With backpacking/rafting/camping/kayaking season coming up (or in many places – already here), I wanted to compile a list of books that have helped me learn a lot this year, and get recommendations from others of books that have helped them learn and grow. The authors on this list are talented, brave, thought-provoking artists, and each book made me consider the world in a different way. Since this blog is about identity, I thought it pertinent to share this list of authors who have pushed me to consider the intersections of gender, race, nationality, class, sexuality, among other aspects of identity, while also asking me to consider my role within systems of inequality and oppression. I hope one of these books finds its way into your pack this summer!

What I have read so far this year (and loved):

Zadie Smith –Screen Shot 2017-04-10 at 5.54.05 PM

White Teeth



David Sedaris – 


Me Talk Pretty One Day


Brit Bennett – 

The Mothers


Isabel Allende –

The House of the Spirits (La Casa de los Espíritus)


Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie –

Purple Hibiscus

Half of a Yellow Sun


Everyone Should be a Feminist


11822522_10203260326749577_5703079010699541313_nJesmyn Ward (editor) – 

The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks about Race

Jeffrey Eugenides – 


The Virgin Suicides

Hilton Als – 

White Girls


Cormac McCarthy – 

Blood Meridian

David Foster Wallace –  

Consider the Lobster

Phoebe Robinson – 

You Can’t Touch My Hair: And Other Things I Still Have to Explain


What books have you all been reading and enjoying this year? What books have gotten you thinking? I love, love, LOVE recommendations – most of the books on this list were recommended to me by people who are much more well-read, thoughtful, in-tune than I am. (Looking at you Tracy!)


8 thoughts on “A List of Books for Summer Adventures (… and a request for recommendations)

  1. Great list of recs! I’ve finally been able to read for fun post-grad (lol), but haven’t gotten too far down my own list. They aren’t really in the same topic/genre, but a couple intriguing nonfiction reads nonetheless:

    In Defense of Food – Michael Pollen
    Fast Food Nation – Eric Schlosser

    I suppose they fit into the zeitgeist of my own blog/body of work/interests haha 🙂 I gotta get readin’ and get productive!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes! This has been the first time in a few years (maybe since middle school) that I’ve been motivated to read of my own volition, rather than for a school assignment. It feels good to get back to reading every day. I will definitely check out those recommendations. Thanks, Clare!


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