lydia millet favorite books summer 2014

Illustration: Thomas Allen

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Because You Can Uncover Unexpectedly Delightful Books That Transform You
There's a particular laziness of the body, in the yellow-grassed, humid fallows of summer, that can strip the mind of what's trivial and open it to the essentials. Sure, to the layperson's eye, you may look like you're doing nothing—maybe floating on a pool raft or lolling on a porch swing. But appearances deceive. With a splayed paperback or scrolling tablet in hand, you may in fact be as far away as the moons of Jupiter. I'm not talking about the bubblegum worlds of beach books that can be picked up at the grocery checkout. I'm picturing a more exotic landscape: the unfamous but brilliant gems, the harder-to-find silver slivers of genius. If you want a secret adventure, the sluggish days of summer can give you both the camouflage and the opportunity.
—Lydia Millet, her first young adult novel, Pills and Starships, set on a Hawaiian resort in a future ruled by rapid planetary change and social chaos, came out in June.

Read the rest of Lydia Millet's essay on diving into creative novels