What Are We Reading?

By Kirsty Freeman


Picture this, it’s summer 2021 and you have eight long weeks stretching out before you of nothingness and pure bliss. In other words, eight long weeks to sink your teeth into as many books as possible. Since I can remember I’ve always had a book in hand, or in my bag, ready to reach for at any moment, and so I sought out like-minded people to ask them what they’ve been reading this summer and put together a list of 25 books they’ve been reading and what they like about them. Who knows, maybe you’ll find your book soulmate somewhere along the way.


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1 Richard Dawkins: The Selfish Gene


“This book gave me a different insight on the start of the universe.”


2 Sally Rooney: Normal People


“An enduring love affair between two teenagers, it was heartbreakingly interesting.”


3 Amy Sparling: Summer Unplugged


“Simple romantic stuff, that made me feel warm and fuzzy inside, and makes life seem less complicated.”


4 Graham Swift: Mothering Sunday

“Short, I would describe it as a novella. It’s a jewel of a book that doesn’t waste words, telling a timeless tale.”


5 Stephan Hawking: A Brief History of Time


“It really pushed me to think about the bigger picture of physics, and I loved the challenge.”


6 Morgan Harper Nichols: How Far You Have Come


“I enjoyed it because of the beautiful stories she tells from her life weaved through quotes everyone can relate to!”


7 Hanya Yanagihara: A Little Life


“It was really sad and very emotional to read.”


8 Madeline Miller: The Song Of Achilles


“I will never stop recommending this book, it’s utterly tragic and beautiful.”


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9 Liane Moriarty: Big Little Lies


“Shows how strong mothers are, and the story is full of twists, unexpected turns, surprises and is utterly thrilling. It’s a psychological mystery and amazingly written.”


10 Dave Eggers: The Circle


“Dystopian novel centered around the perils of the Internet (or more importantly who controls it). It’s both an appealing and relevant plot to the 21st century and definitely worth a try.”


11 Adam Silvera: They Both Die at the End


“I loved this book so much! After seeing it on BookTok I was worried it might not live up to the hype, but it did not disappoint. It is about living and dying, and features a gay Puerto-Rican main character and a bisexual Cuban main character, talk about representation!!! The writing is amazing, and realistic for teens. It's dark but also comedic, but then will have you sobbing by the end of it… it’s just amazing…”


12 Natalie Haynes: Pandora’s Jar: Women in the Greek Myths


“A retelling of myths that gives women — who are often overshadowed by male heroes — their own stories, and voice.”


13 Shirley Jackson: The Haunting of Hill House


“It’s the blueprint for horror writing, and left me scared in a room fully lit.”


14 Charles Darwin: On the Origin of Species


“I started to read it for school (specifically biology) and for a challenge, but I actually found it super engaging and fascinating”


15 John Green: Looking For Alaska


“This book...it punched me in the gut and hurt to read, but it was beautifully written.”



Image via Favim Summer Aesthetics


16 Casey McQuiston: Red, White and Royal Blue


“It made my heart swell — in essence it’s super sweet and will have you grinning like a little kid.”


17 Lauren Asher: Throttled


“It’s her debut novel, but a total delight, it's a sweet slow-burn that gets hella steamy !!”


18 Florence Given: Women Don’t Owe You Pretty


“Honest, sexy and empowering !! It’s a great book to inspire you into feminism.”


19 V. E Schwab: The Invisible Life of Addie Larue


“The book is honest and raw to the human experience, it was truly beautiful.”


20 Leigh Bardugo: Six of Crows


“Honestly like so much better than Shadow and Bone (don’t hate me.) It’s epic and I could quote it any day, any time, any place.”


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21 Taylor Jenkins Reid: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo


“It’s a letter of love to the bi in her and I am in love with it. I’m actually begging you to read it … it’s so so so good.”


22 Colleen Hoover: It Ends With Us


“As someone who’s been through abuse in a relationship, this book hurt me in ways I cannot describe, but at the same time beautifully captured the feeling of being trapped in that kind of relationship. I fell utterly in love with Ryle, in the same way I fell in love with my abuser. Colleen Hoover captures the pain of love perfectly.”


23 Penelope Douglas: Punk 57


“It’s just a trashy romance, beach read, that’s just really good.”


24 E. Lockhart: We Were Liars


“I loved that there was a map and a family tree at the start! On top of this great start, throughout the book I was constantly questioning every line and character. The reveal was perfect, like I have no other words — PERFECT!”


25 Casey McQuiston: One Last Stop


“Such a cool concept, it’s comforting and magical, and an LGBTQ+ triumph, and there’s no doubt I’ll be reading her work until the day I die.”


With such a long list of recommendations, I hope this has at least motivated you to pick up a book and get reading. Whatever you end up doing this Summer, I hope you have at least a thousand main character moments!


Written by writer Kirsty Freeman



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