Did you know that summer reading programs began in the 1890s as a way to encourage school children, particularly those in urban areas, to read during their summer vacation?

To keep the tradition alive, our staff shared their current favorites for our own VIVA summer reading list. So go ahead, dig your toes into the sand with Half of a Yellow Sun or stay cool by the pool with the Legend series. Whatever your plans are this summer, pair up with a good book to read.

If you get to read these, let us know what you think. Talking about great books is like talking about strategy – we really can’t get enough!

The VIVA Team’s Summer Reading List

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    The Moment of Lift by Melinda Gates

    Managing Partner Nicole Tanner says, “Melinda Gates is an inspirational, driving force of social change. People across the world have inspired her and strengthened her belief that when you invest in women’s health and empowerment, it has a ripple effect, helping families, communities, and countries achieve long-lasting benefits.”

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    The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

    Consultant Iris Elent shares, “It’s a crazy, complex book. But if you are up for the challenge, I definitely recommend it for its pure creativity and uniqueness.”

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    An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield

    Associate Communications Director Brittany Hall wasn’t one of the over 42 MILLION people who watched Chris Hadfield’s cover of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” (the first music video filmed in space).  She says, “I was drawn to this book out of innate curiosity about the space program. Col. Hadfield describes the lessons he learned during his career as first Canadian in space and later the first Canadian Commander of the International Space Station with such humility and earnest relatability that it’s easy to forget he is, in fact, a rocket scientist.”

  • Laura Bowen

    The Bookseller by Cynthia Swanson

    Communications Director Laura Bowen says, “This book is great beach read. It’s sort of a Sliding Doors-type story where the main character is toggling between two worlds and it definitely keeps you guessing–but it’s light enough for summer reading.”

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    The Legend Trilogy by Marie Lu

    Graphic Designer Amber Atkinson is a science-fiction aficionado. She just started the Legend trilogy and is hooked! “I am captivated by this series and wanted to keep reading. I will probably read all 3 this summer!”

Other books worth reading this summer:

  • This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel
  • Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens 
  • A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
  • Brújulas que buscan sonrisas perdidas by Albert Espinosa 
  • Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie