pile of books

My Summer Reading List: 12 Books to Read Now

my summer reading list

One of my goals for 2021 was to read 12 books, but with a busy spring semester, I fell behind pace. 

Luckily, for most of my summer, I’ve been able to read quite a bit.  But the hardest part of the entire reading process for me is picking what book to read. 

There are so many options out there, and it’s hard to know which ones will live up to your expectations.  That’s why I’ve put together a summer reading list! 

I’m sure some of you won’t enjoy all (or even any) of these books, but I really liked them, so I want to share them with those of you who will enjoy them. (: 

P.S. I’m only on book #5 of the summer, so I will be sharing some of my favorite books that I’ve read in the past in addition to those I’ve read recently.



my summer reading list





Alex Soojung-Kim Pang

rest book

This first book on my reading list is all about the science behind rest and all the different ways we can rest effectively.  Pang also discusses why rest is so important to our well-being and general success in life.  The claims made in this book are backed by scientific research and evidence, as well as accounts of individuals who have led extremely successful lives.  

The Happiness Project

Gretchen Rubin

the happiness project book

The Happiness Project is a fun, light-hearted read about a year-long project taken on by the author, Gretchen Rubin, in the hopes of improving her happiness and overall life.  There are tons of great ideas on how you too can feel more fulfilled in your life, and she even provides a guide at the end of the book on how you can start your own happiness project!

You Are A Badass

Jen Sincero

you are a badass book

If you’re in need of a little kick in the butt, read You Are A Badass.  Sincero is like having your own motivational speaker, and she gives a lot of great advice about how to start living life on your own terms and stop doubting yourself!

This Is Where I Leave You

Jonathan Tropper

this is where I leave you book

This book is full of bittersweet twists and turns; it tells the story of a young man who finds himself in the midst of gut-wrenching grief with few shoulders to lean on.  Tropper will suck you right into the story, and you’ll be fully invested in finding out how the story pans out.

Born to Run

Christopher McDougall

born to run book

I actually bought this book for Nick as a birthday present, but after finishing all the books I brought on our trip to Utah, I picked this one up from the stack of 4 I gifted him because I thought it looked like the one I would enjoy the most.  In just over 24 hours, I got through the first 100 pages.  It’s an extremely interesting read, even if you’re not a huge fan of running.  McDougall tells the tales of how a mysterious tribe became the world’s best community of runners with much less scientific knowledge of running than we have,  and what we can learn from them.

This Is Your Brain On Birth Control

Sarah E. Hill

this is your brain on birth control book

I read this book last summer, and I was so intrigued from beginning to end.  Hill discusses all of the potential consequences – both negative and positive – of every form of birth control on the market.  She cites so many scientific studies as evidence of what is happening in our bodies – specifically our brain – when we’re taking birth control.  

I love this book because it has a ton of great information, but Hill is also careful to be non-judgmental toward either side of the argument.  She acknowledges that she was on birth control for many years, and it was great; she stresses that it’s a very individualized decision everyone must make for themselves, but she wants them to be as informed as possible.

One Life

Megan Rapinoe

one life book

Megan Rapinoe’s account of her life and everything she has accomplished on her way to becoming one of the best soccer players on the U.S. Women’s National Team is mesmerizing.  Her story is extremely entertaining and inspirational, and reading it gave me so much motivation to not only work harder for myself but also for others in need.  This is definitely one of my favorite books on my summer reading list!

Girl, Stop Apologizing & Girl, Wash Your Face

Rachel Hollis

girl, stop apologizing book       girl, wash your face book




Rachel Hollis’ books are super fun to read but also very motivating and will help you make those changes in your life – physical or mental – that are holding you back.  She is passionate about helping people realize their full potential and putting a stop to the thoughts and habits that are ingrained in us that tell us we can’t do something.


Atomic Habits

James Clear

atomic habits book

Ever wanted to know why we have the habits we have?  Have you wanted to break a habit or build a new one?  James Clear will discuss the science behind our habits and overall behaviors and how we can take this knowledge and use it to our advantage.  He explains how to work towards breaking habits that hinder us and building ones that help improve our lives.

Live in Love

Lauren Akins

live in love book

Lauren Akins, wife of popular country singer Thomas Rhett, tells the story of her childhood, how she met her husband, their love story, and what life looks like while raising her little girls and being married to one of the most famous country singers of the time.  

The President is Missing

Bill Clinton & James Patterson

the president is missing book

This last book on my reading list is an absolute thriller that tells the tale of a country that has been attacked in a way never thought possible and how U.S. government officials have to navigate an impossible situation with little help or knowledge of what’s actually going on – expect from two very important characters.



Which book on my summer reading list sounds like the one you want to read next?  Let me know in the comments! ((:

P.S. If you want to find books for cheap, check out ThriftBooks.com; it’s my favorite!

love, marissa

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