What do you do with those long summer days? Read a book!

Lulu's 2018 Summer Reading List

Experts, psychologists, and authors agree that reading can make you more empathetic. Literary fiction helps us better understand each other and how we think. That alone is interesting and notable, but what does it have to do with summer?

deckchairs on the beach

Summer is here!

Because summer is traditionally a time to read lighter, more character driven books. Spend a moment or two on the web and I’m sure you’ll find more than a few “summer reading lists” or “best beach reads” articles. In fact, since you’re reading this, it’s safe to say you’ve found at least one!

Make the most of your summer travels with a good book (or two or three). All the interesting scientific and educational reasons aside, reading a fun book on a beach—waves lapping gently, kids playing around you, sun shining—what could possibly be better?

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You can always get caught up on some classic summer reading at the beach, but if you’re looking for something a little new or different, Lulu has got the Indie shopping list for you!

Travel Reading

Summer is always a time for travel and exploration. Indie writers are great for these kinds of books, since the most well-traveled among us are rarely the most literary as well. Lulu’s self-publishing gives them all an outlet for their awesome stories. Here’s a few of our favorites.


98 Days Of Wind: The Greatest Fail Of Our Life

On March 4th, 2017, Team UltraPedestrian set out to do that which had never before been done: a double thru-hike of the Grand Enchantment Trail. Through this collection of trail dispatches, video transcripts, journal excerpts, and short narratives their journey unfolds in a rapid-fire staccato stream-of-consciousness. Join Ras and Kathy while they push their minds, bodies, and relationship to the limits and beyond as they struggle to endure 98 Days of Wind.

98 Days Of Wind: The Greatest Fail Of Our Life

In the Driver’s Seat: An American Road Trip

Dan Murphy set about to reach all fifty states. On his journey, he drove across the USA and navigated mountains, desert, rivers, valleys and lived to tell about it, barely. This epic adventure is series of road trips that will make you laugh, cry, and ponder the meaning of life. You’ll want to get on the road as soon as you finish reading about his adventures. This is the only available edition with full-color photos.

In the Driver's Seat: An American Road Trip

My United States Travel Journal

The ultimate travel companion for kids traveling within the United States. A travel journal for roadschoolers, worldschoolers and kids taking extended holidays. Packed with an exciting variety of pages to record your adventures and stimulate travel inspired learning. Designed for ages 7+. A4 spiral-bound journal with 134 pages to record at least 10 weeks of travel in up to 9 destinations. EXPLORE -About me -Packing list -Map of the US -Visiting a state JOURNAL -70 journaling pages to record at least 10 weeks of travel – Keepsakes and mementos TRAVEL -Journey plan and diary -Research and observations -Memorable moments LEARN -Man-made landmarks -My Itinerary -Celebrating a local holiday -Similarities and differences -Wildlife tracker -My new friends

My United States Travel Journal

Beach Reading


These are the books we pack into our beach bag alongside some SPF-50, a bottle of water, and our beach blanket. While the day beautifully passes us by, we get lost in a story. Beach reads are the purest essence of summer. These are the books that stay with us, even the most pulp of adventures or mysteries become vital during those warm and sunny hours spent at the beach.


Miss Understood

Lynette Greenfield stakes out, as firmly as ever, the position of poetry in a world where language registers have been largely mellowed by forces of oppression. Greenfield’s poems unfold in settings; local streets, café’s, and cities, yet these poems oppose grand pronouncements and renounce engagement. We see her continual evolution toward memory, but the role of poetry is still both vital and deeply emotional. These new poems, pitched at a register slightly lower than that of praise, offer a quiet surprise out of wise and hard-earned scepticism.

Miss Understood

A Trufflesome Murder

The next course is to die for. Detective Bentley and Sergeant Yorga find themselves at a resort during a culinary festival. The Inn at River Columbia is home to the Great Chefs of Today festival, where world renowned culinary artists intend to induct a new member into their number. But a clever killer with a deadly recipe may keep that from happening. Can Bentley and Yorga catch a murderer before his tricks lead to grave consequences?

A Trufflesome Murder

Steel Town Shootout

Police Chief William Callahan calls on his experience as a Seventh Cavalry scout, and some important childhood memories, to help him stop a crime spree menacing a turn of the twentieth century riverside steel town.

Steel Town Shootout

Get Real Reading

While the beach is historically the place to sit and dive into a lavish fictional world, some readers prefer keeping it a little more real. Memoir and creative nonfiction are both growing genres with excellent authors telling deeply personal stories of their trials, successes, and lives. If you’re more of a memoir reader, we’ve got you covered with these great titles.


From Fatherless to Fatherhood

Author and world renowned actor Omar Epps chronicles his journey from humble beginnings in Brooklyn, New York, to the bright lights of Hollywood. Having grown up without his biological father, then becoming a father himself, Epps shares his story of pain and triumph in a uniquely visceral way. It’s an intimate, unapologetic, and emotional conversation about childhood, manhood, and parenting. From Fatherless to Fatherhood touches on many themes surrounding the importance of family and community. It also shows how men can break the cycle of fatherlessness within their families, and come to terms with their own issues surrounding their fathers. Fatherhood is about much more than providing food and shelter for a child. It’s about much more than cutting a check to check a box. Fatherhood is about being active in a child’s life, and cultivating those sacred bonds of family. It’s about guiding and teaching a child how to be a loving, honest, respectful individual who will permeate goodness to all they encounter.

From Fatherless to Fatherhood

Entrepreneurial Life: The Path From Startup to Market Leader

Entrepreneurial Life tells the fascinating history of CaptiveAire, the largest commercial kitchen ventilation company in North America. From the beginning, CaptiveAire’s story is not a typical one. Forged by Bob Luddy during a growing recession, with little capital, and as a newcomer to the region—his startup should not have survived, much less taken the trajectory it has had. In these pages, Luddy shares some of the values he learned as one of eight children in a “hard-scrabble, can-do” family and details his take on the type of leadership, innovation, financial management, and marketing strategy that has spurred his manufacturing company to grow at a remarkable pace over the course of forty-plus years at the helm. Entrepreneurial Life reveals Luddy’s philosophy on all things entrepreneurship, character, and the skills necessary for achieving your fullest potential, no matter what your calling.

Entrepreneurial Life: The Path From Startup to Market Leader

Amidst Latvians During the Holocaust

“One of the best books of 2011″…A nerve-wracking saga in which life and death depend on a capricious fate…absorbing lucidity…vivid portraits…simple moral vision that resonates: “I became immunized against prejudice”. A testament of remarkable clarity and humanity, wrung from dark experience.— KIRKUS REVIEWS. ***Surviving the Holocaust by a hair, Anders became a brilliant scientist. Part I is a memoir of his youth, including the Soviet and German occupations of Latvia. Part II discusses, with objectivity and precision, Latvian conduct during WWII. —ANDREW EZERGAILIS, Professor of History, Ithaca, NY. ***Anders survived by an outright lie (invented by his father) that his mother was a German foundling raised by a Jewish couple. His father was soon executed, but Edward and his mother bluffed their way through the nightmarish years of the German occupation (1941-1945). —MORRIS HALLE, Institute Professor of Linguistics, MIT, Cambridge, MA.

Amidst Latvians During the Holocaust

Keep the Kids Reading

While you’re kicking back, soaking in the sun and deep in your summer reading list, what are your kids up to? Are they staring with hunched shoulders at a screen? If so, get them off that device and give them some reading too! There’s never been a better time to start a vacation reading tradition than now!


The Art of Being Here

Harrison: A boy deathly infatuated with a temptress Emily: A mental girl trying to get better August: The girl everyone loves, but no one knows Jason: The bullshit boy Kennedy: The girl who knows too much Five teens, just trying to learn the art of being here. – cover by Michael Howard –

The Art of Being Here

The Wailing

Sunny Allison wants one thing: a better life for her siblings. And only she can give it to them. — This book in one in a growing collection of Relevant Reads, stories that are “easy to read and hard to put down.” This new genre of literature is intended to improve teen and young adult literacy by providing compelling yet approachable books as tools for learning. 100% OF THE PROCEEDS FROM THE SALE OF THESE BOOKS WILL GO DIRECTLY TOWARDS CROWD-SOURCING NEW RELEVANT READS AND IDENTIFYING MORE STRUGGLING READERS IN NEED OF RESOURCES TO IMPROVE THEIR LITERACY.

The Wailing

Who Rescued Who?: Sashi’s Story

Eight-year-old Jillian Miller has just moved with her family to a new house in a new town. Jillian doesn’t really like change that much, but she likes her new room, and she knows she’s going to have to make it work. As she settles in and meets the new neighbors—including their dog—she hopes that one day she’ll have a dog of her own. Then, one morning on a local TV show, Jillian sees a dog available for adoption and just knows that this is the right dog for her. She and her family go to meet the dog and then adopt her, calling her Sashi—and that’s when their lives begin to change. The Millers have their work cut out for them in helping Sashi adjust to a new life, but they know it will be worth it. After all, Sashi is a very special dog! Based on a true story, this book for young readers shows that things don’t always turn out as planned and that love knows no boundaries in either human or animal world.

Who Rescued Who?: Sashi’s Story

Your Reading List

Lulu’s Bookstore is jammed full with new and independently published books covering a truly wild range of topics. When I think summer reading, it’s character-driven stories that take me to another world. I want to leave my day to day concerns behind and immerse myself in the story.

That’s not for everyone though. And that’s exactly what makes the Lulu Bookstore so awesome. You can find so many different kinds of books. History. Fiction. Fantasy. Memoir. Journals. Poetry. If you can imagine it, there’s a good chance a Lulu author has a book about it.

Share your summer reading list in the comments and help inspire other readers! 

3 thoughts on “What do you do with those long summer days? Read a book!”

    1. LEN, try going out on a limb and reading one of the recommendations. As the editor said, maybe doing so will expand empathy within you, and you might even surprise yourself.

  1. The main magic of reading, it seems to me, is that it awakens the imagination. One of the hypotheses, why man became so clever, separated from animals, in that he learned to imagine. And when we read, we give free rein to fantasy and imagination. Moreover, modern books in the non-fiction genre, in my opinion, in this sense are more interesting and significant than fiction. We meet in them both a detective story and elements of psychoanalysis, sometimes deep spiritual dramas unfold there. Did you know that, a quote from Wikipedia: “The history of reading dates back to the invention of writing during the 4th millennium BC. Although reading print text is now an important way for the general population to access information, this has not always been the case. With some exceptions, only a small percentage of the population in many countries was considered literate before the Industrial Revolution. Some of the pre-modern societies with generally high literacy rates included classical Athens and the Islamic Caliphate”, source -https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reading.

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