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Culture > Entertainment

Books You Should Add to Your Summer Reading List

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Colby chapter.

I don’t know about you ladies, but the only thing on my mind right now is summer. I’m currently drowning in essays and exam prep, but soon enough we’ll all be spending our days soaking up the sun and our nights laughing alongside friends and roasting s’mores. When I find myself with free time, I love to sit down and read a good book. Generally for me, since I spend my summers at an all girls sleepaway camp, this means that I read by flashlight at night while tucked away in my cabin or on the beach during my days off. No matter where your summer reading spot might be, allow me to make a few suggestions to add to your list. These books include some of my summer favorites, books that I’ve yet to read and have added to my own summer reading list, and some that I believe are essential for all women and girls.  


Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls by Francesca Cavallo and Elena Favalli

Don’t let the title of this book dissuade you, because this is a must read for women of all ages! It contains 100 short stories about amazingly strong and powerful women from past and present that come from different countries around the world. Some of the names and stories will definitely be familiar, and others might inspire you to learn more about a badass woman that you didn’t know about before. Additionally the book uses beautiful illustrations from 60 insanely talented and diverse artists (who all happen to be women)! During the summer, I read a lot of these stories to my eleven year old campers before bed, and this is something they always look forward to each day. I have to admit, I get almost as excited about it as they do (if not more!).  


The Secret History by Donna Tartt

This is a book that I have not yet read but have added to my own summer reading list. It comes highly recommended by one of my best friends (shoutout to fellow HC writer Blythe Romano!). You may have heard of Donna Tartt after she won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for her novel The Goldfinch, but this was her first novel released in 1992. The narrator, Richard Papen, reflects upon the events that lead to a murder at his small New England college (relatable!), apparently modeled after Bennington College where Tartt studied in the 80s. Richard is heavily influenced by a classics professor and a small group of students that he begins to spend a lot of time with, and in the retelling of this story, the reader begins to understand the academic and social impact that this murder had on this small group of Classics students.


Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

You could say that this is the book that got me back into reading last summer. This book is soon going to be turned into a Hulu series started Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington, so you definitely will want to read it before watching the story unfold on screen! The book takes place in Shaker Heights, Ohio, a small Cleveland suburb, where the lives of an affluent family, The Richardsons, intersect with the lives of Mia and Pearl, a mother/daughter duo new to town. Everything seems to be going as planned in Shaker Heights until family friends of the Richardsons decide to adopt a Chinese-American baby, resulting in a custody battle that leaves the entire town divided. I could not put this book down once I started reading it, meaning I would even skip my afternoon naps just so I could read (i.e. it was really really good)!


The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

I started this book not too long ago, and I’m so excited to finally finish it once finals season is over! This psychological thriller follows the life of Alicia Berenson. Alicia and her husband Gabriel, a famous photographer, have a seemingly perfect life and marriage complete with a big house in one of the most desirable areas of London. One night, however, the police are called to the scene after Gabriel is shot five times in the face, and they catch Alicia red handed. After that night, Alicia never speaks again. Fast forward and we meet Theo, a criminal psychotherapist who becomes fascinated with Alicia’s case and will stop at nothing to get to the bottom of what really happened. This book will leave you asking so many questions along the way: Will Alicia ever speak again? Will Theo ever find out why this happened? What will Theo do if he doesn’t get all the answers? I guess I’ll have to finish to find out, and I suggest you pick up a copy as well.  


All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin

Sometimes, I just crave a good chick-flick in book form, and this is exactly that but with a modern twist that makes in super relatable. All We Ever Wanted follows the lives of students and parents at the elite Windsor private school in Nashville. One night at a party, someone snaps a drunken picture of female student, and the photo spreads like wildfire across the school. There’s an immediate uproar in the community as everyone begins to assign blame. The lives of three main characters soon become deeply intertwined as each chapter follows one of their perspectives. This book is relevant to the lives of many women and girls today and is a story that needs to be heard.  

Izzy is a senior at Colby College (Class of 2021!). She is a Psychology and Education double major. On Campus, Izzy is on the CCAK Student Advisory Board and the Community Engagement Committee. Izzy is from Wenham, MA, but she spends her summers under the pines as a counselor at an all girls sleep away camp in NH. She's an avid reader, loves to cook, and she also loves spending time with kids and empowering other women and girls.