A Midsummer Reading List

Who here has been ripping through their summer reading lists while lounging by the beach and pool? I sadly have barely logged any reading-by-crystal-clear-water time this summer, but I have logged a lot of airplane reading hours. That’s kind of the same, right? I put together my list of must-reads for the rest of this cruel, cruel summer. Join me as I dive into these incredible stories. (Note: I just finished Cry the Beloved Country and The Ministry of Utmost Happiness while on vacation, so I have a sneaky head start).

Cry the Beloved Country – A love letter to the people of South Africa, this novel by Alan Patton tells the story of a Zulu priest from a rural South African village who is exposed to the dark underbelly of race and violence when he travels to Johannesburg for the first time.

The Five Love Languages – This book should be required reading for anyone in a relationship or interested in entering into one. It details, in a very human and accessible way, the five ways in which we give and receive love, and guides the reader toward identifying their and their partner’s primary love language. The goal? To be able to give love in a way that resonates most with how your partner receives it, and vice versa.

The Ministry of Utmost Happiness – I read Arundhati Roy’s first novel, The God of Small Things, when I was in college, and have read it multiple times since. This is her second novel in over a decade, and I could not possibly have been more excited to dive in. Roy is a master of weaving together the stories of individuals outside the confines of time, and also gives us an incredible glimpse into Indian culture and day to day life.

The Wellness Project – After being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, Phoebe Lapine set out on a quest to heal herself by focusing on all of the elements in her life that contributed to wellness – food, exercise, beauty products, you name it. Over the course of a year, she spent one month at a time devoting herself to each individual area, and this book is the culmination of her “wellness project.”

The High Mountains of Portugal – I was completely enchanted by Life of Pi, Martel’s acclaimed novel, and am chomping at the bit to read his newest offering. This story traces the journeys of three separate people through space and time, in pursuit of magic and beginning in Lisbon.

Here I Am – Jonathan Safran Foer is back with a vengeance with his newest offering (his first in 11 years). This story deals with identity, and is rooted in the idea that we all have many identities which are often conflicting, as told through the lens of a struggling family.

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