Books To Add To Your Summer Reading List This World Book Day Advertisement
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#WorldBookDay: 50 Books You Need To Add To Your Reading List This Summer

Ready to escape?

By Gargi Agrawal  April 23rd, 2021

When life feels heavy and there’s nowhere to go, many find solace in a good read. Whether it’s a gorgeous picture book that takes you around the world, a captivating piece of fiction or one that expands your knowledge—there’s certain magic attached to the power of books.

Owing to this indefinite time of staying confined, let’s agree that books have been the last resort for quaran-tainment. In case you have exhausted your sought-after quarantine reading list, we’re here to help you make some new additions. From breezy, light-hearted romantic reads, self-help books to pages that traverse subjects of feminism, racism and more, trust this edit to be your confidant of sorts. Swipe through:

Beach Read by Emily Henry 

Love a good, realistically beautiful romantic novel? Trust Beach Read to fill the void. The story follows the lives of January and Gus, two writers who are working on their novels and live opposite each other. One of them no longer believes in love while the other is stuck in a rut.  

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennet

A historical fiction novel, The Vanishing Half looks way beyond the issues of race as two twins try to leave behind a small town that they grew up in. The novel explores the lasting impression of the past and how it influences a person’s decisions, desires and expectations.

Detransition Baby by Torrey Peters

If you’re in the mood for something unconventional, this transgender fiction deserves a read. The story follows Ames, who transitions from male to female, and then back to male again. The novel navigates family-making and motherhood in the 21st century. 

The Wisdom Of Sundays by Oprah Winfrey 

Oprah Winfrey lovers, this book will be a treat for you. Compiling her life-changing insights and inspirational conversations with prominent leaders today, Oprah gives them a form of 10 intimate, personal essays. Each chapter represents a powerful step in Oprah’s own spiritual journey.

Be My Guest by Priya Basil

In case you need some inspiration for quarantine cooking along with a good read, then here’s your cue. A thought-provoking meditation on food, family, identity, immigration, and hospitality, Be My Guest explores how food can be a force that both unites and divides.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Louisa May Alcott shares the innocence of girlhood in this classic coming of age story about four sisters—Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy. The book was originally published in two volumes in 1868 and 1869, making it a quintessential classic in today’s contemporary world.

Wardrobe Crisis by Clare Press

Fashion journalist Clare Press explores the history and ethics behind what we wear in this fashion-forward novel. From sustainability, ethical fashion to making a difference in the world, consider this your guide to shift your sartorial perspective.

Intimations by Zadie Smith

Smith began writing the book around the time Covid-19 began in the United States and completed it soon after the murder of George Floyd. Powerfully moving and deeply personal, the book is presented in the form of small essays mirroring her experiences, thoughts and emotions.

The Forest Of Enchantments by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

If you harbour a love for mythological reads, then The Forest Enchantments need to be on your bookshelf. In this brilliant retelling of the Ramayana, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni places Sita at the central spot and tells the tale from her perspective.

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

A science-fiction novel written by Huxley in 1931, the book depicts a technologically advanced futuristic society. It also takes on subjects like consumerism, the media, genetic engineering, recreational drugs, religion, herd mentality and more.

Cook, Eat, Repeat by Nigella Lawson

Vegan and gluten-free followers, this one is for you. A delicious and delightful combination of recipes intertwined with narrative essays about food; Cook, Eat, Repeat is written in Nigella’s iconic style making it a super fun read for summers.

The Guest List by Lucy Foley

A constant page-turner, this novel is an amalgamation of Agatha Christie’s style with modern-day suspense. Featuring a luxe wedding on an island across the coast, someone turns up dead at the wedding. Turning into a nightmare for the guests, The Guest List will keep you guessing till the very end.

Asking For A Friend by Andi Osho

An uplifting celebration of friendship, three best friends decide that it’s time to ditch dating apps and play with their own rules for love. What happens next? They’re going to ask people out but only for a friend, and not for themselves. The book is pacey, joyful and a light-hearted read.

Open Water by Caleb Azumah Nelson

The novel narrates the story of two Black artists who meet at a pub in London and find themselves falling in and out of love owing to fear and violence. The book picks up on what it means to be a person in a world where people only see you as a Black body.

This Close To Okay by Leesa Cross Smith

A psychological work of fiction, This Close To Okay is packed with cosy couches and comfort food. Navigating difficult subjects, the novel explores a life-changing weekend shared between two strangers—a therapist and a man who she saves.

Last Call by Elon Green

Inspired by a true-crime story, Last Call traverses upon the gripping hunt for a serial killer who preyed upon gay men in the 1990’s. If you enjoy baffling crime stories, this book is for you. 

The Woman In Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

Packed with mystery, thrill and suspense, the story follows a woman who gets lost on her voyage in the seas. The tone is dark and claustrophobic as the protagonist continues her search for the lost woman even though someone is trying to stop her—maybe even kill her.

If I Had Your Face by Frances Ha

Giving a surgical overview of the complex social hierarchies and the impossible beauty standards in Korea, this book follows the lives of four young women. It’s a riveting debut novel set in contemporary Seoul, as the women try to find their way in a difficult world.

All Adults Here by Emma Straub

A warm and funny novel about the life cycle of a family, All Adults Here explores the transition of people. The author weighs in on a unique alchemy of wisdom, humour and insight in a story about adult siblings, ageing parents, high school boyfriends, middle school mean girls, the lifelong effects of birth order and more.

Persuasion by Jane Austen

Published six months after Austen’s death, Persuasion should be your go-to choice if you’re in the mood for a classic read. The story revolves around Anne Elliot, a young English woman whose family moves in order to lower their expenses and reduce their debt by renting their home to an Admiral and his wife.

Balancing In Heels by Kristin Cavallari

If you’ve been wearing way too many hats lately, then this book will be your confidant of sorts. Entrepreneur, TV star and designer Kristin Cavallari shares how she juggles multiple facets of her busy life with grace and style. 

Writers And Lovers by Lily King

If you’ve found yourself stuck with a writer’s block, then find solace in this read. A puzzling and beautiful novel about writing and love, it deals with the absurdities and pressures of being an aspiring writer all while craving for love, family and success.

The Perfect Child by Lucinda Berry

A story filled with thrill and suspense, The Perfect Child tells the story of a couple—Christopher and Hannah, who are happily married. Their lives are turned upside down when they adopt a foster child, Janie—who drives a wedge between the couple.

Pretty Happy by Kate Hudson

Written by actor Kate Hudson, this book will become a smart health and fitness bible for you. Hudson shares her insights on how every woman can feel strong, healthy and beautiful—inside out.

Untethered Soul by Michael Alan Singer

Michael Alan Singer eases the process of self-introspection for the readers with this self-help book. The author pushes people to think about who they are, think deeply about their thoughts and emotions, and helps shape their identity in consciousness. 

Stillness Speaks by Eckhart Tolle

A perfect quarantine read; this book will come to your aid in your journey of self-discovery. The book places itself as a preeminent resource for self-enquiry and self-exploration. 

The Night Manager by John Le Carre

A spy drama, the book revolves around a former soldier working as the night manager of a luxury hotel, who is recruited by a government espionage organisation to infiltrate the inner circle of an arms dealer. PS. Bollywood’s OG heartthrob Hrithik Roshan is all set to star in the Indian adaptation of this book, the details of which are yet to be revealed.

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari

Do you have an inclination towards non-fiction reads which are also blended with life lessons? Give this book a shot. Sapiens focuses on key processes that shaped humankind and the world around it, such as the advent of agriculture, the creation of money, the spread of religion and more.

Make Your Bed by William McRaven

Admiral William H. McRaven has been in the Navy for 37 years and in 2014, he made a speech about the ten life-changing principles that he learned during those times. In this book, his speech has taken the form of written principles which are certain to change your life.

The Beauty Of Living Twice by Sharon Stone

A celebration of women’s strength and resilience, Sharon Stone interrogates her own trauma and myriad of losses. The author discovers the gift of clear seeing in this daring and tender-hearted memoir.

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini 

Written by the renowned Afghan-American author—Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner tells the story of a young boy Amir who is from Kabul and also a Sunni Muslim. Follow his journey as he struggles to find a place in the world due to the aftereffects and fallout from a series of traumatic childhood events. 

Good Company by Cynthia Sweeney

In this domestic fiction, Sweeney explores marriages, family, female friendships, infidelity, and the crazy theatrical world of actors. The story dives into the lives of Flora and Julian who struggle for years, scraping together just enough to raise their child—Ruby in Manhattan and keep Julian’s small theatre company in business.

City Of A Thousand Gates by Rebecca Sacks

A kaleidoscopic debut, this novel illuminates the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The story explores great humanity, compassion, astonishing immediacy and captures the emotional reality of contemporary life.

Bravery by Alexi Pappas

Bravery is a biography of the author narrated in essays ranging from her past to the present day. The Olympic runner, actor, filmmaker and writer Alexi Pappas shares what she's learned about confidence, self-reliance, mental health, embracing pain and achieving dreams.

No One Is Talking About This by Patricia Lockwood

A genre-defying novel, the book follows the life of an extremely ‘online’ woman whose life and perception changes forever when her niece acquires a serious illness. The story is a reminder of how devastation and human connection work hand in hand.

The Kitchen Front by Jennifer Ryan

If you’re an ardent food enthusiast, then this one’s for you. Four women during the times of World War II enter a British cooking competition in order to make their respective lives better. The novel is a pleasant read as it showcases the healing powers of friendship.

The Kindest Lie by Nancy Johnson

A thought-provoking novel that delves into racism, The Kindest Lie follows the story of a woman who is preparing to have her first child with a husband she adores. But first she has to confront the fact that she already has a son—a child she was compelled to give up when she was a teenager.

Can’t Even by Anne Helen Peterson 

This self-help book explores how millennials have become the most burnt-out generation today. The author explores questions like why is this generation so misunderstood, why are they so anxious and always feel like they are stuck in life. 

Girls With Bright Futures by Tracy Dobmeier

In the cut-throat world of elite college admissions, Girls With Bright Futures is a wickedly paced story of three moms who are willing to cross any lines to get their kids admitted to top-notch schools. Filled with bites of suspense and scandals, this should be your choice for some fictional drama.

The Push by Ashley Audrain

The book is a tense, psychological drama about the making and breaking of a family. The Push is narrated through the eyes of a woman who’s experience of motherhood was nothing like she hoped for.

Overdressed by Elizabeth Cline

For fashion enthusiast who live, breathe and eat fashion, Overdressed will provide a window in the world of fashion that’s rather hidden. The book evaluates the costs of low-priced clothing while tracing Cline’s own transformation to a conscientious shopper, a journey during which she visited a garment factory, learned to re-sole shoes and shopped for local, sustainable clothing.

Hour Of The Witch by Chris Bohjalian

Love a historical-thriller intertwined with horror? Here’s your cue. Hour Of The Witch narrates the story of Mary Deerfield, a suspected witch in 1662 Boston who, while facing her own inner demons and a disastrous marriage, raises a doubt that demons do not just exist in her mind.

Acts Of Desperation by Megan Nolan

Unhealthy relationships can often shift a person’s perspective of love towards something dark. Capturing an intense experience with clarity and style, Nolan tells the story of a toxic relationship and what it does to us in this darkly funny, debut novel.

Of Women And Salt by Gabriela Garcia

Poet and author Gabriela Garcia offers an authentic exploration of the immigrant experience as she tells the story of a Cuban family who face brutal events. From sacrifices made by mothers to choices made by their daughters, it tells the story of women who just refuse to surrender.

White Feminism by Koa Beck 

Author Koa Beck explores the knotted history of feminism and racism while calling out to demolish white feminism. The book addresses issues of race, empowerment and inclusion in America which is as interesting as it is educational to read.

Aftershocks by Nadia Owusu 

Inspired by the author’s life, Aftershocks is an unsettling memoir about how a girl finds her place in the world when she’s abandoned by her mother at the age of two and orphaned at thirteen when her father passes away. The story follows Nadia’s journey as she creates a solid ground for herself across countries and continents.

Everything Is Figureoutable by Marie Forleo

A no-nonsense and practical self-help book about how to face things as they come, Everything Is Figureoutable will help you navigate fear and dreams by showing the way forward. Brownie points to this one for its humour and relatability.

Fake Accounts by Lauren Oyler

Social media today has impacted our behaviour and the way we perceive relationships. Fake Accounts tells the tale of a young woman who discovers that her boyfriend is an anonymous online conspiracy theorist in a world where truth is shaped by online lies. Will they make it through?

Exciting Times by Naoise Dolan

Traversing upon the life of a millennial named Ava, Exciting Times is clever, dryly funny and heartbreakingly raw. The story revolves around Ava figuring out her life in a foreign country all while maintaining a semblance of coolness.

Summer On The Bluffs by Sunny Hostin 

This story follows the lives of three very different women who come together every summer at a beautiful cottage owned by their parents. From love, relationship bonds to what it means to slow down and have privacy, Summer On The Bluffs touches upon each aspect making it a light, summer read.

Photographs: Pinterest, Unsplash