Posted on 06.25.2013

by Annabelle Dexter-Jones

When Annabelle Dexter-Jones showed us around her favorite spots in downtown New York, she spent a lot of time perusing the shelves at Left Bank Books —and we mean a lot. So who better to ask for an ultimate summer reading list than the bibliophile It Girl herself? After settling the question of whether you can judge a book by its cover—“Absolutely! There’s nothing wrong with that—as long as it’s literally a book,” she says with a laugh—Dexter-Jones shared with us her recommendations, whether you’re beach-bound or just hanging in your apartment with the a/c blasting.

“My Last Sigh” by Luis Bunuel
“It’s a happy book—that’s the best way I can describe it, it just puts me in a good mood. He wrote it a year before his death, and he recounts all of his experiences in his life, whether they’re sad or wonderful, and his only regret--because he knows he 's going to die--is that he can't come back every 10 years and read the newspaper to know what's going on.”

“Self Portrait” by Man Ray
“I’m really into autobiographies, and Man Ray's is super cool, just because he's one of my favorite artists. It's a bit heavier [than Bunuel’s] and it's not as breezy--you can kind of breeze through ‘My Last Sigh.’”

“The Pregnant Widow” by Martin Amis
“My family is British so I love British humor! This was recommended by a friend--I like to spend a lot of time in bookstores so I find all sorts of things, but I get a lot of my books through recommendations.”

“The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger
“I was going to read it this summer because I haven't in so long!

“Role Models” by John Waters
“I haven't read it yet, but I just picked it up. I just love his perversity.”

“The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein
“I always have it on my shelf.”

“Jaws” by Peter Benchley
“A lot of people don't even think to read the book—and I never thought to read the book until someone said, ‘You have to read it!’ I think it's the ultimate summer read.”