As summer fast approaches – or is it already here?? – people start spreading out to far corners of the globe for their vacation. Whether you’re heading back to your home country to visit family and friends or jetting off to a beach paradise, we all end up reading at some point. Waiting at the airport, passing time on the plane, lying in a hammock, sitting in the garden with a glass of wine as the sun goes down. The lazy days of summer are perfect for getting some quality reading time in.

Summer reading lists are always fun to peruse for ideas. Most major magazines, newspapers, and websites do them. In addition, celebrities often publish their own lists. I must admit that I always check out the reading lists of Michelle Obama – because it’s Michelle Obama! – and Reese Witherspoon, who has a fun book club on Instagram @reesesbookclubxhellosunshine.

I hope that we, SIWA members, could share our summer books to read.

I’m going to tell you about three books that I have ready for summer that you might be interested in. I also hope everyone might share their summer reading in the comments at the end of this blog post, too.

First, in my opinion, no summer reading is complete without a page-turner that you can’t put down! I have chosen to read Elizabeth Gilbert’s new summer 2019 novel City of Girls. Previously Elizabeth Gilbert was best known for Eat, Pray, Love. This new novel involves an 89-year-old woman looking back on her life in the 1940s New York theater world where she enjoyed herself immensely as a young woman. I’m looking forward to this one since it apparently contains “glamor, sex, and adventure”, which sounds just perfect for summer beach reading. 

Next, a little bit of self-help. Dr Brene Brown is enjoying a bit of a heyday right now with a new show streaming on Netflix called A Call to Courage. She also made a brief appearance in the recent Netflix movie, Wine Country. She has a few publications, but I have decided to go back and read her 2010 bestseller, The Gifts of Imperfection. Forbes included it in their list of the “Five Books That Will Actually Change Your Outlook On Life”. Brown attempts to get us to embrace wholehearted living where we nurture our self-esteem and personal development by letting go of the constant pressure and desire to be perfect. I, myself, am guilty of negatively judging everything I do. I’m hoping this book will help me to change my way of thinking about myself.

Finally, as a keen lover of history, I am eagerly anticipating Hallie Rubenhold’s The Five:The Untold Lives of The Women Killed By Jack The Ripper. Being British, I grew up with stories about Jack the Ripper. If you have never heard of Jack the Ripper, he/she was a serial murderer who preyed on multiple women in 1888. The true identity of this person has never been identified, so the story lives on as a mystery. It is widely believed that he only preyed on prostitutes who generally would not be missed, but this book lifts the lid on that myth and gives the women an identity and a life of their own. We have never heard about the women, the victims, before. As women around the world are learning to find their voice today, I think it is worth considering those women of the past who were silenced.

As I said above, it would be great for others to comment with their planned summer reading in the comments below. We can give each other ideas, share hidden gems, and get inspiration from each other!

If you’re here over the summer, don’t forget about SIWA Book Club! The next meeting is Friday July 12th. The book to be discussed will be Ann Patchett’s State of Wonder. Then on Friday August 9th, Go Tell it on the Mountain by James Baldwin.