Whether you’re traveling or relaxing by a pool, summer can be a great time for catching up on reading. If you’re looking for a place to start, we compiled a list of some summer reading essentials — from some of the most talked-about books this year to some old favorites.
“Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda” by Becky Albertalli This novel inspired the breakout movie “Love, Simon,” so whether you loved the movie or haven’t had the chance to see it yet, you should definitely pick up this book. It’s an endearing story of a teenage boy just trying to get through high school with a secret — no one knows he’s gay. Albertalli was a child psychologist before writing novels, so she does an amazing job of understanding teenagers and writing about them in a way that doesn’t seem too cliché — although it’s a young adult novel, so of course a little cliché is to be expected. This novel is an easy read that will put you in a good mood ‒– perfect for reading by the pool.
“Dark Matter” by Blake Crouch If you’re a sci-fi fan, you’ll love this novel. “Dark Matter” is a psychological thriller with a ton of twists. Without giving too much away, “Dark Matter” tells the story of Jason Dessen, a college physics teacher whose life gets turned completely upside down when he wakes up in what seems to be an alternate reality. There is never a dull moment while reading this book, and figuring out what is actually going on is part of the fun. This novel has so many twists and turns — and even leaps — that it’s truly a book anyone can read and enjoy. But buckle up, it’ll be a bumpy ride.
“Almost Adulting: All You Need to Know to Get It Together (Sort Of)” by Arden Rose This book is geared toward anyone close to becoming an adult, so it’s a great read for college students. Arden Rose has been sharing her knowledge on YouTube for years, and this book is geared toward college-aged people who just need a little nudge — or a big push — in a healthier direction. A blend of self-help and memoir, “Almost Adulting” offers advice on topics from money to relationship issues — all written in a concise and interesting way. This is a great book to pick up if you’re traveling. It’s a short read, but an important one.
“The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood With new episodes of the Hulu original by the same name being released weekly this summer, there’s no better time to read the novel behind the popular show. Set in a dystopian future, “The Handmaid’s Tale” explores a world in which women — called handmaids — are forced to work and become pregnant for the higher-ranking military commanders and their wives. Published in 1985, this novel is a classic everyone should read, and many of its messages still ring true today. “The Handmaid’s Tale” is definitely not a light read, but it’s a great one if you want to take a deep dive into a good story this summer.
“Fun Home: A Family Traginomic” by Alison Bechdel For those who aren’t huge fans of novels, here’s something a little different — a comic book, or rather a “traginomic,” as the title calls it. Bechdel explores her own life story and her complex relationship with her father in this book. Although it is not for the faint of heart, this comic — which was later made into a Broadway musical — teaches some important lessons about what growing up really means. This is another fast-paced read that you could knock out on a plane, but make sure you have tissues on hand.
If you like…
Mystery: “Good as Gone” by Amy Gentry “And Then There Were None” by Agatha Christie “We Were Liars” by E. Lockhart
Thrillers: “The Girl on the Train” by Paula Hawkins “The Green Mile” by Stephen King “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn
Horror: “The Merciless” by Danielle Vega “The Girl With All the Gifts” by M.R. Carey “Anna Dressed in Blood” by Kendare Blake
Young Adult: “I Hate Everyone But You” by Allison Raskin and Gaby Dunn “Turtles All the Way Down” by John Green “Love Letters to the Dead” by Ava Dellaira
Comedy: “Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls” by David Sedaris “Bossypants” by Tina Fey “Seriously… I’m Kidding” by Ellen DeGeneres
Romance: “Modern Lovers” by Emma Straub “Just One Day” by Gayle Forman “The Longest Ride” by Nicholas Sparks
And if you love movies….
Here are some of the books that have been made into movies in the last year. Whether you’ve seen them yet or want to read the book first, these books make great summer reads.
“Ready Player One” by Ernest Cline “A Wrinkle in Time” by Madeleine L’Engle “Every Day” by David Levithan “Crazy Rich Asians” by Kevin Kwan — Movie release date: Aug. 17 “Murder on the Orient Express” by Agatha Christie “Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury — Movie release date: May 19