Need a few books to add to your summer reading list?
There are all kinds of opinions about what makes a great summer read. I don’t think there is a right or wrong type of book to read during the summer.
Vacations and summer are for having some fun and relaxing. Some people find fiction fun and relaxing and others lean more towards fiction. They enjoy that time to relax.
If a fun fiction book is what helps you relax on vacation, find a good fiction book to take with you.
There are many summer reading guides that are heavy on the fiction books though, especially on new release fiction. Those lists contain the fiction books that are hot right now and tend to be lighter fun books to read.
Since so many summer reading lists are full of fiction and because we love helping people find good nonfiction books, we thought we would put together a list of nonfiction summer reads.
These books are not hot new releases. Most of the books on our list have been out for awhile. However they are probably books you missed or books that got buried in your to be read pile.
We have two sections on our list. Nonfiction that is lighter and fun and nonfiction that is a little more serious.
We hope that this list inspires you to pick up a nonfiction book this summer.
Light and Fun Nonfiction for Summer
American Hippo -This is a piece of American history that you probably know nothing about! Yes, it is a book about a Hippopotamus. If you like odd and interesting history, this is a great read.
This book is short, which I think makes it a great summer read. You just sit on the beach or by the pool or on your car ride for an hour half or two hours and finish it. It may also be able to help you say you read more books on vacation. It also a great book to learn facts from, so maybe when you see you relatives on vacation, you can impress them with weird history.
I will have to say that is only available on kindle. But I have kindle on my phone, so that is how I read it. So even though you cannot own the book book it does help you not have pack as much if you can just take on you phone or on a kindle with you.
Once Upon a Town- This is a book about WWI that is so different than any others that I have read. This is an uplifting and encouraging read about how ordinary people can make a difference in small ways. This book was one of my favorite books from my nonfiction books for every state challenge. It is all about a small town in Nebraska that gave so many American service men hope and encouragement during one of the most difficult times in their lives.
This makes a great summer read because it is a quick read that covers WWII history in an inspiring way.
Dewey– If you love books and animals, this book about a small town library that adopted a cat is a must read!
It such a cute story and easy to read. I think that this is why it makes a great summer read. If you want something that is not fiction but is not a serious piece of nonfiction, this would fit you great.
All Creatures Great and Small– A memoir written by an English veterinarian. Another must read for those that love animals and nature.
This also a great one if you want to read a book with your teens or preteens. I think that encouraging them to read nonfiction is great and this one could read or maybe listen to in the car together. It has medical stuff in it, so it does have some slightly ‘gorish’ details about medicine and animals. But when I was a teenager, I did not mind reading details like that.
I think that my attitude towards this book and loving it so much had to do with growing up in the country. I understood a lot of was being talked about, so I think it is a great book for animal lovers and who love to see the medical side of taking care of animals.
We Will Always Have Casablanca– This is a fascinating book about Hollywood and a classic movie. If you are a fan of the movie Casablanca or of movies in general, this book gives you a look behind the scenes of a classic film.
This book also goes into the time period of World War II and how Hollywood and USA were dealing with it. I think that this was part of why I really liked it. I felt a deeper connection to that part of history and movie because of the history surrounding it.
More Serious but still Great for Summer Nonfiction
Save Me the Plums– Depending on your reading tastes, Save Me the Plums could also fit on the light summer reading list. It is an easy read, but isn’t a super light read. It deals with the publishing world and the behind the scenes of Gourmet magazine during the early 2000’s.
This has made several summer reading lists including Modern Mrs. Darcy’s minimalist summer reading guide. So I am not the only one that thinks this is a great summer read. If you love food memoirs, cooking, or remember Gourmet magazine I think you will like this one.
Beyond the Call– If you enjoy nonfiction WWII books ,this is an amazing and rarely told story. I had never heard about Captain Trimble or the POW’s who were struggling to get away from both the Germans and the Russians. The writing in this book is what made it so good. It was so well written. It was not written like a history book, but more like a well written fiction book.
I think that history is better then fiction, and this story is one of those that proves my thought. It is partly due to how well written it is and the story told. I think that this is one of the many stories that has been forgotten but should not be, which is why I put it on the list.
Devotion- I have read very little about the Korean War, but after reading this book I want to learn more. I have read several books by this author and really enjoy his writing style. He makes history interesting. If you like books about war and history or want to learn more about the Korean War I think you will enjoy this one.
I have enjoyed reading three of Adam Makos’s books, but this was my favorite. I think it had to do with story. It was so different, a story I had not heard of. Of course, I want to encourage you to read all of Makos’s books, but I really want to encourage you to read this one.
It deals with so many issues that important. It also brings up how war bonds men no matter their background or race.
Hellhound on His Trail– This book is exactly why I love reading nonfiction. A well written nonfiction books makes history interesting and teaches you something you would have never known. On April 4, 1968, James Earl Ray shot Martin Luther King at the Lorraine Motel. With Hellhound On His Trail, Sides shines a light on the largest manhunt in American history and brings it to life for all to see. This is not a light read, but it is an important read about part of American history.
I think that this is a part of history that I have not lived through but need to read about. I enjoyed its writing, but also the details about this assassination that I had never heard before.
The Cadaver King and the Country Dentist– This is another read that shares a little known part of American history. This book though covers recent history. It shares a part of America that many people ignore. If you are looking for a read that challenges you outside of your normal reading comfort zone, pick this one up this summer. I don’t think you will regret it.
What books are on your summer reading lists? Leave a comment sharing what you are looking forward to reading this summer!