Summer Fun Reading: 2022

Reading classic literature is great, but in terms of test prep for the SAT or ACT, you may be surprised to learn that reading anything is helpful! A surprising amount of the standardized Writing/Language questions deal with English conventions (figures of speech, turns of phrase, and uses of language that are all impossible to figure out by only applying grammar rules – you  have to be familiar with them). The only way to master this type of question is by reading a lot and reading broadly – so why not make sure your reading is FUN?

Here’s a list of books, films, and shows that you probably won’t find on a school reading list, but which are all high-quality, super immersive, and entertaining.

Even if you don’t think you’re a “reader,” it’s worth giving these a shot – you may find that you enjoy reading when you find your niche outside of the stale canon and the oppressive threat of daily comprehension quizzes!


Adventure – go on exciting journeys from the comfort of your couch

  1. The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

  2. The Brotherhood of the Black Flag: A Novel of the Golden Age of Piracy by Ian Nathaniel Cohen

  3. A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. LeGuin


Other Worlds – ponder important questions about humanity, but with magic too

  1. The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea by Axie Oh

  2. Small Gods by Terry Pratchett

  3. The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart

  4. The Stardust Thief by Chelsea Abdullah


High-Quality Screen Adaptations – gently stretch your critical muscles by comparing worthy adaptations with their awesome source material

  1. Heartstopper by Alice Oseman

  2. DUNE by Frank Herbert

  3. The Expanse by James S. A. Corey


Mystery and Thriller – fast-paced, suspenseful, and will often immerse you in an interesting and different environment

  1. Bullet Train by Kotaro Isaka (English translation published in 2021).

  2. The Club by Ellery Lloyd

  3. One for the Money by Janet Evanovich

  4. The Beekeeper’s Apprentice by Laurie R. King


Travel by Book – experience life in other places and times

  1. My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante

  2. Bruno, Chief of Police by Martin Walker

  3. The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova

  4. Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia


Romantic Beach Reads – summer is the time for daydreaming

  1. Beach Read by Emily Henry

  2. The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood

  3. The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han


Nonfiction – interesting stuff you might never learn in class

  1. The Wordhord: Daily Life in Old English by Hana Videen

  2. Empire of the Scalpel: The History of Surgery by Ira Rutkow 

  3. The Great Stewardess Rebellion by Nell McShane Wulfhart

  4. River of the Gods by Candice Millard


Have a great summer!

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