Summer is a time to relax and enjoy the sun. With reading being one of the best ways to escape from reality, it’s no surprise that many people have their eyes on books this summer. Here are five books for you to get lost in this summer!
Wit and Delight is a book about the author’s experience with doing improv. The book is filled with personal anecdotes, jokes, and wisdom on how to live your life creatively.
Do you ever wish you could go back in time and read a book for the first time? You go on to the acknowledgements, the author’s paragraph, and even the back of the book to reread the summary, unable to accept that the book is finished?
It doesn’t happen frequently, but there are a few novels I’d endure hypnosis to be able to read for the first time. I’ve compiled a list of five of those tales into a summer reading list. I’m talking about becoming lost in a good way, like when you can’t put a book down. That sort of misfortune.
If spending hours reading a book doesn’t seem like a good use of your time, I recommend starting with Ryan Holiday’s Quiet Is the Key, a digestible work on the critical need to achieve stillness.
While considering this topic, I went to my bookshelves and picked out two novels that I recall becoming lost in. In the summer of 2017, I recall the sun on my arms, the bulge of my pregnant tummy, and the lawn chair leaving tiny impressions on my legs from spending hours inside The Idiot.
The next spring, I recall reading another page of The Heart’s Invisible Furies while holding a sleeping infant in my arms. Both of the novels are on this list. They’re ideal tales for getting totally lost in. The other books on the list are ones I’ve read in the last few months, and each of them—all of them novels—is one I wish I could read again as a new reader.
They will take you to Turkey and Singapore, Ireland and the American South, Budapest and Amsterdam, among other places. There’s comedy, crime, travel, obsession, and, of course, love to suit every emotion you may have on a hot summer day.
I once heard that authors should put all they have into the article they’re working on at the time, never putting it off until later. This is my list of every book that drew me in to the point that I was lost, absorbed, and captivated. I hope you like these novels as much as I did.
Here are some ideas for getting lost when you’re ready:
I wouldn’t trust a list of novels to lose myself in if it didn’t contain Brit Bennett’s second novel, The Vanishing Half, and I’d skip forward. This book is breathtaking, disturbing, and vast. It strains my imagination in ways I didn’t realize were possible, presenting the tale of identical twins who grew apart and had lives that seemed to be as unlike as imaginable: one Black, one White.
It describes the many destinations to which two routes may go, even though they begin at the same point. Race, class, sex, and identity—all perennial issues—form the foundation of this novel, which will be a decade’s classic.
If this kind of tale appeals to you, I also recommend Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Lowland and Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing, both of which depict the different lifestyles of brothers and the deep potential of disparities.
2. Elif Batuman’s The Idiot
Penguin Random House provided the cover image.
This is without a doubt one of the most amusing books I’ve ever read. It’s set in the perplexing 1990s, when the internet was just getting started, and it’s told by Selin, a similarly perplexed Harvard freshman. Selin, the daughter of Turkish immigrants, spends her freshman year trying to figure out who she is, how she may get to know the beautiful guy in her Russian class, and how to send a decent email. It’s clever, nostalgic, and a lovely mix of smart and, well, stupid.
Penguin Random House provided the cover image.
When I say I couldn’t put this book down, I mean I carried it about with me like an additional limb, picking it up whenever I had a free minute. It’s a complex tale of an Irish guy on the hunt for his true identity.
His wealthy adoptive parents are quick to remind him that he isn’t one of them, and his mother, who gave birth to him out of wedlock as a teenager and was ostracized by her rural Irish town, isn’t involved. The book takes us on a journey through decades of inquiry, friendship, and discovery, confronting the Catholic church and shedding light on postwar Ireland’s shadows.
Please bear with me. You may have seen the movie or heard some talk about the books, but if you haven’t read them and are looking for a good read, here are three suggestions. If not to learn about haute couture, Singapore’s colonial black and white mansions, or the constraints that dynastic Asian families face, then for the sheer pleasure that comes with Asia’s richest elite’s convoluted tales.
The demands of rank and family branches are explored in this series, as well as the wealthy and largely unknown’s wild, beatific, and completely crazy lifestyles. While not very intellectual, these novels have a large scope, which the reader appreciates since it’s difficult to put them down once you start reading them.
Little, Brown and Company provided the cover image.
This is, without a doubt, my favorite book of all time—all 771 pages of it. It’s about a young New Yorker who escapes a terrorist attack that kills his mother, leaving him without a parent due to his father’s absence yet continued presence. He emerges from the blast with a possession that intoxicates, haunts, and obsesses him—and reminds him of his mother.
This is a love letter to art and a testimony to how family can be anything you want it to be. It’s beautiful and sad, fascinating and devastating, and well-deserving of the Pulitzer Prize, which it received in 2014. (If you feel goosebumps, your eyes fill up, and you ponder about it for days, weeks, or months after reading it on page 353, right before the chapter break, I want to hear from you.)
Allow the hours to slip away this summer as you immerse yourself in these unforgettable tales. And if you’re feeling sad or want a bit more after you’ve finished the book, you know who to call.
The books about place are books that I recommend for anyone who wants to get lost in a new world.
Frequently Asked Questions
What should I read in summer 2021?
I recommend reading the book, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
What books should I read this summer?
I would recommend reading the following books.
What is a good book to get lost in?
I recommend the book The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger.