Reading List: Summer 2020
Originally, this was going to be a list of beach reads that I recommend. However, Florida has recently become an epicenter for COVID-19, so I’m not sure when the next time I will want to go to the beach will be.
The result is that I have included more than the typical light beach reads (but those are fun, and I’ve included them as well). If you’re looking for a new book, perhaps you’ll find something once you finish reading this post.
Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst
I’m in the middle of this one for a book club that I’m a part of, and I’m enjoying it so much that I thought I would include it on this list. It’s a fantasy novel with magic, which is exactly what I need with reality stressing me out. Not that the book isn’t a page turner (SPOILER ALERT: someone was just murdered!). It is the page-turner that offers the perfect level of escapism that I need.
Of Fire and Stars is about a kingdom with a dangerous brewing conflict that unites two princesses in the face of an assassination. United to uncover who committed the crime, these polar opposites must learn to get along, especially if they’re going to save their kingdoms.
Ghosts of the Shadow Market by Cassandra Clare
I’ve said it before, and I’ll probably continue saying it for years to come: Cassandra Clare is one of my favorite writers. Whenever she starts a series, I become so invested in her characters. This can kind of suck when I will then have to wait about 2 years between each installment. They’re obviously worth it or I wouldn’t still be reading, but it’s a long wait. Part of it is probably because each book is also quite long. It makes me want to devour and savor each book so that the wait doesn’t feel so terrible before I get my hands on the next on.
Ghosts of the Shadow Market is a collection of short stories that follows Brother Zachariah, formerly known as Jem Carstairs. The title of the anthology is very aptly named, because Jem appears at Shadow Markets throughout time with the intention of tracking down a lost line of Shadowhunters and protecting them from a dangerous enemy.
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins
Many of you might remember that I read this book earlier this year–my sisters gifted it to me for my birthday, and I wrote blog post with my thoughts here. It was the start of summer though, and now another book club that I’m a part of is also reading it.
Of Songbirds and Snakes is a prequel to the worldwide phenomena, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. It follows a younger, ambitious version of Coriolanus Snow, who we know is later President when we know Katniss Everdeen. Before that, Coriolanus was a young, ambitious man coming from scraps of a formerly luxurious life. Trying to work his way up, he becomes a mentor in the 10th annual Hunger Games, giving him the ability to change the Games while simultaneously learning about how they really work and trying hard to win them.
The Chesapeake Shores Series and The Sweet Magnolia Series by Sherryl Woods
These are my go-to books for beach reads, because they’re light reading and always leave me with a warm feeling. Sherryl Woods is a writer I’ve read since middle school, and has ignited my desire to want a loving family, and a life full of people outside of that who love me.
The O’Brien family is the focus of The Chesapeake Shores Series. It’s a family that fell apart once a marriage crumbled, and each book is focused on a different family member as they find their way back home.
The Sweet Magnolias may sound familiar because it’s a book series that Netflix produced into a Netflix Original Series. It hit number 1 sometime in June, and I really hope that increases their chances of getting a Season 2. This series follows 3 best friends from the small town of Serenity as they handle the hardships of life in the best ways: together, and with margarita nights.
You’re Not That Great (But Neither is Anyone Else) by Elon Gale
So I picked up this book for 2 reasons. The first one is that I need some help, and I’m obviously trying to do it myself. The second is that I’m missing my normal dose of reality television, and Elon Gale is a former producer on The Bachelor franchise.
In this self-help book, Elon Gale wants you to harness all your negative thoughts and use them to your advantage. He believes that positive thinking won’t give you the life you want. To be honest, this is the opposite perspective from my normal thinking, but it would be beneficial for me to know how to handle my negative energy when I can’t get rid of it.
Act Like a Lady by The LadyGang
There was no way that I was going to leave this book off of this list. It’s been my favorite read all summer, I’m basically gifting it to all of my girlfriends, and I’m ready to re-read this book.
If you’re a fan of the podcast, this book is a lot like a condensed, concentrated version of all the life lessons in print. There’s great advice when it comes to love, break-ups, career, and all-around general life. It’s the must-have guide to life as a female. I also wrote a post about my favorite podcast episodes here.
Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
I walked into the bookstore at just the right time to get a copy of this. The night before, I just finished watching both of his comedy specials that are on Netflix, and this book was on sale. Of course, he is also the host of The Daily Show on Comedy Central, which makes me wish I watched his specials and read his book sooner.
Trevor Noah has penned a memoir about how he got his coveted role as The Daily Show host starting with how he was Born a Crime during the apartheid of South Africa. He’s exploring how he found himself in a world he isn’t supposed to exist. The novel uses a lot of the same honesty and wit that Noah uses to anchor his late night show.
Becoming by Michelle Obama
I’m very aware that I am probably the latest person to board this train, because this book came out years ago. And Netflix released a documentary on it. And Spotify is adopting a podcast with her as the host. But in this case, it truly is better to be late than to never show up to the party.
A memoir by a former First Lady of the United States, and there is a lot to unpack. It would surprise me if she got it all in one book, which is probably why there’s so many more things coming out to supplement it. She’s lived a lot of life, and I hope that reading this will help me become a little bit better than I am as well.
It’s a very broad statement, but I’m looking for some poetry to read next month. Every August, Nicole Sealey has a challenge where she reads a book of poetry or a poetry chapbook for an entire month. This year, I am planning on participating, so I need about 31 poetry books and/or chapbooks. That’s a fairly large number, so I’m looking for some recommendations. If you have some, please help a girl out and drop them in the comments below.
What are you reading now? Do you have a go-to beach read? If you’re not a reader, how are you spending your days? Tell me in the comments below!
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