SURVEY SAYS: Summer Reading List 2020

NEWSDash readers reveal what is on their reading list for the summer of 2020 and how, given COVID-19’s effect on vacations, time for reading may differ.

Last week, I asked NEWSDash readers, “Do you still have vacation plans this summer, and do you expect to have more time to read this summer than you usually do?” And I asked them to share suggestions for a summer reading list.

Nearly four in 10 (38.2%) of responding readers indicated they will be taking a vacation this summer and will be going away, while 29.4% reported they will be taking a vacation but it will be a staycation. Two in 10 (20.6%) said they are not taking a vacation this summer, and 11.8% don’t know yet.

Still, 52.9% expect to have more time to read this summer than you usually do, while 35.3% do not and 11.8% don’t know.

In verbatim comments, readers suggested—vacation or not—reading outside. A couple of readers noted that they have been “reading” less since they were mostly listening to audio books on their commutes before being forced to work from home. No Editor’s Choice this week.

A big thank you to all who participated in the survey!

Asked to share what’s on their summer reading lists or what they would suggest others read, respondents answered:

  • My book club will read “American Dirt” by Jeanine Cummins and discuss the controversy it generated due to its purported stereotypes of Mexicans and whether an immigrant story can be told by a non-Latina author. I recommend these great reads: “The Murmur of Bees” by Sofia Segovia, part of which takes place during the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic; “Girl, Woman, Other” by Bernardine Evaristo; “Deacon King Kong” by James McBride; and “The Night Tiger” by Yangsze Choo.
  • David Baldacci series. Any and all.
  • Mrs. Kennedy and Me by Clint Hill
  • The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires, by Grady Hendrix
  • Anything by Daniel Silva.
  • The Splendid and the Vile by Erik Larson It is a wonderful book.
  • Becoming – Michelle Obama, The Next Person you Meet in Heaven – Mitch Albom, You Already Know How to Be Great – Alan Fine
  • I keep a list of books that I want to read on Goodreads. Hoping to read this summer – Edison by Edmund Morris; Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout; Sea Stories: My Life In Special Operations by William McRaven; and The Pale-Faced Lie by David Crow.
  • Any of Mitch Albom’s books, especially the newest one, Finding Chika.
  • The 7 and 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, The Signal and the Noise, The Glass Hotel
  • Can’t wait to read the new releases from Scott Turow (The Last Trial) and Michael Connelly (Fair Warning).
  • I have really been into memoirs and bios the past couple of years; they are a great way to get to know someone better and maybe change your mind about them. Some favorites of mine were Michelle Obama, Lauren Bacall, Katherine Hepburn, and Ali Wong….notice a theme? Strong and leading ladies!
  • Tackling a few classics. Walden is on my list; The Wind in the Willows; and finally, at long last, the Harry Potter series.
  • Suggest American Dirt. Good Read
  • Nele Neuhaus Bodenstein/Kirchhoff series Grantchester by James Runcie: short stories: easy to read one per night
  • Any of the hundreds of books waiting on my shelf! Aiming for classic/literary fiction and maybe some sci-fi. For fiction, I recommend AS Byatt’s Possession. It takes work to get through, but it’s the most enjoyment I’ve ever gotten out of reading a difficult book. For non-fiction, David McCullough’s John Adams. Probably the best biography I’ve ever read.
  • David Baldacci Walk the Wire, All Fudged Up by Nancy Coco (series about Mackinac Island) I read the first 4 in her series I felt like I was on the island and on vacation even though I was on my deck at home.
  • A Dog’s LIfe by Ann Martin, A Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron


I love a good “beach read” – anything that is light-hearted and transports me somewhere else!

With the shutdown, even though I’ve still been WFW (working from work), I’ve had more time to catch up on my reading, including The Aviators by Winston Groom. Today I happen to be enjoying the view from the balcony of an Orange Beach condo, and will soon walk down to the beach to a chair and umbrella and read more aviation books and magazines, flying being my preferred avocation. Next week it is back to CARES Act amendments to the retirement plans, distribution requests, and not processing 2020 RMD’s.

Any science fiction and fantasy, maybe some non-fiction. I’m not that picky as long as I always have a book ready to read.

I have 2 little kids and use all my extra time to sleep.

I’ll be reading my 1st graders enrichment activities to help her stay on track and prevent her from falling behind in case distance learning is back in the fall.

I will be looking for a fiction (perhaps historical) book to supplement faith based books already reading.

Reading is best at any time of the year.

Since we can’t really go anywhere right now, I love a good book that takes me somewhere else!

With a tip of the cap to Nike, “Just do it.” It is easy to social distance and be safe. Depending on the material, you’ll likely be better for it. Be safe.

Just finished grad school in April and haven’t stopped reading non-fiction since. It’s divine.

I usually do audiobooks and listen to them on my 63-mile commute (each way). Since I have been working from home, I have not made it through the last four books that I checked out from the library!

I am looking forward to the next Daniel Silva book.

I intend to take time to relax more often this summer. After all the things going on, my mental health needs some “me” time.

In late July, my sister and I are spending 4 days in a fire watch tower in northern Idaho. Reading and hiking will fill our days although I haven’t yet chosen the books I am taking with me. No electricity so I have to take actual paper ones. Paradise.

In this industry we have to read so much for work, it is good to take the time to read for pleasure, for humor, or for enlightenment.

Excited that my library is open, even if the building is closed, and that they are offering curbside pickup!

Hopefully can do this outdoors, at least six feet from other readers.

Since I’ve stopped driving into work I’ve also stopped listening to audio books so my “reading” has come to a halt.

For those of us who already read a lot, summer reading isn’t going to change that much whether or not we vacation at home or somewhere else.

I’m ready for it…bring it on! 🙂

I read every night before bed. But with more time on my hands as of late, and no weekend plans, I day-read and especially love reading on my front porch. Revisiting the delicious joys of summers past!

Do it outside!

I follow a blogger, @mynightsbooked, and read vicariously through her reviews. Also, as my child learns to read, I’m discovering some wonderful children’s books (Thanks, Scholastic! Thanks, Mo Willems!)!

I plan on reading light fluffy mysteries this summer. I plan on only reading for fun if I can get away with it.

Involve the kids and make it fun. Perhaps rewards for how many books they read. Have them draw pictures of what they think the storyline was about, etc.

Our vacation will be brief for our daughter’s much scaled back wedding.


NOTE: Responses reflect the opinions of individual readers and not necessarily the stance of Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) or its affiliates.