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My Summer 2020 Reading List

If you’re anything like me, you use summer break to catch up on all the pleasure reading you can’t get to during the semester. As an English major, I read a lot of books during the school year, but they’re not always ones I would pick up by choice. So, I normally cram in as many bestsellers as I can during break, my very own “summer reading.” Because of quarantine this year, I had even more downtime to fill, and once my local library reopened (with socially distanced protocols, of course), I piled up as many paperbacks as my arms could carry. Here are just a few:


A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson

A small-town murder mystery and the high school senior determined to solve it. That’s the premise of this bestselling book full of twists and turns. The protagonist, Pip, chooses to dive deep into the tragic murder-suicide of Andie Bell and Sal Singh for her senior year capstone project. She just doesn’t believe that the easy-going, gentle Sal really killed his girlfriend that fateful night five years ago. The farther she digs into the mystery, the more suspects appear, and the more people want her to kill her investigation. Or her. 

The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory

This book is the equivalent of curling up on the couch with popcorn and pop to watch a good chick flick. When Alexa and Drew end up trapped in an elevator together, neither of them realizes just how fortunate the situation really is. Drew is down a date to his ex’s wedding, and Alexa just might be the perfect fake girlfriend. What follows is a flirty, fun story of the ups and downs of unexpected love, and it was utterly enjoyable to the very end. 

My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

It seems like anywhere I’ve been in the past nine months (Freiburg, Germany; Portland, Maine; Wilmette, Illinois) someone has recommended this book to me. And when I finally picked it up this summer, it lived up to the hype: I read it in one night. The story follows Korede and her younger sister Ayoola, who has a nasty habit of killing off her boyfriends. Korede, forever the protective older sibling, has always helped Ayoola get rid of the evidence and stay out of trouble. But when Ayoola begins seeing the man that Korede has long been in love with, she has to decide just how far she is willing to go to protect her. 

Uncanny Valley by Anna Wiener

This compelling, provocative memoir proves that sometimes the truth really is stranger than fiction. Occasionally sinister and often absurd, this book follows Wiener as she leaves her job at a New York literary agency to pursue a position in tech, moving out to Silicon Valley in its mid-2010s Golden Age. Her gradual disillusionment with the tech world is painted in technicolor for us readers as she takes a deep dive into some of the most connected companies in the world. 

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara 

As someone with a true crime obsession, this book gripped me to the core and wouldn’t let go. This book takes us deep into McNamara’s hunt for the man she called the Golden State Killer, a man who committed over 50 sexual assaults and 10 murders in California during the ’70s and ’80s. Published two years after her sudden death and just two months before the killer was caught, this novel is both frightening and deeply moving. If you like it, check out the HBO series based on the novel, which takes us deeper into the lives of the survivors and the brilliant woman that was Michelle McNamara. 


If you like the sound of any of these above, make sure to check them out at your local library. Or better yet, support your local independent bookstore! Happy reading!

Sydney is a senior at Colby originally from Wilmette, Illinois. She is a German Studies and English double major with a concentration in creative writing. On campus, Sydney is a COOT leader, member of Colby Dance Company, barista in the Mary Low Coffee House, a language assistant, and president of Colby's chapter of HC. When she isn't working, dancing, or writing, you can probably find her laughing at her own jokes or talking about the Midwest.
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