Senior Summer Reading Recommendations

Summer reading list


Sarina Dev, Editor Emeritus

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Don’t thank me, thank Mr. Barry. I read this book first semester in my Utopian and Dystopian Literature class and it completely blew me out of the water. Mandel tells the story of humanity before, during, and after its collapse. Following five characters, Station Eleven beautifully explores the necessity of art, the transience of fame, and the ways that relationships influence us. Even if you aren’t reading this in a class and discuss it every day, it’s impossible to miss the poignant characterization and eerie themes. Though it is not climactic in the way we normally consider action-packed, every page is filled with sharp insight. Mandel’s prose is elegant, elegiac, and absolutely worth reading.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Gone Girl is best read if you go in knowing absolutely nothing about it. If you are looking for an intense psychological thriller that will keep you engaged, this is the perfect book. It’s insanely unpredictable, full of suspense, witty, and completely original. With brilliant, dark characters, it is utterly impossible to figure out who is telling the truth and who you should root for. After finishing the book, you can also watch the movie. Overall, you will lose your mind and never find it again.

Becoming by Michelle Obama

Not only is Michelle Obama funny, inspiring, intelligent, and Michelle Obama, she’s candid and real in a way that is immensely inspiring and also I think many of us can relate to. This book is over 400 pages and not once did it drag or feel long. We follow Michelle as she grows up in the South Side of Chicago, studies at Princeton University, falls in love with Barack Obama and balances her roles of First Lady and a mother. Political affiliations aside, I think everyone has something to learn from Michelle Obama’s raw and insightful prose. I recommend listening to it as an audiobook as it is narrated by Michelle Obama.

Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

Okay so either you’re obsessed with Game of Thrones like me, or you’ve never watched it. Either way, reading Game of Thrones is a great way to fill the void after the series ends on HBO and a great fantasy series to get addicted to for the summer. While the novels do branch off from the series, the first book A Song of Ice and Fire is akin to rewatching the entire first season. Martin’s writing is absurdly detailed and descriptive, full of never-ending storylines that make the book come to life, and the changing points of view keep it interesting and tense for all 800 pages.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Imagine The Breakfast Club but everyone is either a spy or an assassin and they pull off an insane heist at the end. If you enjoyed the fantasy elements and world-building of Game of Thrones and the tension and planning of Ocean’s 8 then this book is for you. Every character is extremely complex, dark, and adds so much to the story.

All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

This historical fiction novel follows an orphan boy in Germany and a blind girl living in Paris throughout World War 2. Doerr jumps between the past and the present and both perspectives to understand how the characters got to where they are and how to eventually come together. Doerr writes beautifully and questions the importance of the individual experience in the midst of world history. If you enjoy straightforward, linear plots, this book is not for you as Doerr crafts beautifully complex sentences that are both emotional and gripping and weaves sequences within sequences to bring the story to life. This book will be sure to move you.