Growing up, I was one of those nerds who got really excited about being assigned a summer reading list, and to this day I kick off each summer by stocking up on stacks of paperbacks to pour through. Now that we find ourselves about halfway through the season, three favorites have so far crept to the top of the heap. Check them out and let us know what books you recommend in the comments! We’re always in the mood for a well-told tale. TENDER IS THE NIGHT: So you’ve read The Great Gatsby, seen the movie (both the 1974 & 2013 versions!), ogled the fashion story and still you’re craving more F. Scott Fitzgerald? Enter Tender Is The Night. As in Gatsby, we oscillate here between the intrinsic attitudes of the idle rich and the upwardly mobile ~ but with even more intrigue between party lines. If Daisy Buchanan represented the author’s wife Zelda’s better years, Nicole Diver (one of this story’s leads) imitates her historically infamous, darker turns. In typical Fitzgerald fashion, theres a lot of living and little salvation in these pages ~ and the storyline is all the more compelling for it.THE INTERESTINGS: What starts as a summer camp camaraderie flourishes into a 30-year journey laced with friendship, romance, family, crime, betrayal, massive success, crushing failures and an endless, delicious litany of pop culture references that spans the Moonies to the Simpsons. My social life stopped from the moment I picked this book up till I reached its final page ~ I literally could not put it down.THE FLAMETHROWERS: A floridly-written story set between the 1970’s New York City art scene and the gilded palazzos of old-money Italy, this true-to-life portrait traces one young artist’s adventures in following her instincts. Throughout this compellingly written saga, this intuition takes her from the salt flats of Utah to the lofts of Soho to riots on the streets of Italy ~ and somehow also nowhere at all.