When life gets boring, escape into someone else’s. No school and plenty of free time means that summer is the perfect opportunity to catch up on your reading bucket list. Here are some book recommendations to pick up at the beach, on a road trip or just in the comfort of your own home.
Call Me by Your Name by André Animan
Call Me By Your Name, originally published in 2007, became a household name when its film adaptation — starring Timotheé Chalamet and Armie Hammer — was nominated for Best Picture at the 90th Academy Awards. The novel is set in Italy during the 1980s, and spans 20 years as it follows 17-year-old Elio Perlman’s evolving relationship with a 24-year-old man named Oliver.
My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante
The first in a four-part series dubbed the Neapolitan novels and hailed by critics as the magnum opus of Ferrante’s career, My Brilliant Friend recounts the friendship between two young girls named Elena Greco and Raffaella “Lila” Cerullo. The story begins with their childhood, and later follows their lives as they try to find their place in their small town on the outskirts on Naples.
Barracoon: The Story of the Last “Black Cargo” by Zora Neale Hurston
In 1931, black author Zora Neale Hurston interviewed a man named Cudjo Lewis about his experience as one of the last living survivors who underwent the harrowing journey through the Middle Passage, commonly known as the Atlantic slave trade. After Hurston documented his account, however, she failed to find a publisher, and the story remained idle for 87 years until its publication in April.
The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan
Marina Keegan had just graduated from Yale University, and was set to begin an internship at The New Yorker, when a fatal car accident took her life. One of her professors gathered Keegan’s best works and published The Opposite of Loneliness, a collection of essays and short stories, to memorialize this literary talent who was taken too soon.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Angie Thomas’ debut landed at No. 1 on The New York Times young adult best-selling list. It follows a 16-year-old girl named Starr Carter who witnesses the shooting of her unarmed friend at the hands of police. Carter must figure out how to process the situation, especially as the case becomes a national headline and protesters take to the streets. A film adaptation of The Hate U Give is currently in the works, directed by George Tillman Jr. and starring actresses Amandla Stenberg and Issa Rae.
Hellfire Club by Jake Tapper
For political junkies who also love fiction, this novel by CNN’s Jake Tapper will be right up your alley. Hellfire Club follows fictional Congressman Charlie Marder, who struggles to navigate the glamorous but dangerous post-war politics of Capitol Hill in the 1950s.
Broad Band: The Untold Story of the Women Who Made the Internet by Claire L. Evans
Claire Evans’ novel documents the sociohistorical accounts of a group of women known as the Broad Band, who helped create and shape the internet into what it is today. This group includes Grace Hopper, who democratized computing after World War II; Elizabeth “Jake” Feinler, who worked for Google and kept early versions of the internet online; and Stacy Horn, who, from her New York City apartment, ran one of the first social networks on a shoestring in the 1980s. These women, largely forgotten and erased from history, are now being put front and center and are finally receiving their long-due recognition.
Meaty & We Are Never Meeting in Real Life.: Essays by Samantha Irby
Comedian Samantha Irby began her career by blogging about herself on Myspace in 2009. Nearly 10 years later, FX has purchased television rights to both her 2013 memoir Meaty and her personal blog for potential adaptation. Last year, she released another set of humorist non-fiction essays titled We Are Never Meeting in Real Life, which became a New York Times nonfiction bestseller. Her ability to turn any of her life experiences into laugh-out-loud comedy has garnered critical acclaim and these collections are a must-read.