2021 Reading List: What I Read This Summer

2021 Summer Reading List

Well, here we are again with another wrap-up of our Summer Reading List. It’s a little later this year, but aren’t all things? We figured it’s still technically summer, meteorologically speaking, so we are going with it.  

This year’s list is mostly mine, Shannon’s, since Gerry opted to re-read a lot of his books in his collection, so these will be my recommendations, similar to last year’s blog post. Here is something that was unplanned, but I am totally loving: all of the authors on this list are women! You’re welcome! 🙂

Raven Leilani Luster
Raven Leilani

The first book on the list is my favorite, and I read it the first time at the end of 2020, but re-read it this past summer, and I have been recommending it to anyone and everyone I talk to, all summer long, so I am including it. It’sLuster,” by Raven Leilani. Oh my goodness! Immediately go get this book, right now! Everyone who is anyone in the book industry raves about Raven and this book. It’s Raven’s first novel, but it sure doesn’t read like a first time written book. This book is one that you cannot put down once you start it, and it twists and turns in ways that you just cannot imagine. It’s about a twenty-something, African-American woman, Edie, living in the Bushwick neighborhood of New York, barely making ends meet, gets laid off, is in a relationship with a married guy who is in an open-relationship, and let’s just say things are just crazy! The book gets uncomfortable, but in ways that make you self-reflect. It’s just so good. This is the top of the list for a reason. 

Tricia O'Malley
Tricia O’Malley

Next up is a refreshing book that truly made me escape from all the drama that the return of the second wave of covid brought with it: “One Way Ticket” by Tricia O’Malley. Tricia was on the list last year with “Mrs. Bitch”. She is becoming one of my favorite summer authors. “One Way Ticket” is about a woman, Paige, who leaves her partner after she catches him cheating on her, for a struggling island resort, Poco Poco Island. When she arrives, she begins a job as a retreat coordinator, she thinks, only to find that the place is sort of a mess. In walks some new guests- her ex-boyfriend and his group of mistresses. Uh-oh! This is funny, light, and great for a mindless getaway. Loved it!

Alexia Daria
Alexia Daria

The third book is by Alexis Daria, “You Had Me At Hola.” This book made me feel like I was inside of a telenovela, much like the ones that Alexis was writing about in the book, which was so fun! This is a sexy story about a soap opera star, Jasmine, who has been through some tabloid drama. She is cast in a new television show with a new leading man, Ashton, who is a telenovela star, and well, things heat up. I absolutely loved this book! Alexis has won many awards for her writing about Latinx characters and their familias. This is a super fun read. Perfect for any time of year, but loved it during the summer, especially. 

Scout Sobel
Scout Sobel

Next on the list is one for my fellow hustlers. You know I love to include these. Last year, it was 50 Cent’s business motivational book. This year, it is Scout Sobel’s “The Emotional Entrepreneur”. I heard Scout on a podcast, learned about her story and fell in love with her hustle, her drive, and knew that this book was one that I HAD to read. It is the guide for any woman who has a side hustle, their own business, running anything that is theirs, and needs to feel like someone actually understands. Don’t we all? There is crying in entrepreneurialism, people. This book can help you understand why, and to help you understand why it is ok. Scout has been through it all: diagnosed with bipolar, starting a business, challenged with the emotional roller coaster that simply running a business brings, but all of it together… Scout gets it, and she is bringing her lessons to us in this easy to digest book and I am here for it! I have re-read this book a few times, but picked it back up to find nuggets to review about a hundred times. My only issue? I wish I would have had this book 10 years ago. No fault of Scout’s though. It was released just last month. This is a must-have if you are an entrepreneur, or a desire to be one. Also, it is a great gift for someone in your life who matches that description. You will be their new favorite person- promise! Well, other than Scout. 

Oprah Winfrey
Oprah Winfrey

Last on the list, but most definitely not least, the Queen of all media, Oprah Winfrey, of course, released a book that spoke to my soul, “What Happened to You? The book is a collaboration between Oprah and renowned brain and trauma expert Dr. Bruce Perry. Oprah reveals much on the trauma she experienced as a child and ways in which her brain adapted. She and Dr. Perry make the connection that this is the case for most of us. We learn to adapt, much from what happened to us as children. She talks often about ways in which we can learn from our own behaviors and change how we move forward, recognizing these actions with “post-traumatic wisdom.” Though this book is deep, it is a great read for anyone who wants a bit of self-help, reflection, and more thought into their reading. Plus, with Oprah Winfrey, you simply cannot go wrong. 

Per usual, the mixture is diverse, but we like to keep it that way. There were others, but these were the highlights. We, of course, read all year long, so we would love to hear what you are reading. Let us know what your faves are, so we can add them to our list! 

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