As the seasons begin to change, many things change with it. 

Fall comes to usher summer, and all of the elements that make the season what it is, away, including beach days, sunburns and many more amazing things. For me, this seasonal change has always signaled the end of one important thing: summer reading. 

In the summer, I have seemingly unlimited time to read for fun, and I take full advantage of this by reading as much as I can. Now that we are back at school, I won’t have nearly as much time, but I can look fondly back on some of the books I read this summer, and share them with you in hopes that you can find some time to read one or two, or all of them!

“The Great Pretender” 

This book was truly unlike anything else I have ever read, and that’s part of the reason why I loved it so much. This is a nonfiction book by Susannah Cahalan, who also wrote the bestseller, “Brain on Fire”.

“The Great Pretender” focuses on a study conducted in the 1970s by Dr. David Rosenhan, titled “On Being Sane in Insane Places,” where eight people with no mental illnesses (including Dr. Rosenhan) got themselves admitted to psychiatric facilities. They all presented the same “symptoms” and then once they were inside the facility, they acted completely normal. 

The book not only breaks down this study, but the current state of mental health diagnosis in the United States. 

It is one of those books that makes you really think and question things, which are some of the best kinds! It is a bit lengthy, but it is totally worth the read! 

“The Vesuvius Club” 

Now, this book is purely in here for fun. I picked it up over the summer on Thriftbooks, along with other books for a book club I do with my friends, because I just wanted something fun to read. 

I also saw it was by Mark Gatiss, the brilliant writer of “Sherlock” on the BBC, which made me like it even more. It turned out to be so much better than I ever could have expected! The book follows the character of Lucifer Box, an English spy in the early 1900s, described on the back cover as “equal parts James Bond and Sherlock Holmes, with a dash of Austin Powers.” 

The book showcases the funny and fast-paced writing that made “Sherlock” so loved by viewers, but in a fun setting. This book was a little ridiculous, but it made me actually laugh out loud, while still having a good plot. Definitely a fun read for anyone looking to relax! 

“Just Mercy” 

This book was just recently turned into a movie starring Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Foxx and Brie Larson. 

If that is not enough convincing for you to read it, then I simply don’t know what you want from me, dear readers! The book is written by Bryan Stevenson, a lawyer who works on cases of convicted people looking for a second trial, with an organization called the Equal Justice Initiative. 

The book alternates between talking about examples of cases he has worked on in all different circumstances and telling the story of Walter McMillian, a man who was wrongfully convcited of murder and sentenced to death. Stevenson’s look at the justice system in the United States is timely and insightful, but also easy to understand as someone who is not a lawyer. 

This book gave me so much perspective, and it also gave me a feeling of hope, because if there are people out there like Bryan Stevenson working for change, it shows that there is a hope for a better future. 

Even though summer reading may be over, there are always more books on the horizon, and hopefully you can find time to pick up one of these reads!

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