Summer is around the corner and with our lives still confined by Covid-19, what better way to spend it than curled up around the spine of a good ol’ paperback.
Here are nine books that you definitely should consider reading this summer (even if it’s just to tell people that you read).
Crying in H Mart – Michelle Zauner
You may know her indie music under the pseudonym Japanese Breakfast, but Michelle Zauner proves herself as more than just an exquisite songwriter and musician. Crying in H Mart is Zauner’s memoir, written with alluring passion. Zauner shares intimate details on her mother’s death, growing up as Korean American and finding her identity. It is an honest, beautiful and deeply moving story of family, food, grief and fortitude.
The One – John Marrs
The One is a thriller that you seriously will not be able to put down. In the very real age of online dating, Marrs takes it one step further, creating a reality where you are able to find your one true soulmate in a simple, foolproof DNA test. The story explores five very different characters and the shocking aftermath of their tests. With a cliff-hanger at the end of every chapter, I can guarantee it a quick read. Side note: the series on Netflix that is based off this novel is much, much different.
Open Water – Caleb Azumah Nelson
Open Water is a hauntingly beautiful tale about two Black artists falling in and out of love. Author Yaa Gyasi called it, “tender poetry, a love song to Black art and thought.” It is powerful, intimate and vulnerable. With only 145 pages, it’s as quick as a hiccup yet soaked with such brilliance that you’ll want to savour every page.
Miss O’Dell: My Hard Days and Long Nights with the Beatles, the Stones, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, and the Women They Loved – Chris O’Dell and Katherine Ketcham
This one is for the music lovers who yearn for the 60s and 70s. The fascinating story follows Chris O’Dell as she gives us a backstage pass into her life in the world of rock n’ roll. O’Dell lived a life that most of us could only dream of; she lived with George Harrison and Pattie Boyd, was present for many of The Beatles’ most iconic moments, danced with Bob Dylan, was the subject of Leon Russell’s “Pisces Apple Lady” and was a tour manager for countless names such as The Rolling Stones, Queen, Fleetwood Mac and more. Miss O’Dell was such an exciting read that quite frankly, might make you jealous.
Klara and the Sun – Kazuo Ishiguro
This novel is the first by Ishiguro since 2017 when he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. It tells the story of Klara, an Artificial Friend who observes the world from a stationary position in a store. Klara is innocent, hopeful and exceptionally intelligent despite her limited knowledge. Blending sci-fi, suspense, mythology and coming-of-age, Ishiguro displays a powerful exploration of themes such as love and devotion, loneliness and grief as well as raises important questions about humanity.
Stay Inspired – Brandon Stosuy
Stay Inspired is an interactive guide to staying creative and curious. It is an incredible self-help book that teaches you how to keep the spark of creativity present in your daily life. It’s part memoir, part magazine, part “how-to” and includes advice from plenty of talented artists including The National’s Matt Berninger. If you are looking for inspiration this summer – check this out.
The Other Black Girl – Zakiya Dalila Harris
This novel was named a Most Anticipated Book of 2021 by several outlets including the Washington Post, BBC and Entertainment Weekly, and the reasons are clear. The thriller fiction is about Nella Rogers, a twenty-six-year-old editorial assistant who is fed up with being the only Black employee at her work. The story takes a quick turn when mysterious and threatening notes begin appearing on her desk. Harris writes with quick-wit, providing important social commentary on themes of privilege and race. The Other Black Girl will have you hooked until the very end.
Early Morning Riser – Katherine Heiny
Heiny’s novel Early Morning Riser is described by Goodreads as a “wise, bighearted, boundlessly joyful novel of love, disaster and unconventional family” and I don’t think I could have said it better myself. The narrative illustrates Jane as she manages the consequences of falling in love with a man named Duncan. This romantic comedy fiction might be something that we all need in our lives right now and it is a perfectly feel-good, page-turner for the summer.
People We Meet On Vacation – Emily Henry
Perfect for on the beach summer reading. This contemporary romance fiction is a story of two completely opposite friends who take one last vacation together after a falling out two years prior. This novel gives you real characters and situations that you can genuinely connect with. It will be sure to leave you warm, refreshed and more thoughtful than before.