Riot Headline 10 Exciting Books to Read this Summer

Read Your Way to Closer Relationships: A Friends ‘n Family Summer TBR

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Rachel Manwill

Staff Writer

Rachel Manwill is an editor, writer, and professional nomad. Twice a year, she runs the #24in48 readathon, during which she does almost no reading. She's always looking for an excuse to recommend a book, whether you ask her for one or not. When she's not ranting about comma usage for her day job as a corporate editor, she's usually got an audiobook in her ears and a puppy in her lap. Blog: A Home Between Pages Twitter: @rachelmanwill

With summer hitting its stride, you might still be searching for a hot-weather reading strategy. Some people like to go the way of their school days and fill the long days with classics, while some take the easy breezy approach with lighter genres. Some don’t have any strategy at all, and continue on their normal reading tracks.

I’ve always taken an approach that’s kind of a combination of all three. I like to have some kind of an idea of what I’m going to throw into my beach bag, but I like to mix it up with classics and lighter stuff – a little balance depending on my mood.

This summer, I thought I’d try something new.

In my head, there’s a book associated with each member of my family and friends. It may not be their favorite book (in some cases, it is) but for one reason or another, one particular book sticks with me.

Here’s my list:

  1. My mom: The only book she ever read twice – and the book that’s in tatters on her bookshelf – is Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo.
  2. My dad: This one’s a little tougher, but I distinctly remember when my dad read – and loved – The Road by Cormac McCarthy.
  3. My cousin, Becky: Her favorite book is Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry, and when she told me, it was the first time I’d ever heard someone talk about it, unconnected to its genre classification as a Western.
  • My cousin, Anna: Anna did her Master’s thesis about The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon.
  • My friend, Lauren: Lauren loves books as much as I do, so it’s really hard to associate just one book with her. So I won’t do it – she gets two: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon and Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy.
  • My friend, Joel: Joel’s interests in books are drastically different than my own. He’s into sci-fi and fantasy and constantly pushes my reading boundaries. I’ve had some trouble with his recommendations, but I’m giving the one that he suggests to me all the time a shot: The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss.
  • My friend Genevieve: Gen’s favorite book, that she is shocked I haven’t read, is She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb.
  • My “work husband,” EricWorld War Z by Max Brooks, entirely because it’s the only book he’s ever recommended, but I trust him completely when it comes to all other media.
  • Rebecca, Riot Content extraordinaire: Though there are a ton of books that Rebecca recommends, the one that I most strongly associate with her is  Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.
  • Jeff, Riot Editor-in-Chief: Considering Jeff raves about it at every opportunity, how could I not include Gilead by Marilynne Robinson at his pick?

    What books would you read to get to know your family and friends better?