10 Books to Read This Summer

Bookworms, assemble! Or maybe you aren't a bookworm. Maybe you haven't voluntarily read a book since college. Summer is my favorite time to read. Give me a book, a kombucha, and a bottle of sunscreen and I will be happy all day long. Here are my ten favorite books for you to dedicate some time to this summer. Happy reading!

  1. Brain on Fire. Can you imagine momentarily losing your mind, not remembering any of it, and then coming back into yourself later and putting the pieces together? Whoa. This true story is a reminder of how fragile human existence is, gives excellent commentary on mental health, and is one of those stories that will make you think bodies are so weird. I read this all in one sitting. 
  2. The Diary of Anne Frank. I can almost guarantee that you've read this before. Perhaps as an elementary school assignment. When I first read this 17 (gasp!) years ago I loved it, but didn't really understand what was going on. Revisiting Anne Frank and her family as an adult is a surreal experience. The grip that Anne had on adult life at such a young age is insane, and now understanding the severity of the Holocaust as an adult makes this read so much more substantial.
  3. Where'd You Go, Bernadette. This will forever be on every book list that I make. It's not for lack of creativity, I just truly believe that everybody should read it. This book is particularly enjoyable if you've ever spent an extended period of time in Seattle because it just shits on the Seattle tech culture in a truly cheeky, honest way. There are also some major plot twists in Bernadette that are truly delightful. 10/10 I will probably read this for the fifth time this summer. Oh! They're also turning it into a movie. 
  4. The Bell Jar. Can you ever have enough Sylvia Plath? Is that, potentially, one of the most obnoxious sentences I've ever written? The Bell Jar highlights the very specific feeling that comes with being a twenty-something trying navigating the adult world. It also offers poignant look at the struggle of living with depression. I read this once a summer, every summer.
  5. The Wolf of Wall Street. The true story. 500 times better than the movie. Just as ridiculous. 
  6. Eating Animals. In college I signed up for a class called Ethics of Eating on a whim- mostly because it fit into my schedule. To put it simply, that class rocked my world and was the catalyst for completely overhauling my diet, my personal ethics, and how I interact with food. If you've ever been curious of animal ethics, where your food comes from, or the reason we treat cows differently than dogs, this is the book for you. It's written by the same guy who penned Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (remember that movie?) so the whole thing reads more like a novel than a book of food facts.
  7. Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Existence.  A professor recommended this to a class I was in years ago and said it was the single most important book he'd ever read. Not a bad sell, eh? Flow outlines the psychology of happiness, and simple #lifehacks you can implore for enjoying the things you do regularly. It may not be your average summer read, but I found this scientific approach to finding happiness pretty rad.
  8. Is it Evil Not to Be Sure? If you've ever kept a journal- or a log of your stream of consciousness- reading this is like looking into your past entries. I am unabashedly in love with the work of Lena Dunham. This is essentially just the published version of her journal from her college years, and it feels both wildly intimate and crazy familiar. It's a quick read and I love revisiting it when I just need a momentary reading break.
  9. Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl. You likely know Carrie Brownstein from Portlandia or the band Sleater-Kinney. I knew that she was talented, but holy-shit I am so glad that I read her autobiography. Brownstein is equal parts smart, honest, and daring. The trajectory of her creative career is fantastic. Plus, shes's from Washington State and her PNW references do not disappoint. I've essentially deemed us to be best friends since we grew up in the same general area. Hey Carrie, call me.
  10. Beautiful Ruins. Old Hollywood. Italy. A 50 year love affair. The perfect summer beach read.
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