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20 Awesome Summer Reads

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Your summer may be filled with hiking, water sports, and backpacking trips, but that doesn’t mean you can’t carve out some time to enjoy a good book. That’s what hanging in a hammock was made for, right? Whether you love learning about history, getting wrapped up in mystery, or setting your mind towards adventure, a good book can take you anywhere you want to go. Check out this list of StorQuest’s top 20 awesome summer reads.

  1. Ernest Hemingway - A Biography by Mary V. Dearborn (2017)

Dearborn’s thoughtful reexamination of the life of one of America’s most famous writers highlights the tragedy surrounding his life. After you finish his biography, reread Hemingway’s Old Man and the Sea and find out if you look at it the same way.

  1. Jefferson - Architect of American Liberty by John B. Boles (2017)

Through expert and complete analysis, Boles manages to pen one of the finest biographies of America’s second president. American history buffs are sure to enjoy this one!

  1. Letterman - The Last Giant of Late Night by Jason Zinoman (2017)

This definitive and thoroughly fun biography of former Late Show with David Letterman host lays out the argument that he was better at his job than Jay Leno. Read it and see if you agree!

  1. The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative by Florence Williams (2017)

Williams gets to the bottom of what we all know: a walk in the woods is good for the mind, body and soul! Put down your phone and learn why it’s invaluable to stay connected to your environment.

  1. Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World by Rachel Ignotofsky (2017)

Learn about trailblazing female scientists such as Edith Clarke, Lisa Meitner, and Wang Shenyi. Then, when you’re done, talk about it with your children, your friends, whoever! There’s a world of possibilities out there just waiting to be discovered.

  1. Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan

This examination of a wealthy Chinese family is the third installment of Kwan’s hilariously satirical Crazy Rich Asians series. It’s a rare look at Asia’s upper class.

  1. This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel (2017)

This first book of a 15 book series tells the tale of a family with a tiny secret that keeps growing.

  1. When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon (2017)

This insightful and fun novel follows an Indian couple destined to marry. When they meet, sparks fly and awkwardness ensues.

  1. The Lost Girls by Jennifer Baggett, Holly Corbett, and Amanda Pressner (2011)

Are you a twentysomething going through a quarter-life crisis? Get lost with the Lost Girls on this whirlwind trip around the world and then start planning your own adventure abroad!

  1. Journals by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark (1814)

Follow along with two of America’s greatest explorers as they leave St. Louis to find a water route to the Pacific Ocean. Light the fuse on your adventurous side and get a feel for the untamed American west in 1804.

  1. Annapurna by Maurice Herzog (1952)

An unclimbed 8,000 meter peak, sketchy maps, and horrible weather. What could go wrong? Learn about the hardships faced on the summit of this mountain – including the loss of all of the author’s fingers!

  1. Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer (1997)

One of the worst disasters in mountaineering history happened on Everest in 1997. Read a first person account of it all from controversial author Jon Krakauer.

  1. Travels by Marco Polo (1298)

The original round the world adventurer sparked the minds of centuries worth of travelers, climbers, and curious souls.

  1. Roughing It by Mark Twain (1872)

This anti-adventure book, written by one of the greatest American writers, is a comic bonanza full of outrageous characters.

  1. The Perfect Storm by Sebastian Junger (1997)

Junger’s gift for storytelling garners respect for the weather, longline swordfish fishermen, and National Guard Air Rescue teams.

  1. A Lady’s Life in the Rocky Mountains by Isabella L. Bird (1879)

Bird defied convention by tackling the Rocky Mountains, encountering bears, and climbing Longs Peak.

  1. Endurance by F.A. Worsley (1931)

This is a nail-biting account of Worsley and Shackelton’s heroic open-boat journey to South Georgia Island – in bad weather, of course.

  1. Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen (1937)

Karen Blixen, aka Dinesen, wrote the classic that became the unforgettable movie.

  1. My First Summer in the Sierra by John Muir (1911)

The founder of the Sierra Club plays down the dangers of the wild while becoming an advocate for the wilderness through his journal entries.

  1. Alive by Piers Paul Read (1974)

When you think of rugby, plane crashes, and light cannibalism, this classic from Read comes to mind.

Take a cue from a fellow adventurer: expand your knowledge of history or simply get lost in great writing. No matter your pleasure, there are plenty of good reads for you to indulge in this summer.

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