Growing up I was a voracious reader, consuming every book that came across my path – whether Harry Potter, Nancy Drew, Philip Pullman or Meg Cabot. Every summer I’d quickly gobble up the required reading list and continue to use my imagination to discover new worlds and endearing characters through every page. Since the arrival of adulthood, my love for reading hasn’t waned, but it’s seemed to fall behind other priorities – namely work and the tedium of grown-up responsibility. I touched a bit on this in my Summer Bucket List, but this summer I want to make reading a priority again and make an effort to rekindle this great, old love.
Luckily, there are plenty of summer beach reads that are quickly filling up my “to-read” list. I thought I’d share a few with you, and there are enough options to please every taste – from the guilty pleasure to the more refined. You won’t want to put these down!
The Girls is one of the most talked about books of the summer, and with good reason. The author wrote the novel at only 25, and it’s a haunting and seductive story of a teen-aged girl who gets mixed up with a Manson-like cult in the late 60s. I’m about halfway through and fascinated by the story’s ability to fill me with such a sense of dread but keep me wanting to read more.
Rules of Civility
This book is perfect if you love The Great Gatsby. It’s set in New York City in the late 30s, and Amor Towles does a phenomenal job telling the coming of age of Katy midst the glitz and social-climbing of New York society. One of my all time favorite books – beautiful writing and fills you with longing.
The Singles Game
My friend Christine recommended this one to me, and she has loved it so far! The author Lauren Weisberger also wrote The Devil Wears Prada, so you know it’s going to be juicy! Set in the world of high-stakes professional tennis, it follows Charlie and her rise to the top of the ranks and tabloids. Like The Devil Wears Prada, The Singles Game follows a young woman trying to balance her ambition with her morals and loved ones.
The Royal We
A young American woman studying at Oxford moves in down the hall from the future King of England and falls in love. Is their love worth more than the pressure of the spotlight? Okay, this book sounds like essentially Kate Middleton/Prince William fanfiction, but that’s honestly always been a fantasy of mine, so I’m so down. Plus, the authors are behind the hilarious blog Go Fug Yourself, so you know the prose will be snappy and snarky
What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding
Perfect for anyone, like me, with an incurable case of wanderlust. Also perfect for young women who are unsure of their future while it seems like all of their peers are getting married and having children. Kristin Newman shares her memoir of travels, including the men she loved at each stop along the way.
I highly recommend this book for anyone who loved Cheryl Strayed’s Wild. Robyn Davidson shares her perilous memoir of her solo journey across 1700 miles of Australian Outback. Like Wild, it was made into a beautiful and surreal film starring Mia Wasikowska and Adam Driver, which I also highly recommend.
I’ve heard this book described as Girls crossed with Mad Money. Hardened twenty-something assistants start scheming and skimming off the top of their wealthy bosses’ profits in order to pay off student loans and make some extra cash. Since I was a long suffering Hollywood assistant at one point, I think I’d find this book especially delicious and just the right amount of revenge fantasy.
What’s on your summer reading list?