Mel Brooks is a Genius. Polly Adler was a Madam. More Summer Reading: Albania, Poland and Saving Freud

Peter L.W. Osnos

Based on the bestseller lists of recent months, books by Donald Trump’s former attorney general Bill Barr, former defense secretary Mark Esper, and White House factotum Kellyanne Conway have amassed readers galore. 

I was not among them. 

Here’s a list of some books I read in the first half of 2022 and my suggestions for summer reading taking a different approach to information, elucidation, and entertainment. 

......Saving Freud: The Rescuers Who Bought Him Freedom by Andrew Nagorski (Simon & Schuster, coming in August) provides a lively backstory to the life and world of Sigmund Freud in Vienna and how, when the Nazis arrived, he and his family made it to safety in London. I want to particularly recommend his portrait of Princess George of Greece, Marie Bonaparte, a psychoanalyst who was a great-grandniece of Napoleon. She was a student and eventually a peer to Freud and an expert in issues of women’s’ sexuality. She played a significant role during World War II of supporting Jews at great risk. I can vouch for that because my parents were among her beneficiaries. 

Summer is for a chance of pace. And after the year we’ve all experienced, these books will certainly provide reading to savor. All the books can be found in stores or ordered online – or listened to on audio, especially the Brooks.