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WISe’s 10 Summer Reading List Recommendations

WISe’s 10 Summer Reading List Recommendations

WISe’s 10 Summer Reading List Recommendations 

Our theme for June is "Loud and Proud." We want to highlight and support the LGBTQIA+ community and encourage allyship. One way we can do that is with our summer reading lists!

I struggle with a never ending “to be read” list while always looking for recommendations for the next book to add to it. 

Grab your book, e-reader, library card, fill up your water, sit outdoors, or get cozy in bed with this list of our recommended reads. You can find these books at your local library, favorite independent bookstores, and major retailers. 

Pride Month

Each June, Pride Month celebrates the LGBTQIA+ community and honors the Stonewall Uprising. Pick up books written by LGBTIA+ authors and stories that are representative and diverse.

The Rainbow Parade: A Celebration of LGBTQIA+ Identities and Allies

By Shane Jordan, Rick Henrix, and Jieting Chen (Illustrator) 

This children’s book was released in May 2024. It tells the heartwarming story of acceptance and friendship. From the book’s overview: “Set at a stormy pride parade, the story follows a child who is free to express their gender identity, celebrating with their father. But when they come across a non-binary child who doesn’t feel comfortable in their own skin, they lend a helping hand and show them that they are seen, accepted, and loved.” 

Author Shane Jordan shares in this article for GLADD that this book is for everyone including adults and all youth, regardless of their gender identity or sexuality. 

Red, White, and Royal Blue 

By Casey McQuiston

This New York Times bestseller is a swoon worthy rom-com mixed with diplomacy! The story asks: What happens when America's First Son (Alex) falls in love with the Prince of Wales (Henry)? After an altercation between the two, things start to heat up. The summary explains: “What at first begins as a fake, Instragramable friendship grows deeper, and more dangerous, than either Alex or Henry could have imagined. Soon Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret romance with a surprisingly unstuffy Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations and begs the question: Can love save the world after all?” Take this one to the beach! 

The Song of Achilles

By Madeline Miller

If you are a fan of Greek mythology, then check out The Song of Achilles. It’s a retelling of The Iliad that focuses on Achilles the man rather than hero and looks at his intimate relationship with the tragic figure Patroclus. It’s an action-packed drama, epic love story, and beautifully written.  You may want to bring tissues with you.




By Glennon Doyle


For our memoir loving friends, there are tons of books from LGBTQIA+ authors sharing their life stories. Click here to see more from people like RuPaul, Melissa Ethridge, and Billy Porter.

Untamed is more than a memoir. It takes the reader on a journey of self-discovery and is a wake-up call. Throughout "Untamed," Doyle uses personal anecdotes and reflections to convey powerful messages about feminism, self-love, and the importance of living a life true to oneself. It has raw honesty, inspirational prose, and resonates with readers seeking to embrace their true selves. Go out there and be a cheetah! 

You can find more Pride reads in this curated list from Barnes & Noble.


Wellness Books

We’d be remiss if we didn’t include wellness books for you to read! Whether you’re looking for inspiration, learning more about your body, or resetting your mind, there are plenty of books out there to help with your wellness journey.


Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art

By James Nestor

Each day we breathe in and out, rarely focusing on it. So what  if we’ve been breathing wrong this whole time? James Nestor tackles this question in Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art.

Nestor explores the critical role breathing plays in our health, examining ancient breathing practices and modern scientific research. The book offers practical techniques to improve breathing, which can enhance physical performance, reduce stress, and promote overall health.


Shut Up and Run: How to Get Up, Lace Up, and Sweat with Swagger

by Robin Arzón


In her book Shut Up and Run, Robin Arzón, VP/Head Instructor at Peloton, encourages embracing challenges and taking risks, drawing from her own life experiences. It’s a fitness manual, training program, and self-help guide all in one. It’s filled with anecdotes, inspiration, and essential training tips including playlists, recovery tips, and practical gear recommendations.  


Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones

By James Clear

This book delves into the science of habit formation and offers practical strategies for developing good habits and eliminating bad ones. Clear’s advice is accessible and actionable, making it a great read for those looking to make lasting positive changes. No matter your goals, this book provides a framework for improving every day.

Come As You Are: The Surprising New Science That Will Transform Your Sex Life

By Emily Nagoski

This revised and updated version of the New York Times bestseller is a comprehensive and insightful exploration of female sexuality. The book aims to empower women by demystifying the complexities of their sexual responses and promoting a positive and healthy approach to sexual well-being. It has new research on mindfulness, desire, and pleasure to change your sex life.  


Beach Reads and Epic Adventures

Sometimes you want an easy rom-com to crack open on the beach or get involved with an  eight book epic series adventure. 

Funny Story

By Emily Henry

This rom-com from 2024 centers around Daphne, who is left heartbroken when her fiancé Peter reveals he is in love with his childhood best friend, Petra. The novel explores themes of self-discovery, healing from past wounds, and opening up to new possibilities. The story is infused with humor and warmth, making it an engaging and heartfelt read​. All of Emily Henry’s books are perfect for vacation. One is even titled “Beach Read!”

Sarah J. Maas Universe

For those of us looking for adventure, romance, fantasy, faeries, and strong female characters, dive into the Sarah J. Maas universe. Her main series are Throne of Glass, A Court of Thorns and Roses, and Crescent City. If you’re looking for a commitment and books to last you, then you have over 15 to keep you reading all summer long. You may need tissues and a strong will as you’ll be on an emotional roller coaster throughout. Afterwards (or start here!), dive into Rebecca Yarros’ The Empyrean Series

Just like our “to be read” list, our recommendations could go on forever. But we want to hear from you! Do you have a favorite book to share? Drop it as a comment. 

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