My summer reading habit started by default: my favorite TV shows were on hiatus. These days, there is no lack of original content to watch year-round, but reading still evokes that lazy summer day to me — even when it’s not so lazy a day. I read a lot throughout the year and am constantly on the look out for new books and authors, so when I saw Elena Ferrante’s “My Brilliant Friend” topped the Fiction List in the Bay Area, I had to check it out. This English translation of a series of Italian novels tells the story of a complicated friendship between two girls growing up in a poor community in Naples and the different paths they take in life as they are most loyal to and critical of each other. In addition to being a beautifully written (and not at all sappy) tale of a relationship between two fiercely intelligent women, the Neopolitan Series grapples serious issues of classism, sexism and politics. There are so many rich characters to keep track of, I really enjoyed not being limited to one book. Each of these novels are nearly 500 pages and after reading the first, I immediately moved on to the next, and the next after that. It was such a pleasure to find a series in a new discovery, so that the enjoyment can continue for many more pages. If you’re looking for something new to read, I highly recommend the Neopolitan Series.
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