summer projects

Summer Break: Start a Summer Reading List

Starting a reading list can be a relaxing and productive way to spend your free time this summerTechnologies such as e-readers and phone applications have made it easier than ever to access thousands of book titles just about anywhere, anytime. Even if you prefer good old-fashioned books (like me), finding the right compilation of page-turners will keep you eager to read all summer long.


Nothing is more mentally stimulating than reading a book. This is especially true for avid readers who inhale as many as ten books a month! For kids and adults alike, starting a reading list can spark the imagination, help self-improvement, and boost knowledge on just about any topic under the sun. While I often discuss the academic benefits for students, reading is also an important way for professionals to build understanding and inspiration for work.

More than anything, starting a reading list is all about motivating yourself to read more than you usually do. I find that selecting a variety of genres is key to staying interested. As I wrap up my first book of the summer, The Women Who Raised me by Victoria Rowell, I am already excited to see where my list will take me.

Aundrea's 5 Types of Books to Spice-up Your Reading List

  1. A peer suggested book: If any of your colleagues have made interesting book suggestions recently, try one out. Or, ask a friend about good books that may be sitting idle on her shelf. Following a suggestion from a peer not only guarantees a discussion buddy once you are done reading, it may even come with a copy of the book that you can borrow.
  2. A book you have read before: There truly is something special about re-reading a favorite passage and seeing how your perspectives have changed since the last time you read it. Books such as The Giver have been on my summer reading list consistently since childhood. I can always find something new to takeaway. This summer pick up a beloved (or even once detested) book and give it another try.
  3. An imaginative fiction series: Fantasy and science-fiction series have become increasingly popular with the success of books-turned-movies such as Twilight, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, and The Hunger Games. (Shame on you if you didn't know they were books first!) Fiction novels are not only great for taking your mind off of the stresses of life. They will also add much needed adventure to your summer.
  4. A biography or autobiographyThe Women Who Raised Me, my current read, is a memoir that reveals what it was like for one woman to grow up in the foster system with many dynamic surrogate mothers. I thoroughly enjoy biographies and autobiographies as they offer the opportunity to walk a mile in someone else's shoes. If you are looking to add depth to your list and share in the personal experiences of another person, find great book suggestions here.
  5. A looked over classic: If you missed titles such as A Farewell to Arms, The Iliad, or The Color Purple during high school and college, add them to your reading list now. I like to read classic books just to take a break from the "best-sellers" list. Tip: Classic titles are often available free or super cheap on e-readers, and always at your local library.

reading on beach

A summer reading list is the perfect time to start a new relaxing hobby. With longer days and warmer weather, just imagine yourself lazing by the pool with a great book in your hands! Whether getting to the reads you have been putting off for awhile or joining the avid readers club for the first time, there really is no downside to picking up a book or two (or three) this summer.

Aundrea_Gregg-TheWiseLatinaClubAn education policy wonk at the Georgia Center of Opportunity, Aundrea Gregg holds a Master’s degree in Social Policy and Planning from the London School Of Economics and a Bachelor’s in Classical Civilizations and Political Science from Howard University. She also is a nail painting enthusiast and writer living in Atlanta, GA. Connect with Aundrea on Twitter or Google+.

Edited by: Viviana Hurtado, Ph.D.

Which books will you add to your reading  list?