Looking to do some summer reading? Here’s what our team recommends

Options team members have many things in common: an interest in travel and new experiences, a genuine enjoyment of exercise, and a deep and abiding passion for helping young people make educational decisions. We also really like books.

Summer is the perfect time to indulge in reading. Find yourselves a hammock, a patio, a poolside lounge chair, a grassy park, a tent in the woods—anywhere you can get comfortable and lose yourself in a compelling story or interesting discussion. As for the book itself? We’ve got some suggestions!

Alyssa, writing coach, recommends Slade House by David Mitchell, saying, “Within the first fifty pages of this book, I realized this was a tale I would have to read with the lights on. This eerie haunted house story is a quick read for anyone looking for a fright this summer.”

Michelle, educational consultant, wants to tell you about Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou: “At the age of 19, a brilliant Stanford dropout launches a private tech startup in Silicon Valley. The company, once valued at nearly $10 billion, is now worth nothing. The book chronicles one of the largest corporate frauds in US history and the role of ‘fake it till you make it’ culture. (Now an HBO documentary & podcast!).”

Katherine, educational consultant, suggests The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris: “There are a lot of great novels set during the war—The Alice Network (WWI and WWII) and The Nightingale (WWII)—but this book of historical fiction is based on the true story of Lale Sokolov’s time as a prisoner in Auschwitz. It’s amazing to hear about Lale’s fight for survival and the power of love.”

Four (!) team members independently recommended Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens, but we’ll let Melinda, educational consultant and Options president, tell you about it: “I recommend this novel for its humanity and incredible descriptions of nature. I didn’t finish the last five pages for months because I didn’t want it to end, but when I did—game changer!!”

Chloe, West Vancouver office manager, suggests a “treat for any music lover. Love Is a Mix Tape by Rob Sheffield is an emotional but accessible read about how music can define different times in our lives and about the memories we associate with certain songs. This is a powerful story about grief and loss tangled with the music of Sheffield’s life.”

According to Marisa, writing coach, if you’re looking to learn more about Abstract Expressionism and build some arm muscle (it’s over 900 pages), you might enjoy Ninth Street Women by Mary Gabriel. She says, “Gabriel’s exploration of the lives and work of female artists such as Lee Krasner and Elaine de Kooning is essential reading for anyone interested in the American modern art movement.” 

Rebekah, South Granville office manager, has a recommendation for our high school clients. “I recently read two books by Jandy Nelson, I’ll Give You the Sun and The Sky is Everywhere, which are both emotionally rich coming-of-age stories.”

Melodie, South Surrey office manager, recommends The Island by Victoria Hislop. “It’s a great novel about 25-year-old Alexis, who learns of her mother’s secret past. The story is inspired by Spinalonga, an island near Crete that was a leprosy colony from the early 1900s to 1957. The book is moving and full of humanity, and I’m really enjoying Hislop’s compassion for her characters.”