Admit it: summer is not only a synonym of vacations. It is also a time when we, unconsciously, reflect on the past six months of the year, weighing whether or not we’ve kept the promises we made ourselves when the new year rang in. If we have failed, the guilt trip is bound to come around. And if we have, we constantly look for ways to keep them up, mostly through reading.
I am one of those people who, like Joan Didion, writes to find out what she is thinking. I also read to find out what the fuck is going on in my head. I seek wisdom from other women writers, while I also try to find stories that make mine seem okay, like I’m not the only one with existential crises or lousy friends.
So, this summer, as I prepare to embark on a Master’s Degree come fall, I’m grabbing a bottle of sunblock and my favorite bikini to escape to the nearest beach with a book in hand to do exactly that: find out what I’m thinking. (Luckily, there is a beach down the street, but I will stop with the humble bragging right there.)
Here are 5 books to devour during summer:
1. Seeking Love, Finding Overalls by Leandra Medine
In her first book, Leandra Medine uses clothing as a memory device to narrate the pivotal events in her life, from the first time she kissed a boy to the launch of her blog The Man Repeller in 2010.
2. #GirlBoss by Sophia Amoruso
Amoruso just made it into Forbes’ ‘Richest Self-Made Women’ List, so it’s no wonder I am enthused by her story. She never went to college, yet she built an empire called NastyGal from selling vintage clothing on eBay. Her memoir is both an autobiography and unorthodox business book.
3. Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham
I have many issued with Lena Dunham, so reading her memoir seems like a good place to deconstruct my opinions. Through e-mails, lists and autobiographical essays, Dunham reveals what she has learned throughout her life as an actress, artist, activist and feminist.
4. Tales from the Back Row by Amy Odell
You may remember this book from an earlier post on the lessons it taught me. So, it comes as no surprise I plan to read it again. Amy Odell was the first fashion blogger at New York Magazine’s The Cut and one of the only fashion journalists who still sees the fashion industry for what it is: a beautiful spectacle. In her tell-all book, she reveals what it is like to walk amidst the insiders when you are a complete outsider while still retaining the humor and skepticism being a journalist requires. Everyone benefits from this book, not just fashion freaks like me.