Kick Back With A Book: Our Favorite Summer Reads

by The Z Living Editors
Bring on the beach books, the lazing-in-a-hammock books, and the picnicking-in-the-park books, because we resoundingly believe devoting some of your leisurely summer hours to reading is one of the season's greatest pleasures.

Not only is reading enjoyable — and a strengthening exercise for your brain — the health benefits of reading are well-documented.

Reading is linked with preventing cognative decline, which means it keeps your brain young, and can improve memory, vocabulary, and capability for empathy. Plus, a good book can make your workouts last longer, cause c'mon, you've gotta finish that chapter. (PS: An exciting episode of TV can do the same, and we recommend checking out Z Living's current showtimes.) 

Also on Z Living: 5 Ways Reading Books Will Enrich Your Life​

Here's What's On Our Reading List This Summer:

Rich & Pretty by Rumaan Alan

This debut novel explores the transitioning friendship of two women, Sarah and Lauren, living in New York City. When Sarah asks Lauren to be the maid of honor at her wedding, trouble ensues: The closeness Sarah was hoping to reignite disappears when Lauren misbehaves on a bachelorette trip. The novel explores what happens when two female besties grow up and grow apart (interesting fact, it's written by a man!).

The Vacationers by Emma Straub

Any family getaway is a bonding experience, but for the Posts, a two-week trip to the Balearic island of Mallorca reveals secrets, old and new humiliations, childhood rivalries, and seasoned wounds. The novel is funny, heart-breaking, and extremely relatable.

Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter

This the story of an almost-love affair that began on the Italian coast in 1962 and is rekindled in Hollywood fifty years later. It's a madcap meditation on life, from fate and destiny, illusion and reality, expectations and disappointments. 

Little Known Facts by Christine Sneed

Ever dreamed of all the perks of celebrity? This novel offers a clear look at the effects, from the fallout of fame and fortune on family members to forging identity, finding happiness, and crafting a moral compass. Christine Sneed asks the important question: If we could have anything on earth, would we choose correctly?

Around the World in 50 Years by Albert Podell

If you've ever experienced wanderlust, you'll love Albert Podell's epic tale of traveling the world. Along the way, he set a record for the longest automobile journey ever made, survived a breakdown atop the "Peak of Death," came within seconds of being lynched in Pakistan, and eventually — although it took him forty-seven more years — set another record by going to every country on Earth. Um, wow.

America's Mistress: The Life and Times of Miss Eartha Kitt by John L. Williams

Pre-civil rights America just wasn't ready for Eartha Kitt. From her difficult roots on a South Carolina cotton plantation, the chanteuse emerged seemingly from nowhere to seduce the nation and redefine cosmopolitan glamour. John L. Williams captures the person behind the myth — and the price she paid for fame — in this biography. 

Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes

Here, Hollywood’s powerful creator of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal reveals how saying 'yes' changed her life—and how it can change yours too. It's an inspiring read, a poignant, intimate, and hilarious memoir of Rhimes' life before her "Year of Yes." The story shows how she learned to explore, empower, applaud, and love her true self. Yes, you'll feel good after reading this tale.

Keep the good reads comin'! Here's more inspiring reading material you won't want to miss: WATCH on Z Living: Kim's Rude Awakenings, where Britain’s biggest housekeeping celebrity, Kim Woodburn, attempts to overhaul rude, lazy, and messy families. See a sneak preview here.

Tell us in the comments: What else is on your reading list right now?
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