11(+) Books to Read This Summer


Hello beautiful reader! Summer is upon us, and with long sunny days ahead you know you'll be tripping to Powell's to pick up some summer reads. I wanted to make this a regular reading list with a variety of ficiton and nonfiction books, and I realized that 90% of my choices were biographies or memoirs. If you're not into them, don't despair! There are a few juicy fictional reads at the top of the list.

  • The Harry Potter Series. Depending on your appetite this series can take a while, but I recently re-read the whole series and loved it. Definitely worth revisiting if you haven't in a while, or if you've never read them to begin with.
  • The Help. If you haven't already, you should.
  • Me Before You. I know, I know, it's on every list. I was skeptical too. But trust me, this book is candy. Excellent for any reader.
  • Use of Weapons. Even if you aren't familiar with the Culture series, and don't want to read all 9 books, Use of Weapons is a fantastic stand alone novel. The chapters alternate between going forwards in time and backwards, the characters are impossibly rich and well written, and the twist at the end will leave you speechless and teary-eyed. Even if you're not a sci-fi buff, definitely worth reading.
  • Committed, Big Magic, or Eat, Pray, Love. You've definitely heard of the last one, but the first is so much better. Elizabeth Gilbert is 100% my favorite author, my guilty pleasure, my comfort food, and her voice is miraculous. I like her non-fiction better than her fiction (just personally, no literary criticism here), but anything she writes will definitely lift your day.
  • Furiously Happy. I'm not sure if this qualifies as a biography, but it seems close enough. I've read several comedic ladies biographies ( Bossypants, Yes Please, Seriously, I'm Kidding, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, etc.) and though hilarious and inspiring I find the story often gets lost in the authors trying to be funny. Granted being funny in writing (even in an audiobook) is like marathon level hard. But Jenny Lawson definitely pulls it off in her reading of her second book "Furiously Happy", and includes a lot of personal moments that help plebs like me understand mental illness.
  • Orange is the New Black. I love the show, but it definitely takes a lot of artistic license. Piper's actual experience, though less exciting, is fascinating and well-told.
  • Anything by David Sedaris. I especially love Holidays on Ice, if you're a Sedaris newbie.
  • The Audacity of Hope. Perfect for a quick weekend read, Obama's cool personal story and charismatic voice make this feel good, palate-cleanser sort of book. Remind yourself there's good in the world.