Summer is winding down and August has arrived. Soon students will head back to their classrooms and learn new things while expanding upon the knowledge they already hold. Families around the country are taking their final road trips and vacations. Everywhere kids and grownups alike are settling down around the campfire, relaxing on the beach soaking up some sun, or reclining on their sofas at home or abroad, all with a good book in their hands. It’s the season of summer reading.
Whether it’s assigned or self-picked, summer reading is a yearly event that takes readers on exciting journeys through the various imaginary adventures located in the pages of books. Growing up, I always enjoyed reading and this didn’t change during the summer. Though the books were assigned, I found myself getting lost in the stories, some of which have become favorites of mine.
Now that I’m an adult, my appetite for reading hasn’t diminished and I continue to immerse myself in the stories. This year I made a goal of reading 40 books for the year and recently I crossed the finish line. I know 40 books isn’t a big deal (On my bucket list I have the goal of reading at least 10,000 books) but it felt wonderful to challenge myself. Next year I’m going to attempt to read at least sixty books. I’ve read some great works this season and in honor of summer reading, here are my picks for books you to read before the summer ends.
1. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
This is one of my favorite books. The first time I read it was in 7th grade. I reread it this summer and the excitement, thoughts, and feelings I had the first time came back again.
2. Kindred by Octavia Butler
This is a sci-fi book one that sees a young woman in the 70’s going back in time to meet her ancestors. One of which she has to protect and happens to be the son of a slave owner. She also gets to know what it was like to be enslaved firsthand.
3. Mindfulness by Gill Hasson
Previously due to an incident I had experienced, I met with a therapist who discussed mindfulness and last year for convocation at my job I took two classes on the subject. So why not read a book about it? It’s a helpful book which gives you tips and exercises to bring about positive changes in your life.
4. The Deadly Seven by Kyoko M.
This is a short story collection written and self-published by this talented author who also happens to be my friend. Combine archangels, demons, and a seer mixing it up with the seven deadly sins you get an enjoyable read. Don’t believe me? Just read my review.
5. Parable of the Sower & Parable of the Talents by Octavia Butler
Octavia Butler has become one of my favorite authors. I’ve read most of her books and enjoyed them all. These two make up a series about a young woman living in a dystopian future who sets out on a mission to create a new religion of her own: Earthseed.
6. Afrofuturism: The World of Black Sci-Fi and Fantasy Culture by Ytasha L. Womack
What is afrofuturism? Read this book and find out. I guarantee that you’ll be amazed and inspired.
7. The Rose That Grew From The Concrete by Tupac Shakur
I’m a poet and I always get inspired when I read the works of others. Like so many talented artists, Tupac was taken from this world far too soon. Aside from his music, his poetry lives on and gives us an insightful glimpse of who this young man was.
8. Jurassic Park & The Lost World by Michael Crichton
In 1993, I had just finished six grade when Jurassic Park came to life on the big screen. It would be few years later when I would read these two books. My imagination ran wild with the descriptions of the dinosaurs moving and stalking about.
9. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemmingway
Tenth grade English Honors was where I was introduced to Mr. Hemmingway. We read an excerpt from his novel in our big thick literature books. Only this summer I finally sat down to read the entire story about the old man and his battle with a giant and magnificent fish.
10. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Can you imagine living in a world where books are forbidden and if you’re caught with them they’re taken away and burnt? Throughout our history we’ve seen people burn books. Read the cautious and insightful tale about the fireman who decided to stop the burning.
11. Blackest Night Series by Geoff Johns and Peter J. Tomasi (writers)
A few years ago on Free Comic Book Day, I read a DC comic which had a preview of this story and I was intrigued. My sister had the entire series (consisting of seven volumes) and it was an amazing read.
12. The Days Run Away Like Wild Horses Over The Hills by Charles Bukowski
Matt Dillon is a favorite actor (and celebrity crush) of mine and after watching him portray Charles Burkowski’s alter ego Henry Chinaski, in Factotum, I was curious to know more about the writer. I did a little bit of research and borrowed this book of poetry. Isn’t it interesting how a film can peak your interest in a book and vice versa?
13. Casino Royale by Ian Fleming
Speaking of movies, I saw the film before I read the book and I believe the film did its predecessor justice. As I read I visualized and remembered the action sequences from the film. Fleming does a fantastic job writing about his creation 007 in the first of his many adventures.
14. Storykiller by Kelly Thompson
I got this book as a reward for being a backer in Thompson’s Kickstarter project to get this book published. It was an enjoyable read (see my review here) and an interesting take on characters such as the Big Bad Wolf, Robin Hood, and the Ice Queen. Fans have a lot to look forward to since Thompson’s first novel The Girl Who Would Be King has been optioned for a film!
There are many more books that I could recommend but these are my favorites from this year of summer reading. Take the road less traveled and pick up one or more of these books from your library, bookstore, comic book shop, or Amazon. Happy Summer Reading!
What books would you recommend for the last month of summer? Post them in the comments below!