6 Summer Reads for Smart Girls

There's something to be said for a killer beach read, but who's to say you can't bring a little depth to the shore? Ponder life's mysteries under the stars this summer with these 6 page-turners. Pick up a copy for yourself or give as a gift to one of your truth-seeking sisters.

Letters to a Young Poet – Rainer Maria Rilke

Wrestling with some seemingly unanswerable questions? Rilke's got your back. 

"Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer." - Rilke

Leaves of Grass – Walt Whitman

A beautiful, book-long poem that celebrates the human condition and the complexity of who we really are. “Do I contradict myself? Very well, I contradict myself: I contain multitudes.” 

The Awakening – Kate Chopin

Descriptive prose and rich metaphors color this book, which debuted to widespread controversy in 1899. Largely considered the earliest American novel centered around a powerful female protagonist, the book was censored and considered taboo for its frank portrayal of a woman who went against society to pursue her pleasure. 

The Bluest Eye – Toni Morrison

Any of Morrison’s works are an education, each sentence a revelation on the human condition and relationships. Psychologically gripping, you won't be able to put this one down.

The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho

A beautiful book, in the spirit of Le Petit Prince, about following your dreams and the true meaning of love.

The Tibetan Book of the Dead - translated by Padma Sambhava 

If you're interested in how different religions and cultures interpret life and death, this is right up your ally. The Tibetan Book of the Dead is one of the many mortuary texts of the Nyingma sect of Tibetan Buddhism, but this translation is effortless and its descriptions of enlightenment and rebirth are captivating.