account Executive, New York 
Jennifer’s recommendation: Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton
Genre: Memoir   
Why she loves it (and you will too!): Everything I Know About Love recounts a woman’s life from childhood to her thirties in all its confusing glory. Dolly Alderton weaves together stories, observations, lists and recipes in this exploration of family and friendship, identity and nostalgia that is sure to make you cry some happy tears.  

Liza Moore, Account Executive, New York
Liza’s recommendation: The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne
Genre: Novel 
Why she loves it (and you will too!):This book is an emotional rollercoaster. It’s the life story of an Irish man, Cyril Avery, as he tries to find his identity and home, showcasing the personal and societal toll of Ireland’s repression of homosexuality over the past 70 years. The Heart’s Invisible Furies is a dark novel paired with theatrical – and sometimes satirical – dialogues to lighten the plotline.

Mark Snyder, Executive Assistant to Jen Prosek, New York 
Mark’s recommendations: The Red-Headed Pilgrim by Kevin Maloney and I Have Some Questions For You by Rebecca Makkai 
Genres: Coming-of-age Fiction and Murder Mystery 
Why he loves them (and you will too!): The Red-Headed Pilgrim is a ribald story about a young Appalachian man’s coming of age. It’s heartfelt, hilarious and provocative, plus it’s from one of my favorite publishers, Two Dollar Radio, based in Columbus, Ohio (my beloved home state).

I Have Some Questions For You is a great summer read despite being set in the dead of winter. The book is about podcast host, Bodie Kane, returning to her high school boarding school in upstate NY to teach a class on podcasting. She and her students reopen a decades old murder that continues to haunt her. A riveting story about class, privilege, and the slipperiness of memory. 

Sarah Denning, Senior Account Executive, Boston 
Sarah’s Recommendation: The Hotel Nantucket by Elin Hilderbrand 
Genre: Beach read
Why she loves it (and you will too!): Reading a book on the beach is my quintessential summer activity, and this book is the quintessential New England Summer book with a little bit of a twist! As all of Elin Hilderbrand’s books do, she references actual restaurants, hotels and stores in Nantucket and the appendix is a full guide to the best real-life spots on the island. It’s the perfect summer read for a sunny day.

Alex Schaffer, Account Executive, New York 
Alex’s recommendation: When We Were Friends by Holly Bourne
Genre: Fiction 
Why she loves it (and you will too!): This book is a love letter to the complexity of friendship. It's a great read for anyone who is wondering what their best friend from middle school is up to now. This novel also delves into the topic of mental health and how we need to address the insecurities from our past, so they don't bite us later. When We Were Friends is both a joyous and heartfelt story about adulthood, friendship and confidence. 

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