Whether you are sunning yourself on a white sandy beach somewhere, treating yourself to a lazy Sunday morning in bed or merely have a flight to catch this summer, why not close your laptop, put your phone down and pick up a book?
We have rounded up seven must-reads this summer that you will not want to put down. From light-hearted fiction to useful self-help and beautifully emotional memoirs, these books will distract you from your life and usefully inform you while providing a wonderful respite from daily routines into a world of love, secrets and literature.
City of Girls, by Elizabeth Gilbert
Gilbert transports us to the 1940s as she weaves a tale about sexuality, promiscuity, pleasure and regret, told through an old woman reminiscing on her past. Full of charismatic characters, intense love stories and an underlying theme of being yourself, this book will enrapture you and make you feel an uncanny nostalgia for a time long passed.
On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, by Ocean Vuong
Poet Ocean Vuong’s highly anticipated debut novel is everything it was built up to be. Written as a letter from a 20-something-year-old son to his mother who cannot read, Vuong’s beautifully poetic novel deals with issues of race, class and masculinity. Culminating in a shocking revelation to the boy’s mother, Vuong touches on current American themes with the astonishing compassion and tenderness found in the relationship between a single mother and her son.
Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love, by Dani Shapiro
In this compelling memoir, Shapiro tells the startling true story of how she discovered that her father is not her biological father. After taking a DNA test on a whim in 2016, Shapiro was confronted with the harsh reality that everything she had thought she knew, and wrote, about her family and herself might not be true. A true story of secrets, self-awareness, ethics and the ferocious pace with which science and technology are developing.
Three Women, by Lisa Taddeo
Journalist Lisa Taddeo spent eight years driving around the country collecting experiences and inspiration for her book. The outcome? A breathtakingly genuine look into desire. The book tells the story of three women—a mother living in suburban Indiana who is starved for affection that her husband doesn’t provide, a teenage girl in North Dakota who had an affair with her teacher and a beautiful restaurant owner in the Northeast who has an interesting sex-life, comprising her husband and many other people.
The true stories of desire, intimacy and experiences, told with the frankness of a reporter, create a beautiful book full of unforgettable women whose experiences will remind you that you are not alone.
Girl, Stop Apologizing, by Rachel Hollis
If you haven’t read Hollis’ first book, Girl, Wash Your Face, then, well, read it. Full of actionable ideas, Hollis gives blunt advice in a captivating way on how women can (and should) shed their fears and aim to reach their full potential. Armed with the idea that women often talk themselves out of achieving their dreams, Hollis, rather unapologetically, teaches women (and men) everywhere to let go of the excuses holding them back from greatness. Let’s be honest—who wouldn’t benefit from this book?
Tools of Titans, by Tim Ferris
Published in 2016, this title isn’t exactly new, but it is, in our opinion, one of the best self-help books ever written. If you do not own a copy, we suggest you remedy that immediately. Tim Ferris’ book combines a large collection of advice on “The Tactics, Routines and Habits of Billionaires, Icons and World-Class Performers,” the subtitle of the book.
The idea behind it is simple: No one can be an expert on everything, but a lot of people can be experts on very specific things, so, why not bring all that expert advice into one place? The format is easily digestible, and the advice consists of real things that “normal” people can actually do. Split into three sections—healthy, wealthy and wise—the book covers a wide range of topics, so there is something in it for everyone—especially planners!
Little Boy, by Lawrence Ferlinghetti
Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s new book came out in 2019 to celebrate the poets 100th birthday (yes, you read that right, the man wrote and published a book at 100 years old). The first poet laureate of San Francisco and co-owner of renowned publishing house and bookstore City Lights, Ferlinghetti holds a special place in San Francisco literary history. He was a founding force in the beat movement in the ’50s and his poetry reflects that style.
This memoir-cum-poetry book touches on Ferlinghetti’s life, memories and ideas about the ever-shifting social fabric he grew old in. Robert Pinsky’s review in The New York Times Book Review perhaps best encapsulates the over-arching question of the book: “Who, little boys and girls, juvenile yet old, do we think we are?”