Since I’ve started working in the children’s department of a library, summer reading is just about all that I can think about.
Of course, most of those thoughts are centered around children’s books and programming, so I thought it’d be a nice idea to give myself a break from the endless piles of picture books and focus on some picture-less books that are actually written for adults. Don’t get me wrong, I love children’s lit, but there are only so many repetitive rhymes and cartoonish illustrations that one can look at.
Being surrounded by all kinds of books has made my to-read list grow longer and longer every day, yet I’ve been struggling to give myself actual time during the day to chip away at that list.
If you follow me on Goodreads, you may notice that I’ve only been adding books to my Currently Reading section but not completing them for the past few weeks… whoops.
So, I thought it’d be a fun idea to get together a list of books I’ll be reading during the upcoming summer months, and that hopefully it can motivate me to cross them off my list. Follow me on Instagram, as I’ll be posting more updates on my progress there!
my summer reading list
(all of the descriptions come from Goodreads, aka my fave place to find new books and keep track of what I’m reading)
A Man Called Ove by Frederik Backman
This is the May pick for my Air Force spouses book club, so I better get this one off my to-read list!!
“Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon, the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents’ association to their very foundations.”
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
I’m cheating a bit by adding this to my list because I’m halfway through it already, but MY GOODNESS, this is a fantastic book.
“Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed. Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.”
Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
“In a country teetering on the brink of civil war, two young people meet—sensual, fiercely independent Nadia and gentle, restrained Saeed. They embark on a furtive love affair and are soon cloistered in a premature intimacy by the unrest roiling their city. When it explodes, turning familiar streets into a patchwork of checkpoints and bomb blasts, they begin to hear whispers about doors—doors that can whisk people far away, if perilously and for a price. As the violence escalates, Nadia and Saeed decide that they no longer have a choice. Leaving their homeland and their old lives behind, they find a door and step through.”
Greenglass House by Kate Milford
This is a middle grade novel that I’m SO excited to read. My friend Morgan saw it on my Goodreads shelf and got it for me for my birthday!
“It’s wintertime at Greenglass House. The creaky smuggler’s inn is always quiet during this season, and twelve-year-old Milo, the innkeepers’ adopted son, plans to spend his holidays relaxing. But on the first icy night of vacation, out of nowhere, the guest bell rings. Then rings again. And again. Soon Milo’s home is bursting with odd, secretive guests, each one bearing a strange story that is somehow connected to the rambling old house. As objects go missing and tempers flare, Milo and Meddy, the cook’s daughter, must decipher clues and untangle the web of deepening mysteries to discover the truth about Greenglass House-and themselves.”
March: Book One by John Lewis
Technically, this is a graphic novel, but hey, it still counts to me!
“March is a vivid first-hand account of John Lewis’ lifelong struggle for civil and human rights, meditating in the modern age on the distance traveled since the days of Jim Crow and segregation. Rooted in Lewis’ personal story, it also reflects on the highs and lows of the broader civil rights movement.”
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
This is one of those classic books that I can’t believe I haven’t read yet. Everyone is talking about it again since the Hulu series came out in April!
“Set in the near future, it describes life in what was once the United States and is now called the Republic of Gilead, a monotheocracy that has reacted to social unrest and a sharply declining birthrate by reverting to, and going beyond, the repressive intolerance of the original Puritans. The regime takes the Book of Genesis absolutely at its word, with bizarre consequences for the women and men in its population.”
No One Can Pronounce My Name by Rakesh Satyal
“A humorous and tender multi-generational novel about immigrants and outsiders – No One Can Pronounce My Name is a distinctive, funny, and insightful look into the lives of people who must reconcile the strictures of their culture and traditions with their own dreams and desires.”
Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert
“Balancing between soulful spirituality and cheerful pragmatism, Gilbert encourages us to uncover the “strange jewels” that are hidden within each of us. Whether we are looking to write a book, make art, find new ways to address challenges in our work, embark on a dream long deferred, or simply infuse our everyday lives with more mindfulness and passion, Big Magic cracks open a world of wonder and joy.”
Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
“A few years ago, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie received a letter from a dear friend from childhood, asking her how to raise her baby girl as a feminist. Dear Ijeawele is Adichie’s letter of response.”
Are any of these books on your list? Have you read any of my picks? Let me know what you think of my list in the comments below! I am also always open to more book suggestions 😉
Thanks for reading!
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