Bookstagrammer Brittany (@brittanyfiiasco) is very serious about books, mental health and the way the two worlds collide. Brittany’s exclusive summer reading list gives fellow readers and her followers a wide variety of books to choose from this summer.

The Favorite Sister by Jessica Knoll

As the first and featured book of the BookSparks Summer Reading Challenge, how could you not be pumped for this book?! This book is packed with mystery, drama, intrigue and… girl power? That may be the wrong way to describe it… guess you’ll have to find out for yourself!

How Hard Can It Be? by Allison Pearson

I have been LOVING tales of motherhood, and the concept of working motherhood provides a unique and real twist. I appreciate the invitation into the reality of the timeline experience of being a mother and growing with your kids. Just too good, and definitely a nice little summer comic relief.

Calypso by David Sedaris

I have always been a fan of Sedaris. His books have the most relatable content, laugh-out-loud humor, and childlike spirit within each and every page. What has me really excited for this one is the ongoing theme of family, and the dysfunction that comes when a family gathers together in a new beach house. Guarantee you laugh out loud.

Her Pretty Face book cover

Her Pretty Face by Robyn Harding

This book promises the lies, betrayal, forgiveness, and self-reflection that comes with long-avoided secrets in a friendship. The drama and intrigue in this book have me so concerned and immediately hooked. This feels like one of those reads that you just binge in less than 24 hours on the right summer day.

Tomorrow Will Be Different by Sarah McBride

Are you ready for all of the feels? That’s what I’ve prepared for when picking up McBride’s book this summer. I’m a huge fan of memoirs and Sarah’s story is one that encompasses courage, vulnerability, truth, and strength. McBride details love, loss, change and power, dedicated to the battle for equal rights for transgender individuals in America. I highly recommend reading this in the month of June, in celebration of pride month!

She Was The Quiet One

She Was the Quiet One by Michele Campbell

To be honest, my initial intrigue with this book was the title. There is something about a quiet person that leaves me enthralled with mystery and question. Twists, secrets, mystery, darkness, privilege, power and ambition. Are you reading this yet?!

Enigma Variations by Andre Aciman

Honestly, after reading Call Me By Your Name, I had to have this book. I knew the writing would be just as beautiful, and the story would keep me hooked, throughout. Aciman’s writing is beautifully sensual and feels like silk as you’re reading. It feels like the perfect summer setting, story and scene. This is one you don’t want to miss.

Not That Bad by Roxane Gay

Not That Bad by Roxane Gay

Roxane Gay is one of my all-time favorite authors. She left me feeling the most validated, understood, and impacted with her last memoir, HungerNot That Bad is an anthology by women who have all experienced some form of harassment, aggression, violence, assault and a wide variety of the untold experiences that are consistently swept under the rug. This is important, needed and necessary. Likely another publication by Gay that should be required reading.

The Lifters by Dave Eggers

This year, I had the opportunity to meet Eggers and one of the students he has been working with at the 826 Valencia writing center in San Francisco. This middle-grade read is guaranteed to sweep you off your feet and bring you back to that childlike wonder.  Feedback was given to Eggers by youth he has been working within San Francisco, and to me, that is where the magic happens.

The Map of Salt and Stars by Jennifer Zeynab Joukhadar

From the moment I saw this book, I knew it was a must-read. You open the cover and are immediately greeted with a beautifully detailed map. It’s the perfect gateway to a summer adventure.

Educated by Tara Westover

As a clinician that has worked within the public school system, with youth that are in need of individualized support, there was no way I could hide from this book. Westover shares her self-education experience and journey through the education system. This one touches my heart in a significant way, and I hope falls into the hands of educators everywhere… actually, anyone, anywhere. Education touches everyone, and this kind of story needs to be heard.

Adjustment Day by Chuck Palahniuk

As a long-time fan of Palahniuk, there was no way I was going to miss this release. It has been four years since his last release! And with the current political climate, this feels like the perfect addition to the conversation. Prepare for a few evil and satirical giggles.

Tragedy Plus Time: A Tragi-comic Memoir by Adam Cayton-Holland

Another recommendation to kick you in the feelings gut. Darkly funny, real and heartbreakingly honest. Cayton-Holland addresses some of the serious and raw concerns within the realm of mental health, and how it has personally impacted his life and family. This does not hold back, and I suggest you lean into your feelings and accept the raw reality of what this book leads you to feel.