Must-Read Books for Summer

—By Narratives Inc.

Hands holding a book

With the warm weather upon us, summer is the perfect time to enjoy a good book, whether you are spending your time reading by the lake, in a calm garden, or on a little café patio.

Kickstart your summer reading list with suggested books from seven of our team members to keep you busy. Though not your typical fluffy summer reads, we hope these recommendations leave you feeling inspired.

Cover image for the book Braiding Sweetgrass
Portrait of Charmain Schocat


Qualitative Data Analyst

Recommendation: Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants
Author: Robin Wall Kimmerer (she/her)

“I could hand you a braid of sweetgrass, as thick and shining as the plait that hung down my grandmother’s back. But it is not mine to give, nor yours to take. Wiingaashk belongs to herself. So I offer, in its place, a braid of stories meant to heal our relationship with the world.”

Braiding Sweetgrass, and Braiding Sweetgrass: For Young Adults is an accessible introduction to Indigenous ways of knowing and truth and reconciliation for people of all ages and backgrounds. Drawing upon her experiences as a scientist, a mother, and a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Kimmerer weaves together the scientific and Indigenous ways of knowing to present a powerful testimony of the reciprocal and sacred relationship between humans and the natural world. Through reflections on life, traditional stories, and intimate retellings of her own relationships with plants, Kimmerer gently guides and welcomes readers to learn to hear the language of the other beings, all our relations, in this world. Complicated and intense concepts such as colonization, truth and reconciliation, climate change, and environmental destruction are addressed with respect and careful consideration within Kimmerer’s lyrical and poetic prose.

Cover image for the book The 99 Percent Invisible City

Book Cover: The 99% Invisible City


Senior Planner

Recommendation: The 99% Invisible City: A Field Guide to the Hidden World of Everyday Design
Author: Roman Mars (he/him) and Kurt Kohlstedt (he/him)

99% Invisible shows us the intricate details of the places we live, play, and work by looking at the obvious, mundane, simple, and unnoticed things we take for granted every day and tell the most interesting story they can find behind it. There’s the upside-down stoplight in New York, the story behind love locks, what the writing spray painted on streets by construction crews really mean, and the controversy behind the inflatable waving arm guy (actually called Fly Guys). We live in intricate places made up of thousands of things we take for granted every day, designed to be noticed and not noticed at the same time. For a bonus recommendation, check out the 99% Invisible podcast for deep dives into the everyday world and the fascinating stories behind everyday things.

Narratives Inc.,