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The Business Athlete's Summer Reading Series

Do you remember when you were on summer break as a kid and your school would send you a summer reading list? A lot of the kids at my school and in my neighborhood hated those reading list, but I for one loved them. I love getting lost in a book and it was something that I enjoyed doing. As school stopped sending the summer reading list because you got older, I started to create my own. Every summer, I embarked on a journey of reading as many books as I can while I'm at the beach, at the park, or just relaxing in my backyard. This year, I want to share my summer reading list with everyone. So here are our top six books to read this summer. (All written by WOC)

1. Olga Dies Dreaming by Xochitl Gonzalez

This novel is sure to leave you in tears. This novel is based in New York City and covers the complex topic of being an immigrant and chasing the American dream.. This story and encompasses political corruption, family ties, and strain of those ties and what it's like to live the American dream as an immigrant.

2. Fresh Banana Leaves: Healing Indigenous Landscapes Through Indigenous Science by

Jessica Hernandez

This book is one of my top reads for the summer. As someone who loves to learn about the earth, and the way that we as humans interact with it, this novel is great. This novel breaks down how western conservatism has not only hurt the environment but has gone against what indigenous people have been doing for years. This novel focuses on restoration work and holistic Land management and approaches that have been used for decades by indigenous tribes and people.

3. South to America: A Journey Below the Mason-Dixon to Understand the Soul of a Nation by Imani Perry

This read is a heavy one but an important one. It follows the story of a woman returning to her roots in the South and Reminiscing on not only her childhood upbringing there, but coming to terms with Southern life and culture that is so deeply entrenched in the subjugation of people of color. This novel explores the cultural significance of the South and the sensitive and tumultuous history behind it. It breaks down the experiences of people living in this region and how it has shaped them to this day.

4. Vagabonds! by Eloghosa Osunde

If there's one thing I love, it is a dystopian novel. This read encompasses so many aspects from danger, to love, to understanding what your purpose is in life. This novel does not focus on one singular character, but a complex array of characters whose lives all intertwined in interesting ways. These characters are faced with confrontation, coming to terms with themselves, and understanding how joy can remain in all of these aspects.

5. Neruda on the Park by Cleyvis Natera

This novel, also based in New York City, covers a complex topic of gentrification. We follow a family who is facing demolition of their neighborhood before their eyes. We not only see how this family grapples with the notion of their community being torn down, but we also can see the familial strain that it causes with the family undecided on what to do next. Not only that, but we see Luz, our protagonist, deal with a romance that has conjured up with the same demolition company that is uprooting her life.

6. If an Egyptian Cannot Speak English by Noor Naga

This novel is a whirlwind. This novel follows a romance between an immigrant daughter returning to her country after political upheaval and photographer of the recent revolution. This novel not only deals with the complexities of war and displacement, but also delves into identity politics and understanding who one is and where one belongs.

Have you read any of the books on our list or are you planning to? Let us know your thoughts in the comments. We can't wait to hear from you!

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