For the most part, the idea of adding reading to a study-fatigued brain is oversaturation at its worst. Imagine though: the epic reads that could fill your bus commute to work this summer—bonus, they’re not assigned. Here at the Navigator, we’ve compiled a list of titles we’re determined to be excited to read.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
A YA Novel, but perfectly acceptable for grown-ups—in fact I encourage it—following a 16-year-old suffering a tragic loss, forcing readers to address the issues of police brutality. It speaks to modern racial tensions, need for justice, and epidemic of systemic violence.
All the Lives I Want by Alana Massey
It’s the intellectual version of celebrity gossip. The narrator pens an insider critique of their best friends who, as the subtitle informs, happen to be famous strangers. It’s lauded as a “love letter to the influence of female celebrity” on <bestproducts.com>.
Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
Dark and lyrical, this love story follows characters Nadia and Saeed as their city comes to the brink of war. They are struck with a choice—live in certain danger, or escape through a mystical doorway to an unknown future.
You Can’t Touch My Hair by Phoebe Robinson
This is the humour read for the summer. Robinson covers everything from obvious and sneaky racism to her smash-or-pass celebrity crush list—all in an honest, conversational tone. Might want to brush up on your abbreviations before reading, obvs.
We Are Never Meeting in Real Life: Essays by Samantha Irby
A relatable collection of personal essays from Samantha Irby that details her journey with depression and chronic illness. It’s been reviewed by multiple sources as the personification of making lemonade out of lemons.
Dear Martin by Nic Stone
The YA genre once again gives an incredible tale; poignant in so many ways. Following twelfth grader Justyce McAllister as he deals with the struggles of highschool, navigating the dating world, and understanding his place in the racial tensions building in the USA. It doesn’t seem to matter that he’s top of the class, leader of the debate team, and Ivy League-bound when he’s involved in a shooting. In letters written to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Justyce outlines a gut-wrenching story about profiling and its consequences.
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
Greek gay love story, yes please. This novel pays homage to The Illiad by breathing new life into familiar characters. Achilles and his best friend face uncertainty, causing their friendship to blossom into something more. This book has royalty, action, suspense, emotion, romance, and much more. A real page turner written by a historian over the course of ten years.
Artemis by Andy Weir
Once again, author Andy Weir showcases his nuanced worldbuilding skills. In Artemis, a colony operating on the moon, a heist is needed to shake up the hierarchy of industries providing power. Enter Jazz Bashara, estranged daughter of a welder who’s not afraid to take big risks for big payout—until she realizes she might have stumbled into something a lot bigger than a mere space scam.
The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline
This was hands-down the best assigned fiction reading I’ve ever had. Told in the near future, this post-apocalyptic YA novel follows a group of nomadic aboriginal youth as they run from recruiters. If captured, they will be held captive in a horrifying reiteration of residential school. Dealing with identity, the meaning of family, racism, and environmentalism, this is a must-read for everyone.
Amateur: A True Story About What Makes a Man by Thomas Page McBee
Maybe we’re getting a little bold here, adding a book that isn’t going to be out until August 14, but Thomas Page McBee’s book Man Alive is already an incredible memoir, and Amateur is going to also involve McBee’s journey to a boxing fight in Madison Square Garden and his thoughts on masculinity and violence. So we’re betting this new tale will have just as much power as Man Alive does.
Arts Editor Cheryl is in her third year of VIU’s Creative Writing program. Recipient of the 2017 Gisele Merlet Award, she has a passion for the written word, and lives for the arts community. Cheryl moved to Nanaimo in September 2014 to pursue her writing career.View all articles