According to Pew Research, the average American reads or listens to twelve books a year.
When you think about it, one book a month seems totally attainable… until you add in the other responsibilities life brings. Balancing classes, homework, projects, jobs, and your social life can make it difficult to stay in the habit of reading during the semester, which makes right now — summer break — the best time to catch up.
Need another reason to read this summer? Depending on where you live, summer can also equal sticky, humid days that don’t encourage much movement. Beating the heat by jumping in a pool is nice, but nothing tops the feeling of accomplishment that finishing a good book will give you.
We’ve already shared our favorite books to read in summer. However, if you want more recommendations, I’m here to help. Below, I’ll share four of my current favorite books I’m reading (or re-reading) this summer.
The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell:
Set in the mid 1920s, The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell is an incredibly compelling, suspenseful tale that will have you addicted from the first chapter.
Narrator Rose Baker takes the reader on a spin through New York’s underground and illegal party scene as she obsesses over Odalie, the newest girl working at her police station—a girl who might just be her undoing. The innocent girl that Rose could always claim to be slowly disappears as Odalie introduces her to the dark side of the city that never sleeps, laws that were made to be broken, and murder.
Rindell’s writing and Rose’s act as an unreliable narrator work together to place the reader in a state where they never know what will coming next, where they’re never quite sure what the truth is, and where they will be absolutely blown away by the novel’s conclusion.
The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo:
If you haven’t read The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo yet, you’re missing out. (Also, where have you been?)
On the surface, this short story focuses on a sheep herder who leaves his small life to seek out treasure in faraway lands, meeting trials and people that shape him into the person he was meant to be. It’s a tale of a boy becoming more than he ever thought he could through determination and faith, and one that teaches the importance of never giving up in the struggle for greatness.
Paulo Coehlo published this book in 1988, only selling two copies of it in six months. However, he never gave up on it. Through word of mouth, more and more people started to pick up the book, and it eventually spread to the United States, where its popularity boomed. Coehlo had no way of knowing that his book would attract as much attention as it did (we even did a post on fashion inspired by the book!), but his strength of will carried him forward.
In the brief foreword, Coehlo reflects on his story and the change he sees it making in the world. He remarks that while the tale could be a mirror for his own struggles in life, it is a mirror for anyone else who reads it. The story brings about memories of happiness, of loss, of desperation—it brings about the understanding that under all of our differences, there is something deep and unbreakable that links all of us together.
Wonder Women by Sam Maggs:
Wonder Women by Sam Maggs provides brief insights into the hidden history of women inventors, spies, scientists, and adventurers, and the women who defied societal expectations to aspire to greatness.
If you watched and enjoyed Hidden Figures, you’ll love the chance to meet the forgotten heroines that star in these pages. Wonder Women also includes interviews with modern day women in STEM focusing on what their experiences have been like, and how girls today can get involved in those fields.
This book promotes the idea that girls can grow up to do anything and contributes role models to guide them along their way. A perfect read if you’re looking for inspiration or representation.
Note To Self by Connor Franta:
Alternating between gorgeous pictures and personal entries from his journal, and covering mental illness, self-image, love, and everything in between, Note To Self by Connor Franta has been high on my Need To Read List. And I’m finally reading it this summer!
Outside of his books, Franta is the owner of the Common Culture clothing brand, a successful social media star, and a LGBT+ activist, but inside these pages, he comes through as a relatable, three-dimensional human being.
Beautifully written, this open diary is one of the most intimate works you can get your hands on this summer.
What Books Are You Reading This Summer?
Have you read any of my recommendations? Are you going to try any of them out? Let me know in the comments!