Backyard Summer Reading List

It’s time to start up your summer book club—even if it’s a party of one!  Whether you’re lounging by the pool or taking a trip to the beach, throw a book in your bag to get lost in while you soak up some sun. From memoirs from some big names in fashion and collections from some of today’s most compelling writers, we’ve got you covered. There’s nothing quite like an afternoon spent in the heat accompanied by a few stories and a toke or two to make it really feel like summer.  

P.S. We’ve included links to independent bookstores that need help during the COVID-19 pandemic!

“This is Not a Fashion Story” by Danielle Bernstein

Our fave fashionista’s memoir just hit the shelves—but she’s not just telling the story of her wildly successful style blog. In “This is Not a Fashion Story,” Bernstein details her Long Island upbringing and lets readers in on the ups and downs of her career, including the meaning behind her namesake WeWoreWhat.

Pick this up if: You’re looking for a love letter to New York City and an unforgettable story of why you should chase your dreams and follow your instincts 

“Normal People” by Sally Rooney

Already a fan favorite on Hulu and popularized amongst the Supermodel set, Sally Rooney has made a name for herself in the literary world by the age of twenty-nine. This novel follows the complex love story of the unpopular Marianne and the well-loved Connell. He keeps their relationship a secret from his peers out of embarrassment, but then they end up at the same university in Dublin — where things get a little more than twisted. 

Pick this up if: You love watching the two-dimensional characters from your afternoon reads come to life -- with a bowl of popcorn and a cocktail, no less.  

“Rodham” by Curtis Sittenfeld

This novel examines a woman that needs no introduction: Hillary Clinton. Sittenfeld writes a fictional story of Clinton that changes aspects of her life and personality, leading up to the 2016 Presidential Election. The story asks readers to ponder if this version of Hillary would have been able to win the election. It’s an interesting read already, but especially interesting given the United States’ political climate.

Pick this up if: you enjoy the juiciness that comes with American politics and need a reminder that voting is … important to say the least. 

“The Best American Essays 2019” edited by Rebecca Solnit

If you want to dive into the wonderful world of essay writing but don’t know where to get started, the Best American series is your best bet. Each annual edition rounds up the best nonfiction essays published in the past year—so the hard work is already done for you. The series also publishes other editions (like the best short stories), so pick one that sounds the most interesting to you!

Pick this up if: you subscribe to too many culture magazines to count and have zero plans of stopping

“It” by Alexa Chung

If you’re looking to do some light reading on the beach this summer, throw a copy of “It” in your bag. Fashion designer and personality Alexa Chung invites her fans to take a look at her sketchbook and mood boards—the things that inspire her life and collections. Her quirky doodles and cheeky pics might inspire you too. 

Pick this up if: you spend hours curating your Pinterest boards but need to take a detox


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