The Summer 2020 Book List

Looking for a backyard read, a stack of books to plow through one week at a time as a perfect summer diversion? This summer's book list will transport you beyond your front porch to books that were the inspiration for one too many great (and possibly not so great) movies. Not every book can inspire a blockbuster movie, but there are a few books with a dystopian veil to contemplate life as a big moving picture.

Before you choose, let me recommend a “snort and laugh out loud” book from local Bay Area favorite, Dave Eggers, "The Captain and the Glory." Tidy and brief, this book not only gets you to snicker under your breath, but will keep pulling you back to re-read what you might have missed the first or second time around - all too fitting to combat what a new “dog day of summer” may look like.


New York Times Book Review Summer Reading

Summer Book Bingo, SAL/ON Seattle Arts & Lectures

29 Books We Can’t Wait to Read This Summer They will shake you out of your stasis. Vulture

9 Books That Bring The Outdoors In During a Stay-at-Home Order

With the Olympics Canceled, There’s Plenty of Time to Read Up on Heroic Moments in Sports Literary Hub

The Outdoor Books that Shaped the Last Decade Outsideonline

Summer Reading at the New York Libraries

The most anticipated books of summer 2020, SHE READS

The 2020 Minimalist Summer Reading Guide, Modern Mrs. Darcy

2020 Book Bingo Book Lists, Seattle Public Library

Books to Take You Back to the Blockbuster or out to the Drive-In.

This mix of books includes when dystopia was conceptual, the origin of some of the best "Groundhog day" remakes, and if you loved the movie you're gonna love these books even more.

World War Z

The Postman

The Running Man

The Hunger Games

Handmaids Tale

The Scarlett Letter

Love in the Time of Cholera

One Hundred Years of Solitude

The Time Machine


Twelve Years a Slave

Pride and Prejudice

Q & A: A Novel

And Then There Were None


Les Miserables

Classics, Academic, and Just More Books

Listopia, AP Literature, Goodreads

The Great American Read, National Public Radio

Summer Reading List, Common Sense Media

Summer Reading 2020, TriCollegeLibraries

Summer Reading 2020 Book Lists New York City Libraries (Brooklyn, NYC, Queens)

Summer Reading for Kids Who Learn and Think Differently Understood

9 Great Books for Reluctant Teen Readers Understood

2020 Scholastic Read-a-Palooza Summer Reading Challenge Book List, Scholastic Books

2020 Book List Wrapped Up in Reading, Michael C. Carlos Museum Emory

My Summer 2020 Reading List, HOW SWEET EATS

The Best Summer Books to Read in 2020, Harpers Bazaar

7 Anti-Racist Books Recommended by Educators and Activists, New York Magazine

ACLU Ban This BookList, ACLU

An Antiracist Reading List, New York Times

Books that Celebrate, Challenge, and Unite

2020 has challenged us in ways unimaginable, yet communities have risen to do the right thing. These books may be part of your listening and learning.

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Their Eyes Were Watching God

Between the World and Me


White Fragility


Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria

Baldwin: Collected Essays

The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes

The Nickel Boys



Born a Crime

The Privileged Poor

How to Be an Antiracist

....and don't forget comic books like Classics Illustrated for easy summer reading.

updated 6.6.20

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