I know you have a mountainous TBR pile, but it never hurts to take down a few new book recommendations, especially from your teachers and other heroes. TED recently released a list of 101 books that TED speakers want you to read this summer, and I'd say that's a pretty good place to start looking for new reading material, wouldn't you? I've picked out 10 books, all written by familiar women writers, for you to check out below.
Are you behind on your reading this year? So am I. So is, well, everyone. No one reads as much as they should, and every book-lover has a TBR pile they'll never finish. But that's OK. Even if you read one long-awaited book and pick out three more to read later, you're accomplishing old goals and setting new ones.
Whether you've got a reading challenge you want to knock out, or you're just looking for something to read on the flight to your sunny summer destination, the books on the short list below are sure to delight you. Memoirs, fiction, poetry, nonfiction — this reading list has it all!
Check out my list of 10 books TED speakers want you to read this summer, and be sure to look over the full summer-reading list on the TED website.
1. 'The Ordering of Love: The New & Collected Poems of Madeleine L'Engle' by Madeleine L'Engle, Recommended by Amy Green
Even if you adored A Ring of Endless Light and A Wrinkle in Time, you might not know that Madeleine L'Engle wrote her fair share of poetry as well. This 2005 collection compiles almost 200 of the author's poems, including 18 previously unpublished works.
2. 'The Glass Castle' by Jeannette Walls, Recommended by Daniel Levitin
How do you reconcile your parents' refusal to grow up? That's what memoirist Jeannette Walls and her siblings are forced to do after they leave the nest of their sometimes absent, always negligent parents to build their own lives.
3. 'The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi' by Elif Shafak, Recommended by Lara Satrakian
The Bastard of Istanbul author Elif Shafak weaves together two narratives — one of the modern day, the other in antiquity — in this stunningly beautiful work of literary fiction.
4. 'Barefoot Contessa’s Parties! Ideas and Recipes for Easy Parties That Are Really Fun' by Ina Garten, Recommended by Wendy Troxel
Everyone should know how to entertain, and Ina "Store-Bought Is Fine" Garten is here to rescue your summertime fun with this book of party ideas you can throw together on the fly.
5. 'Bad Feminist: Essays' by Roxane Gay, Recommended by Sofia Jawed-Wessel
What does it mean to be a feminist in the world when every movie, show, and celebrity is oh-so problematic? Let Roxane Gay explain all the fun and pitfalls of being a "bad feminist" in this 2014 essay collection.
6. 'A Great and Terrible Beauty' by Libba Bray, Recommended by Alix Generous
Libba Bray's Gemma Doyle Trilogy begins with A Great and Terrible Beauty, in which the 16-year-old protagonist leaves colonial India for a British boarding school, plagued by terrible visions that come true.
7. 'Kindred' by Octavia E. Butler, Recommended by Lucianne Walkowicz
In this classic science-fiction novel from Octavia E. Butler, a young black woman is yanked backward in time and space to the Maryland plantation where her ancestors lived.
8. 'Mindset: The New Psychology of Success' by Carol S. Dweck, Recommended by Eduardo Briceño
Social psychologist Carol S. Dweck argues in favor of a "growth" mindset — one that believes people's abilities can improve significantly over time, even without innate talent — which she says will allow individuals to lead more fulfilling, happy, and stress-free lives.
9. 'The Light of the World' by Elizabeth Alexander, Recommended by Caitlin Doughty
Written in the aftermath of the unexpected death of the author's husband, The Light of the World probes the experience of a widowed poet and mother of two as she tries to move past the trauma.