With a commute like mine, I’ve been reading about a book a week. From poetry to nonfiction to an office survival guide, I’ve gotten my hands on tons of books this summer. There are only a few weeks left before an endless barrage of Foucault, Rousseau, and Marx take hold of my free time so these are my must reads.
It’s hard to find time to read for fun during the school year. After a long day of required readings and countless hours in the library, sometimes all I can do is watch another episode of a sitcom as I get ready for bed (I just cried over finishing Friends).
When vacations and summer come around, it isn’t long before the binge watching sessions get old and I crave the pages of a book in my hands. This summer, I’ve taken this to another level (to the point where my boss now asks which book I’m reading every Monday morning).
These are the 7 best books I’d recommend reading before the summer ends.
Feminist Fight Club
I first heard about Feminist Fight Club by Jessica Bennett when I was listening to Girlboss Radio (Sofia Amarouso’s podcast where she interviews amazing women about their path to success- I cannot recommend it more highly). The book is filled with funny stories and real advice for women in the workplace (and at school) as we face sexism head on.
My favorite chapter was “Know Your Enemy,” where Bennett describes typical sexist actions by men in the workplace and describes ways to combat and avoid situations like those. I laughed constantly while reading it (but was also shocked how applicable it has been in my life).
I recommend this to every (soon to be) working woman.
When the Attention Span is Lacking
I started a second job a couple weeks ago, and have been a little scatterbrained so I turned to books in short essay format. The first I grabbed was fellow blogger Samantha Irby’s book We Are Never Meeting in Real Life.
This might be one of the funniest books I have ever read. I’ve laughed on the bus, in front of strangers, waiting for the Pink Line, and even in bed (when my neighbor knocked on the wall to let me know he could hear me cackling). Irby is witty and poignant, and every page is a surprise. Just make sure you aren’t reading this next to your coworkers because the language is a little rough and often in all caps.
After reading The Second Sex, I’d been craving more iconic feminist literature so I picked up The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler, which retells interviews that Ensler had with women of all ages about their vaginas. It was initially a play first performed in 1996 (the year I was born!), and has since become a movement to end violence against women. It was a quick read and super interesting, as long as you don’t mind strangers seeing the title of the book on the bus.
The Poets: Rupi Kaur and Iain S. Thomas
I try to read some poetry as often as I can, and I fell in love with Rupi Kaur’s Instagram posts so I picked up Milk and Honey. Although there’s some controversy about her work, I found the collection to be heart wrenching and beautiful. A couple years ago, I fell in love with Sarah Kay’s collection, No Matter the Wreckage, and frequently go back to it for inspiration. Milk and Honey has a similar soul-filling quality.
Spent some time prepping my weekly spread and reading some poetry instead of cleaning the apartment • I come back to #nomatterthewreckage every few months because Sarah Kay is a genius #poetry #poetrybook #sarahkay #bulletjournal #bujo #chicagoblogger #bujospread #bulletjournallove #bujojunkies #bulletjournalweeklyspread #bulletjournalcommunity #planner #plannergirl #planneraddict #womenwhohustle #workinggirl
I found I Wrote This For You by Iain S Thomas in the campus bookstore. The combination of glossy pictures and his simple words kept pulling me in. If you read this book, don’t go through it from front to back. Rather, pick a random spot and read a few pages, one of the poems will fit what you’re feeling. It’s best read with an open mind.
This week has been crazy busy so I decided to read some poetry • I've been loving this new weekly spread that condenses all my notes #iwrotethisforyou #collegeblogger #planneraddict #poetry #bulletjournal #bulletjournallove #potd #weeklyspread #bujo #bujojunkies #bujoweeklyspread #bulletjournalcommunity
I recommend Milk and Honey, I Wrote This for You, and No Matter the Wreckage to anyone who thinks poetry isn’t for them.
Finally Some Fiction
I couldn’t make it through the summer without at least one good dystopian novel, so I snagged The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. In high school I decided to read 1984 instead of The Handmaid’s Tale, but you can bet 15 minutes into the first episode of the show I regretted it.
Generally, I’m not a huge fan of movie and TV adaptations of books, but I shut my laptop and went to the bookstore. It was an easy read, and a nice change from all the nonfiction I’ve been reading this summer.
The thing with fiction is that once I get into a book, I dive in head over heels and don’t sleep much. I probably won’t pick up any more fiction until my internship ends to avoid the toll great stories take on my life.
The Iconic HRC
That quarter system helping me out again this year as Hillary Clinton’s new book, What Happened, will be released a week before school starts, giving me plenty of time to devour it. This election was my first time voting, and since November 8th, I have been paying much closer attention to politics and seeing how I can get involved.
I’m really looking forward to this book, especially as I’m taking an Introduction to Nonfiction Writing course this spring. After what I expect will be a couple weeks filled with fiction (I’m looking at you, World Without End), HRC should be a great way to mentally transition back to school mode.
Realizing how many books I’ve read this summer really made me grateful for that commute time. I can’t wait to see what the next couple of weeks of books will have in store for me.
What have you been reading this summer? Are you excited for What Happened?
Tell me your recommendations in the comments or send them to me on Instagram @xoxorosana.blog!
From now on, I will be using affiliate links from Amazon. This means that if you buy any of the products that I recommend here on the blog, I will receive a small commission for the sale. I will only recommend products I truly love. Thank you so much for all your support over the last few months!