Blog | 09/19/18

What You Should’ve Read This Summer!



As cooler weather rolls around each year, I long to be back by a body of water with an endless supply of enthralling books that I am physically unable to put down. The feeling of being transported into another world, life, or time through a good book is unlike any other.


Much to my dismay, this summer I found myself trudging through books for weeks before I even realized that I was halfway through three subpar novels that I simply couldn’t get into. Had too many boring professor-assigned books killed my love for reading?


Not at all. As it turns out, I just wasn’t reading the right kinds of books. Once you’ve pinpointed your favorite niche genres– the kinds of books that keep you up until 3am– you’re set. I’ve compiled a list of some of the best books around, both old and new, for all interests. Once you find your book, hit up the nearest library/bookstore (or Amazon), and rediscover the magical feeling of reading a novel that you are incapable of putting down.



If you like…


Dystopian literature, then you should try American War.

This vivid novel envisions a post apocalyptic America wrecked by global warming and war. What seem like unimaginable realties become all too real as Omar El Akkad artfully constructs a story of a young girl’s battle for a better life in a collapsing country. Akkad’s vivid, detailed descriptions of war layered over an intense dystopian plot similar to that of The Hunger Games enraptures readers of all ages, promising a captivating summer read for all.



If you like…

Classic Literature,then you should try The World Broke In Two.

This book follows four literary geniuses, Virginia Woolf, T.S. Eliot, D.H. Lawrence, and E.M. Forster, through 1922, the pivotal year that marked the literary shift to modernism. As each author struggles both personally and professionally with their uncertain futures, this book follows the web of their lives through excerpts of their correspondence and personal diary entries. If you’re a fan of classic literature, take your passion to the next level and delve into the intertwined narratives of four foundational 20th century writers.



If you like…

Realistic Fiction, then you should try 19 Minutes.

Though published in 2007, Jodi Picoult’s 19 Minutesseems more relevant now than ever as she explores the vast intricacies of a high school shooting. Picoult gives readers an inside look to the devastating aftermath experienced by the entire town, focusing on what it means to be an outsider in society, and whether anyone is ever who they portray themselves to be.



If you like…

Philosophy, then you should try Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.

This transcendent novel revolutionized and revitalized modern philosophy and the way to view life’s obstacles. A father and son cross country road trip sets the stage for the book, paving the way for a story of love, growth, and discovery. Pirsig dissects life’s fundamental questions through a touching narrative, giving his readers an innovative lense to view the world and their place in it. Dive into the philosophical questions a father and son challenge along their journey.



If you like…

Historical fiction,then you should try The Nightingale.

Kristin Hannah’s enthralling use of language transports readers into the depths of WWII France through the perspective of two distinctly opposite sisters. First-rate character development allows for readers to grow strong ties to the sisters as their home falls further into the grip of Nazi Germany. If you’re a fan of movies like Allied, Inglorious Bastards, or Casablanca, this unparalleled story of bravery in one of history’s darkest times provides readers with a captivating story and a new perspective on life in WWII Europe.



If you like…

Thrillers,then you should try The Escape Artist.

This novel artfully crafts an unexplained mystery involving the US Army, a fake death, and a secret military base in the Alaskan wilderness. As the truth is slowly uncovered, an astonishing secret that traces back to the most notorious escape artist in history is revealed. Described as “one of the best thriller rides ever”, this exceptional story will not disappoint.



If you like…

Memoirs, then you should try The Opposite of Loneliness.

Five days after her graduation from Yale, writer Marina Keegan tragically died in a car accident. Though her career was cut short, Keegan left behind a quirky yet captivating collection of writing that her family published after her death. Since then, her compiled work, The Opposite of Loneliness, made it to the New York Times’ Bestseller List in 2014, touching millions as Keegan perfectly encapsulated her generation’s feeling of hope, uncertainty, and possibility.



If you’re interested in…

The outdoors, then you should try Into Thin Air.

This novel recounts the most disastrous Everest expedition in history, providing readers with a detailed account of the treacherous and deadly hike itself, while also raising fascinating questions regarding morality and survivor’s guilt. Krakauer’s unique perspective on the romanticized sport not only offers readers a genuine understanding of the trek, but a spellbinding read as well.



If you’re interested in…

The 60’s/70’stime period, then you should try The Girls.

Emma Cline’s The Girlsdelves into the free-spirited and tumultuous era of the 1960’s as the novel examines the “Helter Skelter” social revolution sparked by Charles Manson. Though Cline takes the liberty to change names of cult members and other small details, much of the story remains the same, offering readers a riveting glimpse into Manson’s mystifying and villainous American counterculture.



If you’re interested in…

Sports,then you should try The Boys in the Boat.

Boys in the Boat tells the galvanizing story of the nine working class American boys who shocked the rowing world in the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Readers are reminded of the strength, determination, and optimism that the young men provided to unite America during the trying time period between the Great Depression and Nazi Germany’s uncharted growth.





– Kate Costanza, FTF Summer 2018 Intern