Remember that summer reading list you used to get way back in the day? Maybe you read everything on the list, and then some, or maybe you crumpled it into your backpack and did your best to ignore it. But either way, we've got some good news for you: It's exponentially more fun and much more personally fulfilling when you don't have a deadline hanging over your head and you have a say in which page-turners to pick up.
However, if you're at a loss when it comes to what exactly the next tome on your list should be, we've stepped in to lend a few of our own favorites. Whether you're in the mood for exploration, history, straight-up rock 'n' roll, or some lighter fare, here are five reasons to log out of Netflix and get lost in a little lit instead.
The Sisters Brothers: A Novel, By Patrick deWitt
"A darkly humorous Western satire about contract killers in the time of the gold rush may not be the first book you'd peg me to read, but I've been enjoying it ever since picking it up at the airport bookstore and feverishly ripping through its first half on one plane ride. Cinematic and easy to read, this Coen brother's True Grit-meets-Cormack McCarthy narrative is not just for the guys, trust me."
—Annie Georgia Greenberg, New York editor
"The Sisters Brothers: A Novel," By Patrick deWitt, $13.43, available at Amazon.
Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption, by Laura Hillenbrand
"I know I am a little late to the game on this one, but this book is an amazing true story of resiliency. Even as a WWII history junkie (nerd, I know), this is one of the more extraordinary stories of survival I have read. You will be glued to it!"
—Laura Miller, assistant photo editor
"Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption," by Laura Hillenbrand, $16.20, available at Amazon.
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, by Cheryl Strayed
"With very little forethought, I decided to move to L.A. last year. I knew a handful of people there, and that's about it. This story, about a woman who decided to hike the PCT without any formal training, is about exploration and learning how to cope with life's problems — all on your own. Motivational, inspiring, and at times, hilarious, this book is a constant source of reassurance for me."
—Sarah St. Lifer, West Coast editorial assistant
"Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail," by Cheryl Strayed, $14.80, available at Amazon.
The Wild Life And Mad Genius Of Mick Jagger, by Christopher Andersen
"You pretty much can't shut me up when I get on the topic of the '60s, groupies, or anything related to rock 'n' roll — I swear I had a past life in that era. Anyway, I've read Keith Richards' Life several times, and finished it feeling like Mick was such a poser. I've only just started this bio, but I can't wait to see what kind of fuel Jagger's going to add to the fire of their feud."
—Brenna Egan, L.A. editor
"The Wild Life And Mad Genius Of Mick Jagger,"by Christopher Andersen, $17.70, available at Amazon.
The Unbearable Lightness Of Being, by Milan Kundera
"My best friend and I just recently ended up on opposite coasts, and while our weekly Skype dates help, it's our 'book club' that really keeps us close. I just finished The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera on her recommendation. It's a classic, heartbreaking, historical, funny, poetic, thought-provoking novel about a man, a woman, his mistress(es), a dog, and the Czech struggle of the '60s. I highly recommend it for any lyrical obsessives who want to brush up on their modern classics."
—Taylor Barringer, assistant beauty editor
"The Unbearable Lightness Of Being," by Milan Kundera, $11.32, available at Amazon.
Revved up to read? Before you start your next, best summer story, "Like" this post up at the top and add a comment below, telling us which book you're about to dive into. You'll instanly be entered to win one of three $50 Amazon giftcards!