Ditch Netflix and read: 5 books to read this summer

Claire Oliver

Summer is a great time to unwind and relax. There is time to read and sleep and just reconnect with the people in our lives. Reading is just one of the ways to relax and engage your mind at the same time.  

As the summer approaches and some will be going to the beach here is a list of five summer reads for a wide variety readers.  


  1. “New York” by Edward Rutherford

This epic novel is a historical fiction book that is over 800 pages and is perfect for just sitting in the sun.  The book is a generational story about the Big Apple from the 1600s when it was called New Amsterdam to the terrorist attacks of 9/11.  Edward Rutherford, the pen name of Francis Edward Wintle, wrote this book in a series about various famous cities including “Paris” and “London.” He carries the story by pinpointing specific events in the cities history and tying them into the story of one family.  The book is long and is filled with love, loss and epic stories from American history.  It is a great option for those who don’t like to read since the story is written in chunks and putting it down for a bit and then picking it back up won’t make it difficult to reconnect to the characters.  

2. “The Sun and Her Flowers” by Rupi Kaur 

For those who love poetry Rupi Kaur’s new poetry book “The Sun and Her Flowers” is a great option for sitting and reading while enjoying a nice glass of iced tea and watching the sunrise.  The book is the second collection of poetry released by Kaur and represents the beauty in the world.  

this is the recipe of life
said my mother
as she held me in her arms as i wept
think of those flowers you plant
in the garden each year
they will teach you
that people too
must wilt
in order to bloom Rupi Kaur

3. “Ready Player One” by Ernest Cline 

This book is for all the science fiction junkies out there.  “Ready Player One” was recently turned into a blockbuster movie and if you haven’t read the book this summer is a great time to do it.  The book focuses around a virtual reality game called OASIS.  Despite the world of OASIS being a fictitious one, the players are ready to kill in order to win the prize that awaits at the end of the gameplay.  This book is great for those who loved the movie or who loved series like “Star Wars” or “Lord of the Rings.” 

4. “I’ll Be Gone in the Dark” by Michelle McNamara 

“I’ll Be Gone in the Dark” is a nonfiction, true crime novel that focuses on the case of the Golden State Killer.  The book was originally written as a way to provide a comprehensive collection of stories to help unmask the serial rapist that plagued California. The book will be expanded upon since California has made an arrest for the case in recent weeks.  The book will keep you on the edge of your seats and is perfect for thrill seekers who love Stephen King or “In Cold Blood.” 

5.  “Every Note Played” by Lisa Genova 

Genova, the author of the popular book “Still Alice,” did it again with her new book “Every Note Played.”  Genova has her Ph.D. in Neuroscience and her books tell the stories of families or individuals who suffer from neurological diseases. Her new book released this past April tells the story of a concert pianist who slowly begins to develop ALS, causing his whole right arm to become paralyzed.  The book not only tackles the disease but the challenges that plague a relationship when a life-changing event occurs.  This book is great for those who love a good tear jerker.  

Editors Note: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that the premise of “Every Note Played” surrounded an individual with Parkinson’s disease. This article has been updated to reflect the correct information. 


Collegian reporter Claire Oliver can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @claire_oliver21.