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Beacon Staff Summer Reads and Other Binges of 2023

Summer reading 2023
Image credit: Ylanite Koppens

Our New England summer is off to an overcast, monsoony start, but that’s not going to stop us from vibing with our seasonal reads and binges. Here’s what our staff has been enjoying.


From Christian Coleman, Digital Marketing Manager

Man  Fuck This House

Twitter is imploding under the weight of its Muskiness, so the days of discovering books on the bird app are numbered. This may be one of the last word-of-mouth recommendations that shows up on my feed before the algorithm highjacks everything in the name of that business tycoon’s eggshell ego.

Most of my mutuals tweeted about this haunted house novel because the title alone tickled them to death. Tickled me, too! Who hasn’t thought those words when watching a haunted house movie? Brian Asman’s comedy-horror mashup makes cheeky nods to The Haunting of Hill House (the Haskin family moves to the city of Jackson Hill), The Omen (the Haskins’ sinister son is named Damien), and Carrie (buckets of pig’s blood, anyone?) while cranking up the surrealism exponentially in the third act. Breezy and bonkers.


From Sarah Fuller, Marketing Intern

Is It Hot In Here

I’m currently reading Is It Hot in Here? by Zach Zimmerman. It was recommended to me, so I decided to give it a try, and I really like it. His voice is authentic, and the content is sure to make you laugh.

I listen to a few podcasts: What We Said, The Bad Broadcast, What’s The Juice, and Going Mental. The content is, for the most part, lighthearted (except for Going Mental). I love listening to episodes where the host shares stories submitted by viewers, like “Vacation Horror Stories,” “Worst Accidental Texts,” etc.

As for movies and shows, I really liked The Ultimatum: Queer Love and Never Have I Ever on Netflix. I also recently saw this horror thriller called Speak No Evil, and it was . . . incredible, especially since I had no idea what I was in for as I began watching it. I will say this: Watch at your own discretion. It is most definitely NOT your typical horror. 


From Bev Rivero, Senior Publicist 

How Far the Light Reaches

Reading: I was blown away by How Far the Light Reaches: A Life in Ten Sea Creatures by Sabrina Imbler. A 2023 Lammy finalist for nonfiction, alongside Ricky Tucker’s And the Category Is . . . , this wholly unique book is one of the queerest works of science writing I’ve encountered in a long time, maybe ever. The author pairs the mysteries and miracles of the deep with narratives of first loves, iconic queer spots in NYC, scenes of protest, and more.

TV: I’m watching the second season of The Bear, which continues to be one of the most innovative streaming shows, with episodes of various lengths, addressing anxiety, legacies of trauma, and the economic realities of the hospitality industry post-COVID, among many other things. Most people wouldn’t call it relaxing viewing, but it’s still packed with humor and worth your time. When you finish watching it, check out Alicia Kennedy’s review at Slate; in a season full of changes, “If one must work, The Bear posits, then force the work to be a means of transformation.”

Films: I’ve been making my way through Criterion’s Masc collection and particularly loved The Aggressives, a 2005 documentary that follows six participants of various ages, all deeply secure in their presentations. Starting in 1997 and spanning to 2004, the group frankly shares their experiences ranging from joining the military, doing time in prison, competing in the ball scene, having children, and more. I have a total soft spot for documentaries set in NYC that features people on the city’s margins without tokenizing them, and that totally fits the bill in this gem of a film.  


From Emily Spaulding, Business Operations Assistant 


If meditation were a book, Enchantment: Awakening Wonder in an Anxious Age would be it. Katherine May perfectly explains post-pandemic anxieties I didn’t know I had, and then resolves them.

I’ve also enjoyed the podcast Wiser Than Me, where Julia Louis-Dreyfus chats with women over seventy. Listening feels like having a cup of tea with your favorite grandma or great aunt.


From Brittany Wallace, Sales and Marketing Coordinator 


Some people set yearly reading goals, but something about that makes my brain want to rebel and not reach the goal. So, instead of having a specific number in mind, I’m just leaning into the genres that have been piquing my interest and devouring as many of those stories as possible. So far, I’m up to thirty books, 14,672 pages read! 

For my current workday read, I’m rereading/listening to Adalyn Grace’s Belladonna, an inventive, somehow-YA* story about a young girl who can’t die and her apparent soul-tie to Death himself. My bedtime book is Furyborn, book 1 in the Empirium Trilogy. I’ve been on a big romantasy kick, so I’ve torn through Sarah J. Maas’s ACOTAR and Throne of Glass series. And, like everyone on BookTok, I burned through Fourth Wing in twenty-four hours and anxiously await its sequel, out this fall.

*If you read it, you’ll know why I’m a little disbelieving of its YA status.

Summer reading 2023