Fuller’s Book Recommendations for a Perpetually Bookish Summer


(Photo by Karolina Grabowska | Courtesy Pexels)

By Whit Fuller, Arts Writer


As the weather tends toward warming up and things get more relaxed, there is always time for a good book. Everything from thrillers, urban fantasies, beloved poems and contemporary works can make these warmer months just a little more exciting. 

“Little and Lion”Brandy Colbert

Summer reads do not always have to be simple or romantic things, as most contemporary depictions of mainstream fiction showcase. Brandy Colbert’s “Little and Lion” is not afraid to be complex, honest and moving in its depiction of the relationship between siblings Suzette and Lionel as they navigate identity, mental illness and family dynamics.

This novel is incredibly touching and sweet. The representation of queer and Black characters living with mental illness makes this a wonderful read, particularly for those discovering more about themselves and their families. 

“Envelope Poems”Emily Dickinson

Something about Emily Dickinson’s “Envelope Poems” will always evoke the sensation of summer and warm sunshine within me. There is a timeless quality to the scanned images of Dickinson’s written words on envelopes and scraps of paper. Additionally, they are translated to make readability accessible without sacrificing the personal crossings-out, spaces or slants found in Dickinson’s original envelope poems. The small size of the book makes it a portable, quick read that can accompany readers on their summer adventures. It’s a beautiful guide to poetic reflections.

“The Myth of Perpetual Summer”Susan Crandall 

Susan Crandall’s “The Myth of Perpetual Summer” resonates with its title. The coming-of-age story spans several years of protagonist Tallulah James’s life. Uncovering lies, family secrets and a host of experiences that range from detestable to romantic, “The Myth of Perpetual Summer” is as nostalgic and beautiful as it is haunting.

If a dose of nostalgia seems overplayed, pick this one up. The descriptions of past and present summers and southern food play wonderfully with Crandall’s ability to invoke emotion and pique curiosity. 

Trigger warnings: violence, death, assault. 

“Sadie”Courtney Summers 

Told intermittently through both podcast script format and traditional prose, this mystery creeps and crawls until it becomes impossible to put down. The novel’s titular protagonist Sadie has gone missing and she tells the reader how things happened while West McCray, the host of a popular podcast, helps her aunt figure out what exactly happened. This story moved me to the point of tears several times. It’s an engrossing mystery with compelling characters and an engaging podcast format that makes it a memorable and intriguing read. If horror seems too much for you or traditional mystery novels don’t quite match your vibe — give this a try.

Trigger warnings: violence, sexual assault, child sexual abuse, death. 

“The City We Became” – N.K. Jemisin

Jemisin’s “The City We Became” is a vibrant and illuminating urban fantasy novel set in New York and the surrounding boroughs. Each borough is personified into an avatar and they must come together and find the city’s primary avatar to save their favorite city from destruction.

A diverse cast of characters with distinct personalities and an exciting tale of urban fantasy at its best. The Enemy is an engaging antagonistic presence. Jemisin brings the whimsical elements of fantasy together beautifully and somewhat dismally with the realities of our world. It’s a longer read at nearly 500 pages but worth all the time spent reading and more. 

Trigger warnings: racism, homophobia, bigotry. 


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