The 2021 Summer Minimalist Reads List

The 2021 Summer Reading Guide here, and I’m super excited for it to be out in the world!  Summer is a time for sunny days, vacations, and some much-needed downtime.  And the long summer days are the perfect time to spend reading some great books.

The Summer Reading Guide is our biggest guide yet!  We have fifty new releases organized across eight categories, so you can head straight to your favorite section if you prefer.  Because we’re all about lifestyle here, you’ll also find some fun things to do at home this season, along with some recipes and practical tips to help you improve your reading life.

BiblioLifestyle 2021 Summer Reading Guide

In the guide, we have dedicated one category to the “minimalist reader.”  Our Minimalist Reads List has eight titles that we highly recommend if you’re only planning to pick up a few reads this Summer!  

It’s super hard narrowing an initial list of over two hundred books down to a quarter of the size and then narrowing them down to our top eight.  You can expect these books to be across genres, beautifully written, compelling, thought-provoking, enjoyable, and great for discussions.


The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois : A Novel Honoree Fanonne Jeffers
The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois by Honoree Fanonne Jeffers

Ailey is the descendant of enslaved Georgians and tenant farmers. She follows in her parents’ footsteps by attending an HBCU. We see her reckon with ancestral trauma while growing up in the 1980s and ’90s and her family history from the centuries of the colonial slave trade through the Civil War to the present day.

Light Perpetual : A Novel Francis Spufford
Light Perpetual by Francis Spufford

Opening in 1944, five young children are killed in a rocket attack in southeast London during Hitler’s “Vengeance Campaign” against Great Britain. The novel then pivots and spins alternate narratives, imagining the life arcs of these five souls, had they not been killed, as they live through the extraordinary, unimaginable changes of 20th-century London.

Olympus, Texas : A Novel Stacey Swann
Olympus, Texas by Stacey Swann

With hints of classical mythology, we follow a family that has been at the center of most of the drama in their sleepy small-town of Olympus, Texas. When March returns home two and a half years after his affair with his sister-in-law, we see the family secrets, scandals, and betrayals.

Leaving Breezy Street : A Memoir Brenda Myers-Powell, April Reynolds
Leaving Breezy Street by Brenda Myers-Powell, April Reynolds

Raised by an alcoholic grandmother, Powell was sexually abused at a young age by her uncle and friends. At fourteen, she was addicted to crack and working as a prostitute to support her two infants. The book shares how she got out of prostitution and drug use and how she used her experiences to get others off the street.


The Stranger Behind You : A Novel Carol Goodman
The Stranger Behind You by Carol Goodman

The night a journalist’s article exposing newspaper tycoon Caspar Osgood as a sexual predator goes live, she’s brutally attacked outside her Manhattan apartment. She moves into a highly secure apartment where she should be safe, but cryptic incidents start to occur that she can’t explain.

The Library of the Dead  T. L. Huchu
The Library of the Dead by T. L. Huchu

A contemporary fantasy set in modern Edinburgh following high school dropout Ropa, who works as a ghostalker, ferrying messages between the worlds of the dead and the living for the right price. When she learns that something is sucking the souls out of the bodies of the city’s children, she goes on a hunt to discover who or what is behind these sinister attacks.

Seven Days in June  Tia Williams
Seven Days in June by Tia Williams

When Eva Mercy and Shane Hall met as teenagers, they were instantly attracted to each other, and they spent one crazy week madly in love. Fifteen years later, Eva is a bestselling author, and she meets Shane unexpectedly at a literary event in New York City. But will they be able to make their relationship work as adults, or will their pasts get in the way?

The Passing Playbook  Isaac Fitzsimons
The Passing Playbook by Isaac Fitzsimons

A contemporary romance about a biracial transgender soccer star starting over at a new school: he must decide between fighting for his right to play, blending in, and keep his identity private. All while juggling his crush on a boy whose Christian extremist family doesn’t know he’s gay.


Are you looking forward to any books from this list?  What books are you looking forward to reading in 2021?  What books would you add to the list?

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