For teachers and students alike, end-of-school chaos is (or is almost) in the rearview, which means one thing: summer vacation is finally here. Summer is the perfect season to relax, unwind, and escape from the world with a consuming book. Here at EA we’re still hard at work placing teachers and administrators, but something about the onset of summertime evokes the blissful image of getting lost in a novel on the beach, as ocean waves rumble in the background and the delicious smell of sunscreen wafts through the warm air. So to prevent our own “summer slide”, we’ve compiled our own summer reading list – a few titles we can’t wait to jump into – and hope you will consider adding to your lists, too.
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, #1 New York Times bestseller The Underground Railroad chronicles a young slave’s adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South, risking everything along the way. In a rave review Oprah Winfrey dished, “This book has kept me up at night, had my heart in my throat, almost afraid to turn the next page. Get it, then get another copy for somebody you know because you are definitely going to want to talk about this with somebody once you read that last, heart-stopping page.”
Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by JD Vance
Hillbilly Elegy is a memoir that follows Vance’s life as he goes from poverty in a white working-class Rust Belt town to Yale Law School. Vance reminisces on the Appalachian values of his upbringing and their relation to the current social problems of his hometown. A New York Times bestseller, this book promises to be a fascinating read, especially given the political climate of late.
You Can’t Touch My Hair: And Other Things I Still Have to Explain by Phoebe Robinson
Stand-up comedian and WNYC podcaster Phoebe Robinson’s You Can’t Touch My Hair blends memoir and social commentary as Robinson reflects on pop culture, race, gender, feminism, and modern black womanhood. As personal as it is political, the book examines America’s cultural climate and illuminates our biases with humor and heart.
The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy
Two decades after her debut novel was published to critical acclaim, Roy is back with a second novel, expected to be equally impressive. In The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, Roy spins together the lives of characters set throughout India, from the mountains of Kashmir to the alleys of New Delhi. According to Refinery 29, a must-read “if you want to be swept away.”
Startup by Doree Shafrir
If you’re looking for a breezy, totally addictive beach read, veteran online journalist and BuzzFeed writer Doree Shafrir’s debut should do the trick. Her novel is set in the New York tech scene, where her characters are swept into the surge (and ultimate fall) of a mindfulness app called TakeOff. This hilarious work of satire proves there are some problems that cannot be solved by an app.
Want to add a few more titles to your reading list? Check out President of NAIS, Donna Orem’s, recommended summer reading, as well as Independent School’s Books Columnist, Dick Barbieri’s selections.