Summer Reading List
Something about summer time always brings out the book worm in me. Maybe it’s my more leisurely schedule or the prolonged daylight hours. Either way, nothing beats cracking open a good book on the beach or outside sipping coffee at your favorite spot.
I sifted through piles of books, checked their ratings and feedback on Goodreads, and decided on the books below. My goal for this summer is not just to read for entertainment, but for inspiration and education. I tried to include a variety of books, from historical fiction, to crime & mystery, to nonfiction, and of course a little romance.
Each book has a small description about why I’m interested in reading it along with a Goodreads rating (p.s if you’re not on Goodreads, you need to be. It’s like rotten tomatoes but for books!)
Little Fires Everywhere- Celeste Ng (4.12)
By the same author of Everything I Never Told You, this novel presents the story of conflict that arises when a nonconformist mother moves to a meticulously planned out suburb near Cleveland, OH. To be honest, I’ve already cracked this one open and was captivated within the first couple chapters!
On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous- Ocean Vuong (4.23)
A poet’s novel debut that explores race, class, and masculinity. Told from the perspective of a son in his late twenties writing a letter to his mother, this novel is said to, “ask how we heal and rescue one another without forsaking who we are,” and answer the question of, “how to survive and how to make it a kind joy.” This novel promises to be both a gripping and an elegant read.
Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors- Sonali Dev (3.85)
This book landed on my list because I’m a HUGE Jane Austen fan and also enjoyed the modern day re-write of Pride and Prejudice by Curtis Sittenfeld, Eligible. Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors is said to possess elements of the Austen classic but more importantly explores the modern day qualms of class and privilege.
City of Girls- Elizabeth Gilbert (3.78)
I’m excited to dive into this fictional love story as it seems to focus on the female perspective in a way that delves into preconceived notions about sexuality and promiscuity. Set in 1940s New York City, this story of love and scandal in a war torn era is sure to be an interesting romance read this summer.
Murder & Mystery:
Disappearing Earth- Julia Phillips (3.98)
This story follows the disappearance of two sisters in Northeastern Russia. Each chapter is a month that passes as a mother grieves, the town copes with the loss and the investigation unfolds. The summary of the novel reminds me a bit of the move Wind River on Netflix, which may be why I was drawn to it. This mystery will surely evoke some emotions as it unravels.
Searching for Sylvie Lee- Jean Kwok (4.12)
This novel is about an immigrant family from China and the disappearance of their eldest daughter Sylvie. As the youngest daughter Amy searches for answers, secrets are revealed and the search takes unexpected twists and turns. This storyline highlights the difficulties that immigrant families face, culminating into a suspenseful drama perfect to soak up this summer.
The Silent Patient- Alex Michaelides (4.06)
A page-turing mystery, The Silent Patient is a story of searching for answers after an artist murders her husband and refuses to speak a word about it after. A detective finds himself invested in finding answers and getting the artist, Alicia Berenson, to talk. As detective Theo Faber tries to unveil Berenson’s motives, he may just reveal motives of his own. A mystery that takes on tantalizing turns, this novel will be one you don’t want to put down!
I’m a nerd (especially when it comes to all things ocean, nature, and environment) and I’m not ashamed to admit it. Here are the books I’m hoping will feed my quest for more knowledge this summer season.
In Oceans Deep: Courage, Innovation, and Adventure Beneath the Waves- Bill Streever (4.00)
From shipwrecks to saturation divers (who lived for weeks underwater in the 1960s) to trapped submarines, this book explores the past, present, and future of ocean exploration. Streever takes us on a journey, highlighting where we’ve been and where we need to go to continue to learn about and protect the big blue.
The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming- David Wallace-Wells (4.24)
From the title alone, this may seem a bit deep for a summertime read. But, as I said before, summertime reading is not just about entertainment. In an enlightening exploration of what life may be like as the world continues to warm, Wallace presents both a “meditation on the devastation we have brought upon ourselves and an impassioned call to action.”
Already on my bookshelf:
The best way to get started with summer reading is by grabbing a book that’s already on your shelf! Here are a few of the books I’m planning to kick off the summer reading with:
We Are Not Ourselves – Matthew Thomas (3.70)
This multigenerational story of an Irish-American family caught my attention, as the last multigenerational storyline I read proved to be absolutely moving and unmatched in character development. Although it’s a longer read, this story covers a century of family, childhood, marriage, success, and reality. The plot of yearning for and falling short of the American dream promises to be a captivating work of art.
Rich and Poor- Jacob Wren (3.91)
A work of literary fiction that comments on the class war and capitalism, Wren tells the story of a self-made, self-absorbed billionaire and the poor pianist who is plotting his assassination. Fast-paced and laced with humor, this story turns out to be a bit of an adventure for any summer reader.
You can find this reading list on Goodreads here. I’d also love to hear what you’re pulling off your shelf this summer, leave a comment below and let me know!