Summer Reading for 2021

This isn’t your average summer reading list. 

This isn’t here to make sure you read the classical canon, or prepare you for the next year of school, or promise you that reading more will increase your reading comprehension and test scores in general (even though that last one is totally true). This list is for people who want to read for fun, to really dig into the experience, to try a genre or format they’ve never gotten into before!

So many people who think they don’t enjoy reading simply haven’t found the right material for them. In that spirit, this eclectic list includes multiple media: from the classic novel, to poetry, to graphic novels and manga. It’s summer! Why not give something new a shot?

Adventure- Sometimes you want a good swashbuckler or a trek through the forests (By coincidence these all also happen to have movie adaptations. Adventure reads also make for great watches!).

  • Princess Mononoke by Hayao Miyazaki

  • The Martian by Andy Weir

  • The Princess Bride by William Goldman

  • Life of Pi by Yann Martel

Netflix Adaptations- Whatever order you read or watch in, you’re sure to gain new insights and joy from both.

  • The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

  • Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

  • Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrel by Susanna Clarke

  • The Witcher Series by Andrzej Sapkowski

Romance- Perfect for daydreaming on the beach.

  • Red White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

  • Emma by Jane Austen

  • The Fault in our Stars by John Green

  • All the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn Grace

  • The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

Get Lost in Another World- Because sometimes we’re tired of regular old Earth

  • The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

  • Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

  • Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

  • Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

  • Chaos Walking Series by Patrick Ness

Mysteries and Thrillers- The thrill of the chase and the fear of things that go bump in the night… and day.

  • The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware

  • Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

  • The Pursuit of William Abbey by Catherine Webb

  • The Secret History by Donna Tartt

Books that Punch You in the Feels- Crying sometimes is cathartic, I hear.

  • Villette by Charlotte Bronte

  • The Poetry of Emily Dickenson

  • Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

  • Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng 

Non Fiction- Enjoy the ride AND expand your knowledge.

  • The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan

  • Lies My Teacher Told Me by James W. Loewen

  • The Future We Choose: Surviving the Climate Crisis by Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac

  • The 57 Bus: A True Story of Two Teenagers and the Crime That Changed Their Lives by Dashka Slater 

  • They Called Us Enemy by George Takei 

Quick Reads- To be devoured in an afternoon.

  • The Importance of being Earnest by Oscar Wilde

  • Exhalation by Ted Chiang

  • Fables, Vol. 1: Legends in Exile by Bill Willingham, Lan Medina, Steve Leialoha, et al.

  • I Explain a Few Things by Pablo Neruda

Hefty Reads- To be savored for days.

  • Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari

  • The Once and Future King by T. H. White

Happy Summer!

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