We’re not in middle school anymore, so the phrase “summer reading list” has no business dragging up old anxieties about deadlines, essays, or teacher mandates. The best summer reading list is equal parts educational, relaxing, and fun. From indulging in beach reads to catching up on the year’s hottest new titles, summer gives you every excuse to settle down with an old favorite or new advanture. The empowering part of making your own reading list is that it is constantly subject to change! Bored by the first chapter? Move on. Learn about a new author midway through July? Add another paperback to the list! Whether you’re looking to snag some summer reading inspiration or follow a structured set of titles, check out what I’ll be reading this season.
1. Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
This poignant novel flows back and forth between the 1940s and 1980s, on both sides of an aging man’s memory of being Chinese during World War II. As his Japanese friend — and first love — is rounded up to be put in Japanese internment camps, protagonist Henry is forced to question his loyalties and nationalities.
2. Glaciers by Alexis M. Smith
Delicate prose poetry moves Glaciers along at an ironically quick pace. Blink and you’ll miss the beauty — but more just keeps on coming. A thrift store owner collects trinkets of history and sets them to stories about the owners that left them behind.
3. Diane: A Signature Life by Diane Von Furstenberg
It’s no secret that I completely idolize Diane Von Furstenberg. Not only are her fashion designs flawless and revolutionary, she is a complete force to be reckoned with in the business world as well. DVF uses Signature Life to deconstruct her business model, detailing how she created her brand and her empire.
4. Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann
Real life history and imagined happenings collide in this piece. Colum McCann sets this story against the very real feat of Philippe Petit’s 1974 tightrope walk between the Twin Towers. What was happening around New York City as this daring piece of history was performed?
5. If You Ask Me (And Of Course You Won’t) by Betty White
Life advice from Betty White? You should probably get on that, stat. In this humorous autobiography, the infamous Ms. White talks animals, television fame, beauty, and aging gracefully.
6. Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls by David Sedaris
In this collection of essays, David Sedaris makes remarkable the details we might otherwise overlook. Each short piece brings a magnifying lens to a particular experience, making it something wonderful.
7. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Magical, eerie, and nostalgically historical, Ransom Riggs’s debut novel combines haunting vintage photographs with mysterious storytelling in this much buzzed-about book. Its appeal lies in the fact that this book is great for readers of almost any age. There is already a sequel in the works, so read up before the hype really sets in to stay ahead of the curve.
Feel free to read along with me, or check out a title that piques your interest! If you have thoughts or suggestions, leave them in the comments below! I’m always on the lookout for new recommendations and feedback on how my own recommendations are working out.