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A Bookworm's Guide To Summer Reading

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What is on your summer reading list? Nerdette Podcast’s Greta Johnsen shares her recommendations for the summer.

Meha Ahmad

It’s summer (or so we think). The season officially kicks off this Friday, and it’s time to turn your mind to summer weekend plans.

Perhaps you want to spend some time just laying back at the beach … or maybe these temperature swings have you developing weather trust issues and so you’re planning on just staying in and putting your feet up. Or are you heading to warmer climates and need something to keep you busy on that road trip?

Either way, we’ve got some recommendations for you from WBEZ’s resident bookworm. Nerdette podcast’s Greta Johnsen stops by with her recommendations for the best reads for the summer.

Greta’s Summer Reading List - Fiction:

1. Contemporary fiction: Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes

Greta Johnsen:In the first two pages of the book, she's ready to leave her husband. As she's pulling out of the driveway, she gets a call that he was in a car accident and died. The other character in the book is this pitcher for the Yankees who has the yips. And so it's about these two characters trying to figure out how to rebuild their lives. It's lovely, it's funny, it's the perfect summer read.

evvie drake starts over

2. Fantasy: Magic For Liars by Sarah Gailey

Johnsen: This 'muggle' detective is asked to solve a murder at this school for mages where her sister teaches. It's super noir and very mysterious, and the narrative treatment of magic is fascinating. You're gonna like it.

magic for liars

3. Romance: The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren 

If you're a fan of the enemies-to-lovers trope in romance, check out The Unhoneymooners

4. Mystery/Thriller:Searching for Sylvie Lee by Jean Kwok 

Johnsen: There are a lot of really great interesting layers and dynamics around the pressure of being the child of immigrants and trying to forge your own way, and what home really is.

5. Historical FictionDaisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins-Reid. 

Johnsen: This one is about a band in the '60s, so it's historical-ish. I highly recommend this one as an audiobook.

book cover daisy jones & the six

6. Young AdultThe Field Guide to the North American Teenager by Ben Phillippe. 

7. Crime: The Cormoran Strike series by Robert Galbraith

Johnsen: Turns out [Robert Galbraith] is a pseudonym of J.K. Rowling, who wrote Harry Potter. I like to say the main character Cormoran is sort of like Hagrid but super smart and with a peg-leg. They're just great murder-mysteries. 

cormoran strike series

Greta’s Summer Reading List — Non-Fiction:

8. Biography/MemiorMore Than Enough by Elaine Welteroth 

9. Historical Non-fictionWolf Hall trilogy by Hilary Mantel 

Johnsen: It's a history of Thomas Cromwell, who was an adviser for King Henry VIII. These books are from his point of view. The first two are out, and the third in the trilogy is expected this spring.

10. ComedySorry I’m Late, I Didn’t Want To Come: One Introvert’s Year Of Living Dangerously by Jessica Pan 


11. PoliticalWhen Women Ruled The World by Kara Cooney 

Johnsen: It's about all of these boss ladies who a lot of us haven't even heard of because history books don't spend a lot of time talking about them.


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