Megan’s Summer Reading List

There’s nothing I love more in the summer than working through all the books I’ve been meaning to read. With more free time and sunlight, it’s much easier to curl up with a good book. Justine and I are both avid readers, so we wanted to share what books we’ve been loving this summer! (Stay tuned for Justine’s post coming on Monday.) For me, two hours every day are spent on the train to and from work, so I have plenty of time to kick back with the book of my choice. If you’re looking for some new reading material this summer, look no further, because I’m here to provide you with my hand-picked summer reading list!

Each book is linked to where you can purchase it in Canada, England and the US, as well as an Amazon link for most other countries. If you aren’t able to purchase the book, be sure to check your local library! I’ve found each of these books at the library near my home.

The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
This will come as no surprise to anyone who’s read this post, but I am a Margaret Atwood fangirl. In my opinion, ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ is her best novel to date, and that’s saying something, as her novels are some of my top favourites to read. With the Emmy-winning Hulu adaptation, this novel has come back into the spotlight over the past year. I finally made a point to read it last August, and have since gone back and read it two more times. It’s a brilliant work of speculative fiction set in a near-future when birth rates have dropped drastically. It breaks down the issue of stripping women of their rights as well as what could happen (and has happened) if people in power take only what they want from the Bible. If you’re interested in dystopian stories and cautionary tales, I would highly recommend giving this novel a read (or two)!
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‘The Power’ – Naomi Alderman
Critics are calling this novel ‘this generation’s The Handmaid’s Tale’, which, if you can’t tell from my previous recommendation, I love. This book was nearly impossible to get my hands on. I was on a waitlist at my local library for weeks before it finally became available. In short, ‘The Power’ is a science-fiction novel about women developing the ability to release high volts of electricity from their fingertips, leading them to become the dominant gender. It’s a brutal, clever and witty warning about the dangers of either gender being considered superior to the other. This novel is not for the faint of heart, and I had moments where I had to step away as it was hard to stomach. But in my opinion, it is a brilliant and necessary read for those interested in gender politics.
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Yes Please – Amy Poehler
I laughed out loud more times than I’d like to admit reading this. The book is mostly an autobiography of Amy Poehler’s experience in the comedy and entertainment world, but also touches on women’s issues and important life lessons (like apologizing for when you’ve wronged someone, even if it’s impossibly difficult). Amy has an amazing way of storytelling about her past while including witty humor and incorporating food for thought. I loved this book and would recommend it to anyone looking for a light but smart summer read.
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‘Start’ – Jon Acuff
This book is an old favourite of mine and has been read countless times. It’s an amazing book for anyone trying to build up a business, or escape their average every day routine, or make a big change in their life. If you think you don’t have time to do what you love, read this book! It’s all about how push yourself down the more challenging – albeit more rewarding – road to ‘awesome’. It’s filled with amazing advice and real steps to take in order to make that happen. If you’re someone with big dreams but are petrified to just start, this one’s for you!

(Jon has also since released his book ‘Finish’ as a follow-up – which my husband loved! I enjoyed it but as someone who is notoriously a ‘finisher’ in all of my work, I didn’t find as much tangible advice for my personality type as I did in ‘Start’.)
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Honourable mention: ‘Jessica Jones: Alias’ comic series – Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Gaydos
This summer, I’ve started reading comics for the first time. I have a grand archive of female-led comics in my home but I’ve never taken the time to actually read them. I’ve learned that one comic is the perfect length for a train ride home – especially after a long day. Currently, I’ve been reading the Jessica Jones series after loving the two seasons of the TV show (led by Krysten Ritter). I love this series because it juggles the magic of cheesy superhero stories (like the Avengers and Spider-Man) and the realism of the average, underpaid New York woman just trying to figure herself out. It has broken down various important topics such as past trauma, misogyny and classism. If you’re looking for an easier read this summer – or just want to break into the comic world – and love a great female protagonist, check this series out!
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So there you have it! My summer reading list. Let me know if you’ve read any of these books OR if you have any recommendations for me. Happy reading!