2021 Summer Reading Guide: Fantastic Non-Fiction

If I’m going to read non-fiction, I want it to be just as engaging as a novel. These books, all very different, are a joy to read.


dancing at the pity party bookDancing at the Pity Party by Tyler Feder

You don’t expect to laugh this much in a graphic memoir about losing your mother to cancer. And yet, this book manages to be both utterly delightful and absolutely heartbreaking. This was one of the first books I read in 2021 and it set the bar high for books for the rest of the year. Whether you’ve lost a loved one and need to feel less alone in your grief or just want a book that will draw you in, this one is an absolute winner.



im still here black dignity in a world made for whitenessI’m Still Here: BLACK DIGNITY IN A WORLD MADE FOR WHITENESS by austin channing brown

This book isn’t long (less than 200 pages or 4 hours on audio) but it’s powerful and gripping.  I read this book nearly a year ago and still think about it nearly daily. I loved that she shares both her own experiences as well as concrete ideas for how we can do better at making our communities, schools, churches and workplaces more equitable places. It’s beautifully written, incredibly personal, and full of hope for all of us. (I listened to this one and especially loved hearing her share her stories in her own voice).


The lazy genius wayThe Lazy Genius Way by kendra adachi

I read this book as the new year began and it was the perfect way to kick off a new year. Similarly, it’s the perfect book to read at the beginning of summer as you think about what you want from the upcoming season and how you can achieve it in the most effortless way. I love her focus on finding what works for YOU, whether it’s the kind of thing that works for anyone else or not, and her kind, gentle-humored style. Whether you’re new to Kendra or are already a fan of her podcast, this book is terrific.



all thirteenAll ThirteeN: THE INCREDIBLE CAVE RESCUE OF THE THAI BOYS’ SOCCER TEAM by Christina Soontornvat

I’ve been talking about this book all spring because it’s just SO GOOD, so if you haven’t read it yet, this is your signal that now is the time to go pick it up. I vaguely remembered when the boys’ soccer team in Thailand got stuck in a cave during the rainy season and that they were rescued, but I knew basically nothing beyond that. This book made the whole thing come vividly to life for me and even though I knew the ending, I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. And seeing the efforts made to get them out makes it even more incredible that they actually succeeded.


think againthink again by adam grant

I included Adam Grant’s book, Originals, a few years ago on the Summer Reading Guide and I knew within a few chapters of this newest book that it’d land a spot on this year’s Guide as well. Like Originals, it’s full of fascinating stories and terrific insights, and I truly feel like every parent, business owner, teacher, and . . .okay, human, should read this one. It’s one I’ll be returning to again and again because it’s just so insightful!



CHECK OUT THE OTHER CATEGORIES ON THE 2021 summer reading Guide:

chick lit

books for the whole family

absorbing audiobooks

page-turning novels