A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Waste: 10 Best Books to Cross off Your Summer Reading List

You know how when we graduated from college we vowed that we would take advantage of our now-freed up time to read for pleasure, instead of textbook after boring textbook? 

Yeah, well, we haven't quite stayed true to that promise. 

We're busy! Life happens! Stop yelling at me! 

But now that it's summer, and we'll be spending considerable amounts of time relaxing on the beach and other similarly sunny locations, there's plenty of opportunities to devour a good book - or four. 

And while it may be difficult to concentrate on a novel when the dude next to you at the pool insists on listening to his music sans headphones (WHY, GUY? WHY?!?), there's just too many good reads to indulge in this summer. 

There's also a crap-ton of incredible books being made into films in the near future, so there's no better time than now to catch up before the movies premiere. 

Read on to discover our summer reading list of 2016 - happy reading! 

1. The BFG by Roald Dahl


This book tops our "quick, read it before the movie comes out!" list. Because honestly, if you didn't read this as a kid, you need to get on it STAT. And it's a super quick read, so really, there's no excuses. 


The beloved children's tale is being released as a Spielberg-directed film next month, and we're super intrigued (and a little nervous) to see his interpretation.

Get the book here.

2. The Rap Yearbook by Shea Serrano

Hip-hop enthusiasts - get your hands on this book IMMEDIATELY. 

This extensive volume catalogs the evolution of rap music from 1979 to 2014. That's a LOT of information. To help the reader digest it all, he's also included some brilliant illustrations by artist Arturo Torres.

It's an incredibly important read.

Get the book here.

3. Hologram for the King by Dave Eggers

This incredibly captivating 2012 novel surrounds an American salesman who travels to Saudi Arabia to sell a holographic teleconferencing system to the government there.  

The film version, starring Tom Hanks, was released earlier this spring, so it may be a tad more difficult to avoid spoilers if you're one of those people that cares deeply about reading the book before seeing the movie. 

But if you're a masochist who likes things ruined for them, no fear! Catch the film in theaters and then read the book if/when you get around to it.

Get the book here.

4. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Okay,  you saw this one coming. It's the novel that everyone's talking about, and for good reason. 

Not only is it soon to be a feature film starring Emily Blunt and Justin Theroux, it's also a supremely addicting thriller that will have you turning pages faster than you swipe dudes on Tinder. 


The movie is set to premiere in October 2016, so this is definitely one to throw in your beach bag this summer. 

Get the book here.

5. Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan


This incredible true story was written by a young New York Post reporter suffering from a rare brain disorder that caused her to lose her ability to speak, walk, and function normally.

Her triumphant and miraculous recovery spiraled into a profoundly fascinating memoir in which she retells the tale based on what she can remember, along with interviews with her family and doctors who cared for her during her illness.

The film version, starring Chloe Grace Moretz as Susannah Cahalan, is currently in the works and we're super psyched to see this amazing story played out on the big screen.

Get the book here.


6. Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

We all remember a few summers ago when Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl was the ultimate beach read of the season. 

Well her debut novel, Sharp Objects, is equally as worthy of your summer reading list. We won't lie, this book is pretty freaking disturbing, but you won't be able to put it down. 


There are no current plans for a film as far as we know, but we're already casting a version in our heads in which Jennifer Lawrence and J.K. Simmons star. Trust us, once you read it, you will agree wholeheartedly. 

Get the book here.  

7. First Comes Love by Emily Giffin


Sometimes you just need cheesy romantic fiction, okay? There's no shame in that.

And aside from perfecting this genre of novel, Emily Giffin also manages to weave in truly heartfelt, complex story lines and characters. 

Her first two books, Something Borrowed (which made an excellent movie), and Something Blue (movie forthcoming allegedly... WHERE IS IT, HOLLYWOOD?!), are total proof of this.

 Her newest novel, First Comes Love,  is centered around a pair of sisters who find themselves at a crossroads and is set to release at the end of June. 

Get the book here.

8. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Before you poo poo YA fiction, hear us out.

This sci-fi/fantasy/mystery novel is one that readers of all ages can enjoy, despite the fact that it has the word "children" in the title. It'll have you on the edge of your seat, and even features super creepy yet fascinating antique photographs that the author based the story off of. 

Look out for the film adaptation coming this September, starring some our favs like Chris O'Dowd, Allison Janney, and Judi Dench. 

Get the book here.

9. Your Favorite Band is Killing Me by Stephen Hyden

Apart from the chuckle-inducing title, this insightful book explores the concept of music rivalries: Rolling Stones vs. Beatles, Tupac vs. Biggie, etc. He even delves into the infamous Kanye and Tswift debacle of 2009. 


Why do these rivalries exist, and why are they so important to us? Hyden discusses all of this and more in his book, which is certain to entertain both music junkies and non-enthusiasts alike. 

Get the book here.

10. Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari & Eric Klinenberg


Lord, do we ever need this book in our lives. 

The ever-talented and brilliant Aziz Ansari takes on the subject of dating in our modern society, a topic that is a super fun cocktail of complicity and frustration, with a dash of downright stupidity. 

He does so with the help of sociologist and NYU professor Eric Klinenberg, so the book is not only hilarious, but hella scientific. 

Modern Romance really hits the nail on the head when it comes to our dating lives, and we feel truly #blessed that this masterpiece exists. 

Get the book here.

Check Out These 33 Amazing Free Movies Coming to Queens This Summer.

[Feature Image Courtesy BCGavel.com] 

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