Riot Headline 10 Exciting Books to Read this Summer

5 Inspiring New Memoirs Coming This Summer

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Michelle Regalado

Staff Writer

Michelle Regalado is a New York-based digital writer and editor. When she's not hunting down her next must-read book (recommendations are welcome!) or writing about all things pop culture, you can probably find her drinking iced coffee and hanging out with her dog, Lola. Follow her on Twitter: @mar8289

Beach reads don’t have to be all suspenseful mysteries or sweet romances. This season is also bringing some engrossing new memoirs that will both motivate you and keep you plenty entertained by the pool. Whether you’re looking for something to make you laugh or cry, or to debate over with your friends and family, you’re sure to find it all in the pages of these five inspiring titles, hitting shelves later this summer:

The pretty one book coverThe Pretty One: On Life, Pop Culture, Disability and Other Reasons to Fall in Love with Me by Keah Brown (August 6)

You may know Keah Brown as an outspoken disability rights advocate and the creator of the #DisabledAndCute campaign. In this insightful collection of essays, she delves further into her story, exploring what it was like to grow up with cerebral palsy, her relationship with her able-bodied identical twin, and her love of all things pop culture. Filled with honesty, wit, and plenty of humor, Brown’s reflections open an important conversation about representation and self-love. 

Haben book coverHaben: The Deafblind Woman Who Conquered Harvard by Haben Girma (August 6)

In this inspiring memoir, Haben Girma takes readers through her journey into becoming the first deafblind person to ever graduate from Harvard Law. She also reflects on how years of navigating her disability in unaccommodating environments helped shape her advocacy, leading her to fight for increased access at Harvard Law, in court, and even at the White House.  

Yellow House book coverThe Yellow House by Sarah M. Broom (August 13)

In her debut novel, Sarah M. Broom takes a candid look at her childhood growing up in the once-promising neighborhood of New Orleans East, one of the most neglected areas of the highly visited city, and specifically, the yellow house she and her family lived in for decades. Though the house was destroyed in Hurricane Katrina, its memory has a lasting impact on Broom, which she deftly explores while also reflecting on issues of race and inequality. 

All the Wrong Moves book coverAll the Wrong Moves: A Memoir About Chess, Love, and Ruining Everything by Sasha Chapin (August 13)

Trying to figure out your next move? Sasha Chapin knows all about that, as he writes in this book chronicling his obsessive two-year submersion in the game of chess. After spending months embarking on global travels in search of tournaments, Chapin falls in love and decides to quit in order to commit to his relationship—after one final high-ranked game, of course. Whether or not you know anything about chess, you’ll be able to relate to Chapin’s quest to find love, excitement, and, above all, his place in the world. 

Consent book coverConsent: A Memoir of Unwanted Attention by Donna Freitas (august 13)

In this timely memoir, Donna Freitas continues the conversation around consent by delivering a forensic examination of the years she spent dealing with her own stalker—a professor whose academic interest in her turned obsessive. While grappling with the long-term emotional consequences of her experiences, Freitas highlights how shame and self-doubt can silence victims, and raises important questions about the real definition of consent.