Summer is perhaps my favorite season of the year and also my favorite time of year to sit outside and lounge with a book while basking in the sun with a cool drink in hand, preferably iced coffee. There’s no better combination than being one with nature and reading a good book. During the warmer months, I tend to choose books that are funny, suspenseful or a little bit of both. My mind needs the break from what I tend to read in the colder months so I strategically choose books that will be easy to get through and also those that will be hard to put down. Here is a list of books that I anticipate reading this summer:

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

Little Fires Everywhere explores the weight of secrets, the nature of art and identity, and the ferocious pull of motherhood – and the danger of believing that following the rules can avert disaster.

I’ve heard a lot of wonderful things about this book and if I’m being honest, I was intrigued by the cover. I think everyone struggles with identity at one point or another in life so I feel like this book will be relatable, especially with me being a mother and someone who typically follows the rules.

The Perfect Find by Tia Williams

Jenna Jones, former It-girl fashion editor, is broke and desperate for a second chance. When she’s dumped by her longtime fiancé and fired from Darling magazine, she begs for a job from her old arch nemesis, Darcy Vale. The beyond-bitchy publisher of, Darcy agrees to hire her rival – only because her fashion site needs a jolt from Jenna’s old-school cred. But Jenna soon realizes she’s in over her head. She’s working with digital-savvy millennials half her age, has never even “Twittered,” and pretends to still be a Fashion Somebody while living a style lie (she sold her designer wardrobe to afford her sketched-out studio, and now quietly wears Walmart’s finest). Worse? The 22-year-old videographer assigned to shoot her web series is driving her crazy. Wildly sexy with a smile Jenna feels in her thighs, Eric Combs is way off-limits – but almost too delicious to resist.

I was searching for a light, romantic and somewhat comical read for our book club to kick off the summer and I stumbled upon this. As a single woman and someone who does social media for a living, I find that there are a lot of things in this book that I can relate to. We are all awkward at something and I look forward to sharing in the comfort of the main character’s awkwardness.

The Mother of Black Hollywood by Jenifer Lewis

From her more than 300 appearances in film and television, stage and cabaret, performing comedy or drama, as an unforgettable lead or a scene stealing supporting character, Jenifer Lewis has established herself as one of the most respected, admired, talented and versatile entertainers working today.

This “Mega Diva” and costar of the hit sitcom Black-ish bares her soul in this touching and poignant – and at times sidesplittingly hilarious – memoir of a midwestern girl with a dream, whose journey took her from poverty to the big screen, and along the way earned her many accolades.

I’ve loved Jenifer Lewis for a long time and have specifically been saving this as one of my summer vacation reads. Intrigued to hear her story and what her life is like as a film and television star.

Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi

An extraordinary debut novel, Freshwater explores the surreal experience of having a fractured self. It centers around a young Nigerian woman, Ada, who develops separate selves within her as a result of being born “with one foot on the other side.” Unsettling, heartwrenching, dark and powerful, Freshwater is a sharp evocation of a rare way of experiencing the world, one that illuminates how we all construct our identities.

As I mentioned earlier, I think there are times when we all struggle with identity. Who we are and who we’re supposed to be and the journey that life brings us on to discover those things. Looking forward to reading this debut novel by Akwaeke Emezi, and exploring the identity of the main character, as I’ve heard so many great things.

Girls Burn Brighter by Shobha Rao

Poornima and Savitha have three strikes against them: they are poor, they are ambitious and they are girls. After her mother’s death, Poornima has very little kindness in her life. She is left to care for her siblings until her father can find her a suitable match. So when Savitha enters their household, Poornima is intrigued by the joyful, independent-minded girl. Suddenly their Indian village doesn’t feel quite so claustrophobic, and Poornima begins to imagine a life beyond arranged marriage. But when a devastating act of cruelty drives Savitha away, Poornima leaves behind everything she has ever known to find her friend.

This book has been the rave of many fellow bookstagrammers for quite some time. The emotions that were felt by them made this a must-read on my summer list.

Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson 

Orange Is the New Black meets Walter Dean Myer’s Monster in this gritty, twisty and haunting debut by Tiffany D. Jackson about a girl convicted of murder seeking the truth while surviving life in a group home.

This little gem isn’t widely known (yet) but I’m told that this one is a must-read. If you love stories filled with mystery and suspense, this one is for you.

You Can’t Touch My Hair by Phoebe Robinson

Being a black woman in America means contending with old prejudices and fresh absurdities every day. Comedian Phoebe Robinson has experienced her fair share over the years: she’s been unceremoniously relegated to the role of “the black friend,” as if she is somehow the authority on all things racial; she’s been questioned about her love of U2 and Billy Joel (“isn’t that… white people music?”); she’s been called “uppity” for having an opinion in the workplace; she’s been followed around stores by security guards; and yes, people do ask her whether they can touch her hair all. the. time. Now, she’s ready to take these topics to the page – and she’s going to make you laugh as she’s doing it.

As a black woman, so much of what Phoebe experiences is my experience as well. I always find comfort in books that I can relate to and am really looking forward to reading this this summer.

May these selections bring you joy, laughter and tons of adventure this summer. Cheers!

Keep up with Renée and all of her exciting bookish news on her social media platforms below and on her website


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