Summer Reading List: 5 Books You Should Read This Summer

Do you remember January 1 when you said you wanted to read more books this year? Summer is a great time to catch up on reading with its longer days and lounging-by-the-pool perfect weather.  Plus, having a book in your hand is up there with having a well groomed beard and a tailored suit. The charmingly aloof don't-bother-me-I'm-reading vibes you'll give off will up your hotness. It's a shame we have to be superficial to encourage you to read, but here we are with 5 books you should add to your summer reading list, because literacy is hot. 

Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah

Noah was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a relationship was punishable by prison. The Daily Show host's 2017 memoir is a heartbreaking, yet hilarious timeline of a young boy who struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist. Whether surviving on caterpillars for meals, being tossed from a moving vehicle during an attempted kidnapping, or just trying to navigate dating in high school, Noah takes you inside the unique world he's lived in with humor and honesty. 

The Mother of Black Hollywood by Jenifer Lewis

"I'M JENIFER MOTHERF***ING LEWIS!” While a book in your hand may up your sex appeal, you may need to just get the audio of this one so Lewis can read it to you and you get the full effect. Lewis has played “mama” to characters portrayed by Whitney, Tupac, Taraji, and many more cementing her status as the “Mother of Black Hollywood.”  Written with unapologetic honesty, Lewis' memoir is filled with wisdom she's gained through a unique life from the highs on stage to the lows off offering a universal message: “Love yourself so that love will not be a stranger when it comes.”

1984 by George Orwell

Here's a book you were probably supposed to read in high school, but you just went online and got the CliffsNotes. Orwell wrote 1984 in 1948, but his chilling prophecy about the future and his vision of a government doing whatever it takes to control the narrative is more relevant today than ever. 

Black Privilege: Opportunity Comes to Those Who Create It by Charlamagne Tha God

Say what you want about Charlamagne, but this man made it all the way out of a small town in South Carolina that no one has ever heard of to interviewing Kanye West and Hillary Clinton. He may be the "Prince of Pissing People Off," but Charlamagne also has an inspiring story about following your dreams while staying true to yourself. Your Favorite Childhood Book by Your Favorite Childhood Author

Like seeing an old friend who you actually enjoy catching up with, or watching one of your favorite childhood cartoons, there's something special about reading your favorite book from when you were young. The words are the same, but your interpretation of them changes as you've grown into a mature (hopefully) adult. Walk the stacks of your local library and walk down memory lane—it may actually be good for you. Studies show nostalgia can counteract loneliness, boredom, and anxiety. It also makes people more generous to strangers. And if you have a boo thang, sharing nostalgic memories can help you feel closer to each other. Book club idea?