I don’t know about you, but I hated summer reading when I was in school. Don’t get me wrong, I love to read. But I don’t like being told what to read and then quizzed on it later. You know what I do love as an adult though? Summer reading recommendations! You can get someone’s hot take on a book. decide if you want to read it too, and no matter what, there isn’t a single quiz or essay involved. Three cheers for summer reading recommendations!
Summer Reading Recommendations
HRH: So Many Thoughts on Royal Style by Elizabeth Holmes
Veteran style journalist Elizabeth Holmes expands her popular Instagram series, So Many Thoughts, into a nuanced look at the fashion and branding of the four most influential members of the British Royal Family: Queen Elizabeth II; Diana, Princess of Wales; Catherine, The Duchess of Cambridge; and Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex.
With one section devoted to each woman, HRH is a celebration of their stories and their style, pairing hundreds of gorgeous photographs with extensive research. A picture emerges of the British monarchy’s evolution and the power of royal fashion, showing there’s always more than what meets the eyeAmazon Synopsis
If you’ve been following along for a while, then you might’ve heard me talk about HRH before! It was featured on my December Faves: 2020 list and continues to be a fave this year too.
If you love the British Royal Family and also have an interest in fashion, I definitely recommend picking up HRH: So Many Thoughts on Royal Style. The author, Elizabeth Holmes, has filled this beautiful coffee table book with gorgeous photos and witty (but also informational and extremely interesting) commentary on Royal fashion including how and why each clothing choice was made.
I spent all last summer watching documentaries on the Royal Family, so reading this book was a fun continuation of that little hobby.
P.S. this book makes a great gift! I actually gave a copy to one of my friends last Christmas.
Untamed by Glennon Doyle
In her most revealing and powerful memoir yet, the activist, speaker, bestselling author, and “patron saint of female empowerment” (People) explores the joy and peace we discover when we stop striving to meet others’ expectations and start trusting the voice deep within us.Amazon Synopsis
I follow quite a few virtual book club accounts on Instagram and Untamed has been on almost every single one. A few even have it listed on their own summer reading recommendations lists! Earlier this year, I decided to see what all the hype was about and picked up a copy for myself.
Glennon Doyle is laugh out loud hilarious and shared a lot of thought provoking content in this book about her own self discovery.
I can’t say I agreed with every piece of advice given, but with any self help book, I think you should take what you like and leave what you don’t. What works for some people doesn’t work for others, and that’s okay!
Also, can we talk cover?! I know you’re not supposed to judge a book by it, but I can’t help it! It goes back to my childhood days of strolling the aisles at Borders and looking for the prettiest covers and then reading the synopsis on the back! And this cover?! Gorgeous!
Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey
I’ve been in this life for fifty years, been trying to work out its riddle for forty-two, and been keeping diaries of clues to that riddle for the last thirty-five. Notes about successes and failures, joys and sorrows, things that made me marvel, and things that made me laugh out loud.
Recently, I worked up the courage to sit down with those diaries. I found stories I experienced, lessons I learned and forgot, poems, prayers, prescriptions, beliefs about what matters, some great photographs, and a whole bunch of bumper stickers. I found a reliable theme, an approach to living that gave me more satisfaction, at the time, and still: If you know how, and when, to deal with life’s challenges—how to get relative with the inevitable—you can enjoy a state of success I call “catching greenlights.”Amazon Synopsis
I picked up Greenlights after one of my good friends told me how much she enjoyed it. She said Matthew McConaughey was an excellent storyteller, and I have to agree!
I’m about halfway through, and I love the little anecdotes, the photos (yes, there are some pictures), and all the little asides and pull quotes that are included. In the hardcover version, there a bits of Matthew’s handwriting and notes he’s written to himself over the years. Very cool!
Apparently, the audio version is narrated by Matthew himself, which I find pretty neat as well! I’m glad I chose to purchase the physical book over the audio version though. I would hate to miss all those little extras like the photos and notes. They really add a lot to the experience.
Built to Belong by Natalie Franke
This fresh, inspiring call to community and connection from an entrepreneur and leader is perfect for anyone feeling alone and ready to set off on a journey to true belonging.
Many of us feel more alone than ever despite living in the most connected society in human history. We need to belong in the same way that we need oxygen–our physical bodies require it. We perform better and have greater successes as individuals when we are connected to the collective.
Join author Natalie Franke as she shares her story of longing for connection in the chaos and lessons learned on her journey to true belonging.Amazon Synopsis
If you follow me on Instagram, then you’ll recognize Built to Belong from a recent post.
I’ve been following Natalie Franke on Instagram for years. As soon as I saw she was writing a book, I knew I had to have it. In a world full of competitions and putting others down, Natalie’s message is one of community over competition. Something we can all benefit from.
Also, another beautiful cover! I love the colorful paint swashes on this one!
It’s important to note that this book is currently on preorder and will release on August 24th. Because I was selected as a book launch team member, I have an advanced digital copy.
Thanks for Waiting: The Joy (& Weirdness) of Being a Late Bloomer by Doree Shafrir
Doree Shafrir spent much of her twenties and thirties feeling out of sync with her peers. She was an intern at twenty-nine and met her husband on Tinder in her late thirties, after many of her friends had already gotten married, started families, and entered couples’ counseling. After a long fertility struggle, she became a first-time mom at forty-one, joining Mommy & Me classes where most of the other moms were at least ten years younger. And while she was one of Gawker’s early hires and one of the first editors at BuzzFeed, she didn’t find professional fulfillment until she co-launched the successful self-care podcast Forever35—at forty.
Now, in her debut memoir, Shafrir explores the enormous pressures we feel, especially as women, to hit particular milestones at certain times and how we can redefine what it means to be a late bloomer. She writes about everything from dating to infertility, to how friendships evolve as you get older, to why being pregnant at forty-one is unexpectedly freeing—all with the goal of appreciating the lives we’ve lived so far and the lives we still hope to live.
Thanks for Waiting is about how achieving the milestones you thought were so important don’t always happen on the time line you imagined. In a world of 30 Under 30 lists, this book is a welcome reminder that it’s okay to live life at your own speed.Amazon Synopsis
I discovered Thanks for Waiting while watching Elizabeth Holmes’ (author of HRH) Instagram Stories a few weeks back. Elizabeth was a participant in Doree Shafrir’s virtual book launch.
As soon as I heard the topic and read the synopsis, I knew I wanted to read it. As a late 20-something, quite a few of Doree’s points resonated with me.
We’re all late bloomers at something, right? And if you’re not, lucky you! Although after I read this book, maybe it’s not luck you. But rather, lucky me? We shall see!
Also, another truly gorgeous cover. Those florals? Yes, please!
So what’s a good book without a jazzy bookmark?! I discovered both the felt and leather bookmarks from NorthwindSupply late last year and have been hooked ever since. Both styles (felt and leather) are super affordable, the quality is impeccable, and the leather ones can even be personalized. What’s not to love!
P.S. these make great gifts too! Whether you’re gifting to yourself as a prize for completing your summer reading or to someone else.
Well, there you have it. A lengthy list of what I’m reading and a list of summer reading recommendations for you to consider as well!
Affiliate links are in use in this post. However, I truly own and love each book featured on my summer reading recommendations lists.