Want to get me inappropriately excited? Just invite me to a silent reading party. That actually happened today- true story! Here are some non-fiction titles to bring along to all your summer silent reading parties (or beach trips, if those are more your style).
Smoke Gets In Your Eyes by Caitlin Doughty
Let’s start the summer off in a cheery manner by reading about dead people. This book is actually hilarious, and educational, and absolutely disgusting. Caitlin Doughty worked in a crematorium and this is your inside scoop into what goes on there. The portion about the fluffy woman…? Okay, just read this and then we can talk!
Dr. Mutter’s Marvels: A True Tale of Intrigue and Innovation at the Dawn of Modern Medicine by Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz
Did you know that surgeries used to be done on stage, in an auditorium, without anesthesia? Learn about the history of surgery in the most entertaining way possible by reading this book!
All These Wonders by Catherine Burns
Do you enjoy listening to The Moth? You will LOVE this book which is some of the stories you’ve heard on the podcast put into a print format that is perfect for short burst of time that you may have at airports, in cars, or at the pool this summer.
Upstream by Mary Oliver
I’m not a huge reader of poetry, but this book touched my soul when I read it prior to its publication. If you like nature, reading, or thinking deep thoughts then I hope you read this book with a pen and savor every word! Better yet, take it outside and read it in nature.
Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson
The only book that has ever made me actually laugh out loud! I was Jenny’s author escort at Chicago’s Lit Fest a few years ago and it was absolutely incredible to meet her and watch her go from incredibly anxious to turning the switch into performance mode for her talk. It’s been awhile since I read this book, but how this woman survived her crazy childhood and turned into such a lovely human is beyond me. The audiobook is an even better way to read this gem!
MWF Seeking BFF by Rachel Bertsche
One friend date, every week, for a year. The same day that I met Jenny Lawson I also met Rachel and as her escort! This book describes her 27th year when she was married, living in Chicago, and found herself without many close friends. It’s an honest look into a struggle many women have when the natural friend making channels, such as school, are yanked away. Rachel decides to do something about it and goes on one friend date a week for an entire year. She meets people in all sorts of ways and it’s incredibly entertaining to read about her adventures.
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver
This is a must read for me every summer and listening to the audiobook is even more enjoyable. Follow Barbara on her journey into a year of local eating and living the rural life. Also, the portion about turkeys? I can’t even!
The Stranger in the Woods by Michael Finkel
A man walks into the woods and lives there for 27 years. This is the true story of the Maine hermit and how he was finally caught!
The Oregon Trail by Rinker Buck
I was an odd child. On more than one occasion, I packed a trunk with my American Girl dolls, clothes, toiletries, and put it on top of my bed to sit on like a wagon seat pretending that I was on the Oregon Trail. I did not allow myself to play with anything that I hadn’t packed for my journey and typically lasted a day or two of washing my clothes in the backyard before I decided my game was just too much. Well, take my childhood dream, morph it into adult style, and you will get this book! Two men and a dog decide to follow the Oregon Trail in modern times complete with a covered wagon and a few mules. History lessons and hilarity ensue!
Theater Geek by Mickey Rapkin
I mentioned yesterday that I’ve always wished I could go to boarding school or a fancy summer camp so books that take me there put me in an epic state of bliss. This is a behind the scenes look at Stagedoor Manor, a prestigious summer camp that Natalie Portman, Mandy Moore, and countless other famous actors attended as children.
What are you favorite non-fiction picks for summer?