The Time I Tried to Make a Summer Reading List

When I was younger one of my favorite things to do in the summer was join the library’s summer reading program. Typically there would be a little Candy Land board inspired map with small checkpoints on them. We would check out as many books as possible to meet the checkpoints and receive the prize at each one. They were little dumb things like bookmarks or the highly coveted Pizza Hut personal pan pizza coupon. Flash forward to full on adulthood and the summer reading list just becomes a thing of the past, something you do on an airplane or while sitting on the beach. I mean there’s nothing wrong with those things, but where is the gratification? Do I have to pay for my own personal pan pizza (do those even exist anymore?)?

Every summer there’s a thousand summer reading lists where people tell us what we should be reading. Everything from the hottest fiction book (which is apparently Rich People Problems) to those books that are supposed to make our lives better. I mentioned in my summer bucket list my intention to read 3 New York Times Best Sellers so, of course, that meant making a list of books I want to read. Here we are, it’s nearly August, and I have yet to finish one. See, my intentions were good, but I have to try harder to accomplish this. Below you’ll find some of the books I still plan to shove into what’s left of my summer vacation.

Screen Shot 2017-07-26 at 2.14.01 PM The Girls is an incredibly popular book that has been on reading lists since last summer. I promised I would get around to it, but never did. So far this summer it’s the only book I’ve truly read. I love a good cult story so I am completely enthralled with this novel.

Adult Evie runs into a young couple that reminds her of her past with a charismatic young cult leader. She recalls how she joins the cult, her time within in it, and the inevitable bad that comes along with it.


Screen Shot 2017-07-26 at 2.22.13 PM Watch Me Disappear is a thriller surrounding the disappearance of a mother and how her family is left to piece together her secrets. According to the reviews it is a page turner readers won’t be able to put down. It’s recommended for people who loved Big Little Lies.

Screen Shot 2017-07-26 at 2.24.36 PM The Devil in the White City is the non-fiction selection of this reading list. I mentioned this being one of the NY Times Best Sellers I wanted to read. Written back in 2003, book shares the two intertwined lives of World’s Fair architect Daniel H. Burnham and America’s first serial killer H. H. Holmes during the 1893 World’s Fair.

With the current History Channel special “looking into” the chances H.H. Holmes was Jack the Ripper, it’s no surprise this book is currently on the Best Seller’s list.


Screen Shot 2017-07-26 at 2.23.25 PM Following most novels, The Animators, touches on ambition, friendship dynamics between females, and the search for personal identity. But touches on something extra: the obsessiveness that comes with being artistic and creative.

As Glamour put it, The Animators is “A mix of BeachesGirls, and Thelma & Louise . . . a ‘complicated,’ ‘sensual, sexy,’ raw nerve of a ‘roller coaster’ through a ‘tumultuous’ friendship.”


Screen Shot 2017-07-26 at 2.24.14 PM How to Fall In Love with Anyone: A Memoir in Essays comes from one of the most popular New York Times articles of 2015. It explores the relationship myths we have created and how they impact the way we sustain intimacy once we achieve it.

Mandy seeks to find the answers to the questions we ask most frequently. How can we make love last? Is love really like the movies, books, music make it out to be? Does looking at these relationships hurt the way we view our own? I’m very interested to find out.


Screen Shot 2017-07-26 at 2.23.52 PM Originally published in 1966, Valley of the Dolls has become one of the most popular written works ever, but I still haven’t read it. The film version of the book is on Criterion Collection, so I’ve seen that, but it might be time to give the book a read.

A story of three women told over 20 years, Valley of the Dolls follows their stories of achieving their dreams in Hollywood and on Broadway. Only one problem: when life gets tough they turn to the “dolls” in order to get by. Their increasing dependence on the cocktail of amphetamines and barbiturates can only last for a little while, but they keep finding their way back.

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