Oprah’s summer book picks

Feature image credit: @oprahsbookclub

With all the extra time at home these days, books are feeling more like a friend than ever and there’s no better time than now to read our way through some of this year’s best Oprah’s book picks. Before this summer wraps up, see how many of Oprah’s summer books you can add to your #TBR pile.

All the Way to the Tigers by Mary Morris

Written in more than a hundred bite-sized chapters, Mary Morris’s new memoir takes us from personal tragedy to thrilling travel. Woven with family history and milestones of personal growth, the author strides readers through the accident that left her with the possibility of never walking again, and ultimately to the tiger safari and the deep connection she formed with these endangered animals.

Prepare to be inspired by Morris’ bravery and persistence to overcome the unthinkable.


Crooked Hallelujah by Kelli Jo Ford

When clouded religion and an act of violence strike, Justine sees her chance to leave the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma and her circle of strong women, and create a new life for herself and her daughter in the Texas oil fields. But big changes don’t come easy, and the pair struggle to survive. With heart and deep empathy, Kelli Jo Ford beautifully depicts the vast sacrifices women make for those they love.

You’ll lose yourself in the vivid backdrop of the Red River and the forces of nature Justine and her daughter encounter in pursuit of creating their own path in life.


Latitudes of Longing by Shubhangi Swarup

This spellbinding novel takes readers across the vastly varied landscape of India, telling the love story of an Oxford-trained scientist who studies trees and a clairvoyant who speaks to them, alongside a host of other unlikely characters. Swarup shows readers, in the most thoughtful and imaginative way, our dangerous power to both love and hurt one another, to heal and to harm, and to create and destroy.

You will still be thinking about this novel long after you’ve put it down. Swarup will change the way you forever view nature and those who walk within it.  


Memorial Drive by Natasha Trethewey

When Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Natasha Trethewey was nineteen, her former stepfather shot and killed her mother, leaving Trethewey writhing and lost somewhere between childhood and adulthood. What followed was a personal exploration toward understanding the tragic course of her mother’s life and the way her own life has been shaped by love and resilience.

This is a must-read for the poet’s attention to language alone. Her vulnerability and modern insight are fantastic bonuses.


Afterland by Lauren Beukes

When an unstoppable virus wipes out most of the world’s men, Cole finds herself fiercely determined to protect her twelve-year-old son, Miles, one of the last living boys. As the pair, disguised as mother and daughter, try to make their way from Disneyland where the family was vacationing pre-pandemic to the shelter city of Johannesburg, the female-run government is hot on their trail and desperate to get their hands on Miles – a precious reproductive resource – under the Male Protection Act.

If you’re looking for a psychological suspense novel that is timely and hitting all too close to home, Afterland is it.


Exciting Times by Naoise Dolan

Ava’s an Irish expat, just arrived in Hong Kong to teach English to rich kids. Julian is a banker and Ava’s lover, and uncommitted to much beyond sex and discussing the topic of fluctuating currencies. Then there’s Edith, a wealthy Chinese lawyer who unexpectedly catches Ava’s attention… leaving Ava speculating, does she want to be like Edith, or does she simply want Edith?

This sparkling debut novel serves up a love triangle at its juiciest, with fresh language, modern stylings, and a pointed grasp of the freedoms that only singlehood and youth can deliver.


Tokyo Ueno Station by Yu Miri

Kazu’s life has always been driven by a series of coincidences that entwined him with the Imperial family and misfortune. But now, as the ghost of a migrant worker filled with memories of rage-inducing privilege, terror from natural disasters, and suffering caused by the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, he now spends his days haunting the railroad hub, consumed with protecting his family and derailing the impending 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

This novel is critically important to current times, unveiling political truths and shedding light on the lives of Japan’s most vulnerable people.


Miss Iceland by Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir

Hekla has always known that she wants to be a writer. The only problem is that it’s 1960 in Iceland. And she’s a woman – leaving her with few options beyond that of a wife, mother, and an underappreciated waitress. The only one who believes in her is Jon, a gay friend with theater aspirations, but stuck doing backbreaking work on the fishing trawlers. And so, the pair persist, pursuing their dreams amid an erupting volcano, a changing political climate, and their determination to find freedom abroad, whatever the cost.

Helka’s dream-chasing will make you cheer as she shoves at the obstacles life throws her way and charges on in pursuit of writing.


The Pull of the Stars by Emma Donoghue

Nurse Julia Power is entrusted with the maternity ward in 1918 during the Great Flu, and works tirelessly to keep the life-draining virus from striking down her patients and herself. Alongside Doctor Kathleen Lynn, rumored to be on the run from the police, and Bridie Sweeney, a young volunteer, the trio juggle tragic death and brand new life with tenderness and impossible hope.

We all need this novel during these uncertain times as Emma Donoghue reminds us how to find light during the darkest of circumstances.


The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

The Vignes twins were inseparable, having been raised in a small, southern black community. They even ran away together when they were only sixteen. But years later when one returns worse for wear to the town from which she’d once escaped, the other now passes as a white woman, in a white community, with a husband who knows nothing of her past. With many miles separating the pair, their lives still intertwine, as will the fates of their own daughters when they eventually meet.

New York Times-bestselling author Brit Bennett does not disappoint – delivering a stunning tale of the uncanny similarities that exist in two very different worlds, one black and one white.

She Reads Editors

The She Reads Editors are always scouting the best books for all your #TBR piles. We’re offering up our favorite books, from classics to debuts, bestselling to the next big thing. Read along with us on social, too!

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