One of my favorites things to do is recommend great books when I find them. I have always wanted to create a summer reading list, but l I felt it necessary to wait until I had a vast collection worthy of sharing. Each of these books I have read (some multiple times) and would recommend to about anyone! They are in no particular order since I find it hard to pick a favorite book. This list will include some new books and also some classics that deserve some revisiting.
There, There By Tommy Orange.
I just finished the book about three hours ago and found it hard to tear my eyes away from this novel. Full fledge warning: the book is very emotional and a traditional tear jerker.
In his debut novel, Orange perfectly crafts twelve Native American modern-day stories and how they each lead up to the national Powwow in Oakland, California.
There, There focuses on alcoholism, suicide, coming of age, and the hardship of coming to terms with being Native American in the modern American world. Orange does a beautiful job giving homage to both his heritage and community, while simultaneously providing “outsiders” a sneak peek of a history that has been distorted and forgotten.
This novel is perfect for those who are lovers of historical fiction, or those who are interested in controversial stories. It is also great for those who are more interested in the Native American community. The book does not focus on the history of the Native Americans, but rather the joys and pains they tackle today.
In a time of Trump’s America and discrimination coming to light, There, There ignites the perfect conversation that we all need.
Call Me By Your Name, André Aciman
If you were to ask me what my favorite book is at this time, Call Me By Your Name has secured first place. I bought the book the same night the film came out in theatres and though its almost 200 pages,
I finished it within 48 hours. I cannot rave enough about this novel. Only one word comes to mind when I think of this book; beautiful. The proses: beautiful. The imagery: beautiful. The characterization: beautiful. Aciman truly captures the elegant ambiance of what I would expect Italy to be.
The novel takes place in Northern Italy in the past (the exact date is never revealed, but it is after WWII). Elio and his family travel to their home every summer and welcome a guest into their house for the extension of the summer. This year, in particular, Oliver, a grad student studying under Elio’s father, comes into their lives.
Oliver, an All American Jewish man, who has as an obsession with the word ‘later’ quickly catches the attention of a young Elio. The two tumble into a love story that leaves you remembering the intense emotional feelings and desires of your first love that you never wanted to bring to light.
Call Me By Your Name is an intense and sexy story that leaves all the stereotypical gimmicky romance crap at the door. Putting the book down is only required when sleep or driving is necessary. If you’re a hopeful romantic like myself, then this is the perfect summer read.
Also, an important factor for this book…READ THE BOOK FIRST, WATCH THE MOVIE AFTER!!
Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
Pride and Prejudice is on my reading list every summer. Though I could recite this novel from the first page to the last, I still find myself captivated by its nature. From Austen, we can learn the magic of simplicity.
For those of you who live under a rock, Pride and Prejudice shares the love story of Elizabeth Benett and the prestigious, mysterious, Mr. Darcy. Though published in the 19th century, Pride and Prejudice confronts modern day issues such as, highlighting erroneous gender stereotypes and demolishing class systems proving that it is a piece of literature written before its time.
If you want to expand your classic novels mental bookcase, then Pride and Prejudice is the first step.
Also! When you’re finished reading, let’s bond over our hatred of Mr. Wickham.
Simon vs. The Homosapien Agenda, Becky Albertall
If you haven’t realized it by now, one of my favorite fiction genres is romance; and Simon Vs. The Homosapien Agenda is no different (sorry not sorry!).
Good news for those of you who have watched the movie, the book and the movie are like distant cousins! The only similarities they have are the basic foundation of the storyline. The Protagonist, Simon, is a young boy hiding in the closet while trying to understand his sexuality and what it is to be gay. While surfing the internet, he finds out that another boy in his school is also facing the same challenge as he.
I won’t dive into the plot further, but it’s an epic romance that left me in tears by the last page (happy tears).
Unlike the other books in this article, Simon vs. the Homosapien Agenda is targeted at a younger audience but do not let that deter you. If you’re looking for a light read that is addictive and leaves you with a warm heart, then this is the book for you!
If you haven’t seen the movie, read the book first and try and catch all the differences (Or vice-versa!)
The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins
If you have an interest in mysteries, then The Girl on the Train should have a place in your bookcase.
Once again, this book has a movie adaption, but this was a classic case of a novel overshadowing the movie. As much as I love movie adoptions, I wasn’t able to finish the film without falling asleep or being easily distracted by the paint drying on my wall. However, this might be an unpopular opinion.
In the book, Rachel Watson spends the majority of her time riding back and forth on a commuter train. During her dull rides, through the window of her train, she starts noticing a house that her trains pass daily. From within the house, she becomes obsessed with the couple living inside. She watches and daydreams about their lives and their seemingly perfect marriage. It isn’t until the wife goes missing that Watson turns her obsession into reality by trying to discover the whereabouts of the missing wife.
This is another excellent page-turner that is perfect to add to the fictional summer reading list.
Small Great Things Jodi Picoult
If you know me, it is no secret that Jodi Picoult is by far my favorite author. Since reading My Sister’s Keeper, I have been hooked! I’ve read every book she has placed in bookstores, and I have never finished any of her books feeling cheated.
With that being said, though I am recommending Small Great Things, you must check out her others. Close runner-ups are Nineteen Minutes, The Storyteller, The Pact, and My Sister’s Keeper.
I decided to reveal this book last because it is not only captivating and appealing it is, it is also an important read.
An African American wet nurse by the name of Josie Cormier is working a regular shift when her life is turned upside down. A young woman in labor is rushed to the hospital along with her husband. While Josie is attempting to do her job, the couple rejects her help because of there affiliation with the White Supremacist movement.
After the birth, Josie is left alone with the newborn girl, who starts having seizures. Josie hesitates to since she was given strict orders not to touch the infant.
From this point, this book spirals into a lawsuit and a story that leaves readers with a question.
I am enamored with this novel because just like all great authors, Picoult is the spark to the flame. She addresses the elephant in the room and makes readers take a moment and look themselves in the mirror.
Well, there it is! These are the books that I wholeheartedly suggest will make an excellent summer reading list. I’m thinking of assembling a non-fiction reading list. Is that something you all would be interested in? Leave a comment and tell me how you like the books I have recommended! Are there any other great books I left out? Let me know! I’m always interested in finding a new read!