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This summer, read one (or all) of these 8 author-recommended books

Your next title might be a poignant memoir by an indie rock star or a novel rooted in Norse mythology.

Warm months are upon us, which means it's time to pack your bags for a destination trip or a picnic at the park. If you tote around a book no matter where you decide to spend your summer, then this season is an especially exciting time to read.

To help you narrow down your to-be-read list, TODAY welcomed Isaac Fitzgerald, bestselling author of "How to be a Pirate" and speaker, and Victoria Aveyard, New York Times bestselling author of "Realm Breaker."

Two avid readers in their own right, they've recommended a range of titles from a poignant memoir by an indie rock star to Norse mythology. Keep scrolling to find your next page-turner.

Isaac FItzgerald's picks


"Love in Color," by Bolu Babalola

Fitzgerald's first pick is this debut collection of short stories by internationally acclaimed writer Bolu Babalola. "Through thirteen magnificent short stories, most retellings of folktales and myths from all over the world, but with some original stories as well, Babalola turns romance tropes on their head while hopping genres and time periods to bring you brilliant, crystal clear, and often humorous stories about that ever-amorphous human emotion: love," Fitzgerald said.


"The Anthropocene Reviewed," by John Green

"If you're looking for a little hope this summer look no further than John Green's latest essay collection, 'The Anthropocene Reviewed,'" FItzgerald said. Bestselling author Green returns to the page with "essays on a human-centered planet." Adapted and expanded from Green's podcast, these personal essays explore humanity in every detail both funny and small to complex and powerful.

Author's choice

"Crying in H Mart," by Michelle Zauner

In 2018, Michelle Zauner, also known under her indie rock band name Japanese Breakfast, wrote a viral New Yorker essay about being Korean American, losing her mom and crying in H Mart. Now in her debut memoir, she grapples with her Korean culture through food and her relationship with her dying mother. "A clear-eyed look at illness and death, Crying in H Mart will surely have you crying more than once, no matter where you read it," Fitzgerald said.

Children's/young adult

"Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry," by Joya Goffney

If you love a good high school rom com, try this debut young adult novel. It follows the journey of Quinn, who is blackmailed when a journal full of her private lists goes missing. "Filled with compelling conversations about race, friendship, honesty, and the importance of authenticity, this book is a wonder, and is perfect for readers of all ages," FItzgerald said."

Victoria Aveyard's picks


"The Witch's Heart," by Genevieve Gornichec

"For fans of Madeline Miller's Circe, this is Norse mythology through the eyes of another forgotten woman: Angrboda, Loki's wife and a powerful witch hunted by the Norse gods," Aveyard said.


"African Europeans," by Olivette Otele

"In a deep and immersive dive, Professor Otele upends the idea of lilywhite European history, tracing African presence and influence from Rome to present day," Aveyard said. "Through this lens, she examines the effect of colonization, racism, and slavery on cultural identity."

Author's choice

"Witches Steeped in Gold," by Ciannon Smart

"In this Jamaica-inspired young adult fantasy, two rival witches, a vengeful prisoner and a doomed princess, join forces against a common enemy," Aveyard said.

Children's/young adult

Lore by Alexandra Bracken

"Every seven years, the descendants of Greek heroes battle the still-living gods to claim their power," Aveyard said. "Teenager Lore wants no part of this bloody heritage but is forced to ally with the goddess Athena, both to find out who killed her parents – and to survive."

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