Summer days are long, warm and slow…so slow that it beckons you to lie down midday and curl up with a good read. Sure, there’s the internet to keep you busy, but there’s something about books and being transported to another universe that online surfing can’t possibly beat! We asked Lille Bose, writer and bookworm extraordinaire for her highly recommended reading list for the coming sunny months; books you can take to the beach, the mountains or to your backyard lounger when the web gets too noisy and you want some good old-fashioned entertainment. Print is definitely alive and well; it’s time we show it some love.

Have a great summer reading, everyone!

When did your love for books begin? Who got you into reading?

I've always been in love with books! Even before I could read, I would ask my parents and my yaya to read to me or tell me stories before I went to bed. My favorite rooms always had wall-to-wall books, and in grade school my best friend and I had a game - who could fill up their library card the fastest? #nerd4lyfe​

What do you love most about it? How does it enhance your life / imagination?

I love just knowing more about places I've never seen or been to; I have this inherent need to accumulate information and archive facts and stories. I think I do that so I can have mentally stimulating conversations with anyone in the world. I also think it tames my ADD — when I'm bored with one topic I can just pick up a different book.

What are your favorite genres? And why?

I'm a huge fan of young adult fiction (maybe I never grew up) / science fiction (I like thinking about endless possibilities) and memoirs (other people's lives are fascinating).

How do you choose books? Do you go for the best sellers or under the radar titles?

I get a lot of recommendations, or when I find a book I love I try to look for that author's recommendations or influences.

Tell us why books beat the internet in one sentence!

You don't need electricity to read a book, so even if the world is coming to an apocalyptic end sans electricity, you can still enjoy yourself.


An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

This book is so intimate and so real. I really felt like I was in the characters’ heads while I was following their journey, and I’m generally not a fan of epistolary novels. It really turns the characters’ relationship inside out, spilling the innards of their relationships all over the pages.

This Is How It Always Is: A Novel by Laurie Frankel

If you have a child (or maybe even if you don’t, I don’t know), you’ll love this story of a gender-nonconforming kid and how the family deals with the discovery at a very young age.


Becoming by Michelle Obama

Who doesn’t miss the Obamas? I discovered even more to like about MIchelle — her upbringing in a small house, the ways she was lifted up by her family, her love story — and her goals for the future. It’s easy to be an optimist about the world when you can hear Michelle Obama talking to you in this book. By the end, I really felt like we were besties.


Wild by Cheryl Strayed

I am in awe of brave women, and I am even more in awe of brave women who’ve made unlikely journeys and then lived to tell the tale so eloquently! Cheryl Strayed is like a beacon for the lone female traveler. It felt great to daydream that if she could hike the Pacific Crest Trail for months alone, then I could too. And even though I knew in my heart of hearts that I would never do what she did, it was great to tag along on her journey.


The Emissary by Yoko Tawada

This dystopian tale of Japan’s future where kids are born physically helpless and old people live forever to become their caregivers was haunting in both a tender and horrifying way. I loved it, and not just because I love Japan and I love dystopian novels.

My Brother's Husband, Volume 1 & 2 by Gengoroh Tagame

In keeping with my I heart Japan theme, this story of a man coming to terms with his dead brother’s homosexuality by way of meeting his gaijin husband is unput-downable. There’s the novelty of reading an English book like an anime comic, the juxtaposition of how different Japan’s culture is, and also the overarching story of love and acceptance that make these books so beautiful.


Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation by Octavia E. Butler, illustrated by John Jennings

If you’ve always been an Octavia Butler fan, you’ll love this graphic novel adaptation of her time-traveling African American heroine who shuttles between 1976 Los Angeles and a pre-Civil War Maryland plantation.


The Song of Achilles and Circe by Madeline Miller

Madeline Miller’s novels on Greek mythology are powerful, compulsively readable and make you feel good because they humanize the characters and they're not all white and male. Brava!


INTERVIEW Anne Bella Arguelles

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