Reading was a form of escapism for me as a child. Escaping from the realities of life. I didn’t have a bad childhood, but my wild imagination made it all the better. I think I’ve always wanted to be somewhere other than where I was at the moment. Reading books allowed me to live vicariously through the characters. Compiling a list of all of my favorite books will come at a later date but for right now, here are four books worth reading this summer.

books to read this summer

Black Girl in Paris

A friend of mine always raved about this book. Based off of the title alone and what I’ve just admitted about my wanterlusting heart, I knew I had to read it. On instinct (or what some would say stupidity), an aspiring writer moves from the South to Paris during the 1980s. With only James Baldwin and Langston Hughes as her literary guides, the main character searches for love and inspiration through the city of Paris.


I learned 61 new words after reading this 477 page AMAZING novel. It’s been too long since I’ve read something I could not put down. Americanah tells the story of a young Nigerian woman who moves to the United States for an education and work. That’s the simplified version that I’m sticking to. I was immediately drawn to her because she became a popular race blogger. And she was from Lagos (where I’ve traveled). While in the U.S., she faced many insightful life experiences involving race relations. Above all, it’s a love story. And Chimamanda is a BOSS writer!!

40 Days of Dating: An Experiment

Two friends, with equally horrible dating backgrounds, decided to see if they could date each other exclusively for forty days. I couldn’t wait to purchase the book so I read the majority of it online. And whoa. It was interesting to see how each person interpreted every day of the experiment in their online journal.

Into the Wild

I saw the movie before I read the book and for once, the movie did not disappoint. Into the Wild is based on a true story of a young man who, after graduating college two years prior, gave away all his personal possessions and hitchhiked to Alaska. He took up a new life in search of something in the wilderness. I was drawn to this story because of the ease it took to rid himself of material belongings without a second thought. People have a lot of opinions about the book because of its tragic ending. To me, it was an exploration story and I can’t fault him for trying.

The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for ADVENTURE. The joy of life comes from our encounters with NEW experiences. -Christopher McCandless

In a way, all four of these books have shifted something inside of me when it comes to romantic love, the love of getting lost and experiencing life. Maybe you won’t be able to do as much traveling as you’d like this summer. No sense in wasting a good imagination! Check these books out and let me know what you think.