8 Books To Review – A Summer Reading List

Summer is my favorite season for reading. I will grab my book, a blanket, and some sunglasses and head outside to read for a couple of hours. 

Blanket on the grass in the sun
This was my set up this summer.

In the last couple of months, I’ve read 8 books. None of them are finance related, but I thought I would write up some of my thoughts while I still have them fresh in my brain.

These are my ratings and summaries of some fun summer reads.

Note: These links are affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission if you buy through them, at no extra cost to you.

Educated: 10/10

I couldn’t put this book down. It’s hard to put into words the impact this book has—the true story about a girl raised by parents who feverishly prepare for the End of Days and eschew any medical treatment from doctors. Rather than going to school, she works in the junkyard.

Westover details her childhood with brutal honesty, weaving her way through the years until she stumbles into another world—the one her parents tried to shield her from, the one with the brainwashers, gentiles, and those possessed by the devil. Her account of the clashing of worlds and how ultimately, education changed her is a powerful, riveting story.
White Fragility : 9/10

Sometimes when I read books, I wish that others were reading them too. Americans should read works from across the sea. Men should read works about feminism. White people should read about the experiences of black people.

Diversity educator and sociologist DiAngelo explores how white people have a hard time talking about race. She addresses how racism is mistaken as a single, targeted attack by a 'bad person' rather than the infrastructure behind our institutions and culture. I loved the examples from this book that made me reconsider how I think about race, racism, and white complicity.

Becoming : 8/10
I read this while in Colombia, and really enjoyed learning more about our previous First Lady. I preferred the first half about her childhood, family, and growing up in Chicago.
Essentialism : 5/10

This book is fantastically quotable, but I couldn’t finish it. I really wanted to like it, but I got bored. I understood his points, and ended up moving on.

    However, here are some of the amazing quotes:
  • “Remember that if you don’t prioritize your life someone else will.”
  • “Sometimes what you don’t do is just as important as what you do.”
  • “If it isn’t a clear yes, then it’s a clear no.”
  • “The reality is, saying yes to any opportunity by definition requires saying no to several others.”
You Can’t Touch My Hair : 10/10

Even if nearly 100% of the pop culture references went over my head, Phoebe Robinson tackles race, feminism, and other sticky topics with aplomb. Her comedy career shines through this work, and I wanted to recommend it to everyone.

A Year Of Biblical Womanhood (6/10)

This was the third book of this type that I’ve read, one where someone takes a section of the Bible and tries to live by it as literally as possible. The first was by A.J. Jacobs, a fantastically funny author that told his story of living by the Old Testament in New York in a way that had me gaffawing. The second was a priest inspired by Jacobs, who decided to live by the New Testament and ended up changing his political stance.

In A Year of Biblical Womanhood, Rachel Held Evans explores the history, context, and cultural connotations of womanhood as presented in the Bible. She takes on different themes each month of the year, with concrete projects and goals based on scripture. I loved her wit as she tackles the tricky texts head-on.
The Opposite of Loneliness (9/10)
Keegan’s relatable voice dominates this work—her collective stories are told with the dynamism and vivacity of a college student figuring out her way. Raw and emotional, I didn't want to put it down.
Maid (7/10)
A poignant tale of a single mother slipping into poverty and attempting to claw her way out. It makes you realize that we don’t often hear the voices of those who are overworked and underpaid—they are too busy cleaning houses to write editorials in the paper. I don’t expect my books to be uplifting, but this book was definitely heavy as the reader follows Stephanie Land on a series of unfortunate events.

Have you read any of these books? Do you agree with my rating(s)?

What’s on your reading list?

What should I add to my reading list?

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  1. How interesting! I love hearing what books other people are reading and being able to add some of them to my list of books to read! Thanks for sharing.

    1. No problem! I love reading about books too, my list is all over the place so it’s good to be reminded of good reads.

  2. Ooh I love your list 🙂 ‘You can’t touch my hair’ and the book by A.J.Jacobs sounds hilarious – thanks for the rec! I’ve mentioned ‘Educated’ in my blog’s monthly reads as well, and am currently recommending it to everyone I meet hahaha.

    ?If you are interested in the environment, I highly recommend ‘The Elon Musk Blog Series’ by Tim Urban. It’s actually written by a blogger (he’s also a funny dude), but his stuff is so good that Musk reached out and asked him to write about Tesla and SpaceX.

    1. Oh I love Tim Urban’s blog ‘Wait but Why.’ I’ll definitely checkout that series.

      Let me know what you think about the recs!

  3. This is great! I’m currently doing my “Big Bookworm Project” for July and have read 30 books in 25 days so far and am going to do a post. Nice to see that you and others bloggers like Dragons On Fire are sharing their reads as well. Awesome!

  4. Thanks for the suggested reading list! I’ve only read Essentialism. Agree about the great quotes.

  5. Love this! I definitely went and added several of these to my library hold list. I completely agree with your point about branching out with reading–little warning bells go off when I’m talking with someone and all of their recent reads are by white American dudes…

    1. Woohoo! Let me know what you think of them when you’re done. Yes, it’s definitely something to keep in mind!

  6. I’m more of an audible person when it comes to books. I felt the same way going through Essentialism. I was going in and out with my attention.

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