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During my time at Georgetown, I was constantly reading, but rarely for pleasure. Don’t get me wrong—the reading I did was often pleasurable, but that wasn’t the point; it was assigned by teachers, or essential to my thesis, etc. I wasn’t buying or reading books purely because they caught my eye, since I had so much school-related reading to focus on instead. Slowly but surely, I found myself barely leisure reading at all.

A page from my fave, the incredible Neruda.

Now that school is finished, I’ve rekindled my love for leisure reading, and it’s gotten me through many a long lunch break or boring commute. I decided it might be nice to compile a list of some of my favorites, in case any of you are looking for a few pleasure reads of your own. Even better, they’re all available on Amazon, so you can Prime these babies and be reading by the weekend (thank me later). Below, my top must-reads for Summer 2017:

The Classics

The greatest American novel ever written; I shouldn’t have to convince anyone to pick this up. But if for some reason it’s never grabbed your attention, I recommend taking another look. With money, style, romance, love affairs, and more, Gatsby is basically a reality TV series. That is, if reality TV was consistently well scripted and gorgeous.

Already read Gatsby as many times as me? (Note my myriad page flags in the photo…) This book provides a cool perspective on what makes Gatsby so iconic and timeless, and does so in a way that feels fresh and fun, unlike a lecture. So We Read On was actually written by a teacher of mine at Georgetown, where I took a semester on Fitzgerald and his inner circle of writers—but I only recently read this book, so don’t rule it out as some sort of homework assignment!

The Poets

This clever, Bible-shaped book consists entirely of the various Twitter feeds of writers Mira Gonzalez and Tao Lin. If I’m honest, I much prefer Mira’s sections to Tao’s, but the entire book is intriguing both as a concept and as a finished product. Read Mira’s tweets and have her wisdom revealed amidst her humorous, weed-fueled ramblings.

Endlessly inspiring and captivating, Neruda is my favorite love poet by far. Lots of natural imagery, and lines consistently drenched with sincerity. Every poem he writes turns to magic. End of story.

The NYC-Based Dramas

A colleague of mine recommended this book to us, and it immediately caught my attention. The focus is on a New York couple who decides to transform their marriage into an open relationship, which intrigued me enough to order the book on Amazon a mere five minutes after hearing about it.

I admit, I first picked this book up purely because I liked the cover art—can you blame me? I was pleasantly surprised to find the content as good as the exterior, as this story follows a young girl in New York City, and what it’s like to begin a real “adult” life.

This is my most recent read, and one of my new favorites! The young, colloquial narrator takes readers on a journey through the world of magazine publishing in New York City, all the while struggling with a serious prescription drug addiction. Read for a new, more provocative coming-of-age style memoir.

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