If you’re anything like me, summer is a time to be as lazy as possible. However, all that laziness can cause you to stress about being unproductive. You’ve got to do something to feel like a productive member of society, right? What could be better than a summer reading list? It helps hold you accountable and you’ll feel great when you tick off a book on your list. Starting with some fiction and then moving on to non-fiction, here are my recommendations for this summer:
The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
This book centers on an old, decrepit hero telling his life story to a biographer. However, he might exaggerate a little so readers beware! Told via a meta-story taking place in a bar, the protagonist recounts the many twists and turns he endured throughout his life. The Name of the Wind is one of a few books I’ve found which acknowledges life doesn’t always create a cohesive narrative. A combination of gorgeous, poetic writing and an unreliable narrator make this a must for any fantasy fan’s reading list.
Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson
This book is a bit of a twist on traditional high fantasy and takes place after “The Chosen One” saves the world. Mistborn focuses on how absolute power corrupted him absolutely. Later books in the trilogy jump the shark a little bit and any thoughtful commentary on the nature of power goes out the window. However, even if the latter two books lack any real insight, they’re still great magic filled romps. If you find yourself on the fence about reading this series, it’s worth considering Mistborn’s unique perspective. The trilogy’s protagonist is a woman of color, an under-represented voice in writing.
The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher
I can’t pretend these are intellectual in any way, but they’re still great books. What could be better than Harry Potter crossed with The Maltese Falcon? That’s right, nothing. The first few books are a bit sub-par, but the world building is second to none and the characters are not only memorable, they’re realistic. Most importantly, you get to see the world through the eyes of a gumshoe wizard. What’s not to like?
Three Felonies a Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent by Henry Silvergate
Did you know the average working professional in the US commits approximately three felonies in one day? In this horrifying and fascinating book, Henry Silvergate details how our overly complicated and circuitous criminal justice system helped create a world in which anyone can be arrested for merely existing. Three Felonies a Day will leave you questioning everything you thought you knew about justice in the U.S. If your future includes law school, you need to add this book to your reading list.
The Bleeding Edge: Why Technology Turns Toxic in an Unequal World by Bob Hughes
In The Bleeding Edge, Bob Hughes offers a critique of capitalism by focusing in on Silicon Valley. He argues capitalism does not help technology and technological development at all. Offering historical examples from Thomas Edison to Steve Jobs, Hughes shows how technological development only truly occurs due to altruism and mutual aid.
Of course, these are just five books you could read this summer. Do you have recommendations? If so, don’t forget to leave them in the comments below!