"What book or author should everyone read? Recommendations from the 826 Network"

At 826, we’re all guilty of having a reading list a mile long. Earlier this year, we asked the 826 Network, “What book or author should everyone read/know about?” Answers ranged from classics, like Toni Morrison, to new favorites, like Javier Zamora, and of course, 826 authors!

We compiled everyone’s answers into this year’s 826 Summer Reading List! With the longer days and warmer weather, take a trip to your local library and bookstore, and find your perfect summer companions below.

As always, you can find 826 books written by students across the country in-stores at 826 chapters and online through our online bookstore!

Bita Nazarian, Executive Director, 826 Valencia:
“So hard to choose a book, so I will say Toni Morrison!”

Denise Ervin, Program Manager, 826michigan:
“I think everyone should read Hanif Abduraqqib’s Go Ahead in the Rain:  Notes to a Tribe Called Quest.”

“You cannot go wrong with Patricia Smith’s, Summer!”

Olivia McGovern, High School Program Specialist, 826 Boston:
“I recently LOVED Lesser Known Monsters of the 21st Century [by Kim Fu].

Karen Sama, Out-of-School Time Program Director, 826 Boston:
“I am a big fan of Midnight Riot by Ben Aaronovitch”

Vivian Sming, former Design Director, 826 Valencia:
“826 authors!” 

Annie Chen, Writers’ Room Manager, 826 MSP:
And Born Confused

Gabi Oliveira, Research Manager, 826 National:
“I think everyone needs to read Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler.”

Anna Griffin, Director of 826 Digital Content and Partnerships, 826 National:
Solito by Javier Zamora!”

Aldo Puicon, former Design Manager, 826LA:
“My favorite middle grade author of the moment: Erin Estrada Kelly (everything and everything from her I’ve loved so far.) During the winter, I read A Rover’s Story by Jasmine Warga and wow!”

Julia Sweeney, After-School Programs Coordinator, 826 Valencia:
“I love 12 moons by Mary Oliver”

Kai Lokken, Development Manager, 826 National:
The Secret Lives of Church Ladies by Deesha Philyaw”

Ellen Fee, Program & Volunteer Manager, 826 MSP:
The must-read book is Future Home of the Living God by Louise Erdrich”

Larry Hansen, former Stores Associate, 826LA:
Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury”

Abbey Hayward, Director of Operations and Finance, 826 National:
“Anything from Haruki Murakami.”

Summer Medina, Volunteer and Programs Coordinator, 826NYC:
“Also, I think everyone should read Patricia Smith’s Incendiary Art!”

Amani Nephew, Program Coordinator, 826NYC:
“The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man by James Weldon Johnson.”

Megan Derry, Graphic Designer, 826 National:
“[Author] Sally Rooney!!!!!”

Zachary Clark, Executive Director, 826DC:
The Eight Mountains by Pablo Cognetti”

Kayla Chenault, Program & Volunteer Coordinator, 826michigan:
“I think everyone should read Chevy in the Hole by Kelsey Ronan or How Much of These Hills is Gold by C. Pam Zhang.”

Zaneta Jung, Communications Manager, 826 National:
The Office of Historical Corrections by Danielle Evans! One of the best short story collections I’ve ever!

Cristopher Lee, Associate Director of School Programs, 826DC:
“An author I think everyone should read is Akwaeke Emezi. I recommend Pet, because it’s one that can be shared with students.”

Liza Hale, Director of Programs, 826CHI:
The Book of Delights by Ross Gay.”

Meghan Dove McAffee, 826 Digital Curriculum Designer, 826 National:
“All About Love: New Visions by bell hooks!”


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