O's 2011 Summer Reading List

What's your favorite flavor? No matter, because we've got 'em all: refreshing histories, nutty novels, and love stories that will make you melt.


304 pages; Seal Press
In a memoir that spans 15 years of travel from Pakistan to Fiji, Elisabeth Eaves explores these diverse landscapes in lush detail, tackles the ongoing challenges of assimilating into a new culture, and confronts both the burden and beauty of taking on life as an independent woman. Along the way, of course, she meets an array of lovers (note the "lust" in Wanderlust). There's the cosmopolitan British businessman, then the adorable Canadian sweetheart, then the macho Australian hottie. What's most interesting about these encounters, however, is how Eaves approaches the topic of love, consistently describing her relationships with a sense of detachment. Does she really want to find the meaning of home, as she suggests at the beginning of the book? Or does she really want to continue living without ties, pursuing "the excitement of disorientation?" It's not clear, but her vivid tales—Cairo to Yemen to Vancouver—make the journey a vicarious pleasure.

— Amber Kallor