The Best Books PureWow Editors Have Read This Summer

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When selecting new books to read, we browse Amazon, snoop on the subway and ask friends and co-workers. That last method usually proves particularly fruitful, which is why we polled a bunch of PureWow editors for the best books they’ve read over the past few months. From a beautiful mother-daughter story set in Italy to a fascinating nonfiction book about how parking—yes, parking—explains the world, here are their picks.

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editor favorite books lewis

1. Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt by Michael Lewis

“Explain money/math stuff to me, Michael Lewis! Ever since I saw Moneyball (the movie based on a Michael Lewis book) in which Brad Pitt uses an algorithm to conquer baseball, I’ve been a fan of this author’s knack for demystifying finance and sports. Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt is a quick read that tells how a bunch of traders walked away from high salaries to find a way to beat the relatively new (and rigged) system of high-frequency trading that’s created an unfair playing field for stock market investors, affecting even your modest 401K retirement account. Fascinating!” – Dana Dickey, senior editor

editor favorite books pollan

2. How to Change Your Mind by Michael Pollan

“Full disclosure: I haven't yet finished it, but I'm currently reading How to Change Your Mind by Michael Pollan. It's a deep dive into how psychedelic drugs are being used as/researched for treatment for all kinds of mental illness (like depression and addiction), with a bunch of myth-busting, history, some memoir, science and medicine. Sounds overwhelming, but Pollan has a way of writing that isn't overwhelming for a non-science person. It's super eye-opening on how these substances were essentially vilified by the media and government (surprise) and now are being reexamined as a way to not only help people with long-term illnesses, but also just change our perspectives on everyday life.” – Katherine Gillen, senior food editor

editor favorite books grabar

3. Paved Paradise: How Parking Explains the World by Henry Grabar

“I just read Paved Paradise: How Parking Explains the World and I am now an expert on all things parking. It's really fascinating to see the way zoning laws and parking minimums have shaped cities, and there are so many fun cocktail party factoids. (Did you know that parking garages are often run by the mob? I did not!)” – Jillian Quint, editor-in-chief

editor favorite books hsu

4. Stay True: A Memoir by Hua Hsu

Stay True is so well written and all at once funny, sweet, sad and lovely. It really taps into that feeling of being a high school/college kid, figuring yourself and your friendships out. I couldn’t stop talking about it for like a month after I finished.” – Abby Hepworth, fashion editor

editor favorite books backman

5. Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

“I’m finally getting around to reading Anxious People and I love it so far. It’s centered around a bank robbery, but it’s really about the people involved and how their lives are intertwined. Everyone is dealing with their own struggles, yet they are all so connected with one another. The subject matter is very real and heavy (trigger warning: mental health and suicide) but the writing is funny and relatable. I can’t wait to keep reading it and see how the story unfolds!” – Rachel Gulmi, operations director, branded content

editor favorite books verghese

6. The Covenant of Water by Abraham Verghese

“I just started reading The Covenant of Water by Abraham Verghese and it's so beautifully written and evocative, I can't put it down. It follows three generations in Kerala in southwest India and the curse that haunts them (yes, the curse has to do with water). It's got family secrets and political commentary, vivid descriptions of place and thoroughly developed characters. It's been a treat to read so far and I can't wait to see how all the different story lines weave together. There is also a lot of medical knowledge throughout (Verghese is also a surgeon, NBD) which I also find super interesting.” – Alexia Dellner, executive editor

editor favorite books broder

7. Milk Fed by Melissa Broder

“I typically gravitate towards the rite-of-passage story/bildungsroman, but this one is the most captivating I have picked up in a while. It follows a struggling comedian, Rachel, and her relationship with food and her mother. The book brilliantly approaches the subjects of eating disorders, verbal/emotional abuse, sex and religion...I'm flying through it. Broder makes calorie counting feel like the Math Olympiad, the level of fixation, obsession, discipline...and then, with piercing accuracy, describes the feeling of falling off that train.” – Marissa Wu, associate SEO editor

editor favorite books fortune

8. Every Summer After by Carley Fortune

“I just finished Every Summer After. While the storyline is definitely a familiar one (big city girl returns to small town to see sparks fly with an ex-boyfriend), it has a very sweet coming of age backstory of them growing up on the lake that's akin to The Summer I Turned Pretty. It's not super deep, but it's a great little beach read.” – Nicole Briese, commerce director

editor favorite books serle

9. One Italian Summer by Rebecca Serle

“I finally got around to reading One Italian Summer by Rebecca Serle and I couldn’t put it down. Beautiful, touching, heartbreaking and heart-mending, the mother-daughter relationship and process of a great loss had me on the edge of my seat, fully transfixed in a puddle of my own tears. It left me in appreciation of my own mother-daughter relationship, and in a desperate want to experience the book for the first time all over again.” – Stephanie Meraz, associate fashion commerce editor

editor favorite books dunlop

10. Women Are the Fiercest Creatures by Andrea Dunlop

“Because it’s part of my job to read and review books, I can’t tell you how many exciting titles hit my inbox every single day, making it inevitable that some excellent reads will slip through the cracks. But recently, I found myself on a flight that didn’t have WiFi (thanks, United), and since I had failed to pre-download new books to my Kindle, I had to mine my library for old titles I hadn’t had the chance to start. This novel about three women in the orbit of a successful tech entrepreneur was so engrossing that I finished it before the plane landed. It’s got affairs, cyber bullying, questions of race and class consciousness and rich people misbehaving—a delicious summer read.” – Sarah Stiefvater, wellness director

editor favorite books oseman

11. Heartstopper by Alice Oseman

“I am finally going to start the Heartstopper book series. I’m usually one to read the book before the show or movie, but I just finished season two of the TV series on Netflix and it’s making me want to read the graphic novels to fill in any missing bits that may not have made [it] to the show. It’s heartwarming, heartfelt and truly heart-stopping to be able to see queer joy, understanding and experience in a story like this. Young people are not often given a chance to express themselves in ways that adults will take seriously and Heartstopper does just that. I’m expecting to fly through it because of how much I like the premise, the complex characters and the obstacles that they all face. It’s currently sitting in my Shakespeare & Co. book sleeve that I take in my bag everywhere I go in case I want to read while on the subway.” – Delia Curtis, editorial assistant

editor favorite books yarros

12. Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros

“Like the rest of my For You page on TikTok, I recently finished Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros and it's one of those books that lived up to its hype and more. It had me staying up until one in the morning to find out what was going to happen, and with that ending (!) I'm counting down the days until Iron Flame is released in November. As I've heard many others mention, it has a nostalgic dystopian feel, definitely taking me back to the days of The Hunger Games and Divergent, but with a mature twist.” – Natalie LaBarbera, assistant commerce editor

sarah stiefvater
Sarah Stiefvater

Wellness Director

Sarah Stiefvater is PureWow's Wellness Director. She's been at PureWow for ten years, and in that time has written and edited stories across all categories, but currently focuses...
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