Top Books for Your Summer Reading List + Dr. Amen’s Picks!

If there was an easy way to boost your intelligence, comprehension, imagination, critical thinking, and vocabulary every day, would you do it?

Well, you can!

Reading 101

Reading books can help expand your knowledge, while also stimulating your brain in unique ways.

Reading is more mentally demanding than simply processing images or speech. When you read, and work to understand a concept or try to picture a character or story, different parts of your brain – such as vision, language, and associative learning – begin working together.

And, regardless of whether you’re right- or left-brained, you use both hemispheres of the brain when reading.

Let’s look at some of the benefits of reading…

3 Brain Healthy Benefits of Reading

Top Books to Read This Summer | Best Reading List Recommendations Sharpens the Brain

Reading can help increase your brain power. The mental stimulation it provides stokes the development of new neurons, which can help improve brain functioning.

Another benefit of reading is that it can fire the imagination. It requires you to create mental images of the people, places, and actions described in the book.

Of course, reading requires you to remember all those people and places too. Supporting memory is just one way reading can help keep your cognition sharp over the long-haul.

Reading also can help change the structure of the brain. One study showed that a group of 8- to 10-year-old poor readers could be trained to become better readers over time.

Expands Your Vocabulary

Reading is a great way to expand your vocabulary. It’s also an effective way to become a more complete, competent writer.

Your word knowledge and use of grammar may improve with the regular habit of reading. Also, reading a variety of fiction and nonfiction books can provide a broad array of concepts and terms which may help you become a more well-rounded person.

Helps Reduce Stress

Many people find reading to be a relaxing activity. Some even hardwire reading time into their daily schedule.

Reading may work just as well as other relaxation methods, such as taking a walk or drinking a cup of tea. The Sleep Foundation suggests winding down at least 30 minutes before bed with reading (from a book, not a digital device), stating it helps you “get into the right frame of mind for sleep.”

Top Books for Your Summer Reading List

If you’re looking to add some quality books to your summer reading list, or if you’ve never had a summer reading list, here are some top selections in several different categories. For the week of May 15, 2022, these are the New York Times Best Sellers…


(Print & E-Book)

“It Ends with Us” by Colleen Hoover

“Dream Town” by David Baldacci

“City on Fire” Don Winslow

“Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens

“Verity” by Colleen Hoover


Young Adult Hardcover

“Welcome to the Universe” by Neil deGrasse Tyson, Michael A. Strauss, and J. Richard Gott

“One of Us Is Lying” by Karen M. McManus

“Gallant” by V.E. Schwab

“She Gets the Girl” by Rachael Lippincott and Alyson Derrick

“You’ve Reached Sam” by Dustin Thao


(Print & E-Book)

“Finding Me” by Viola Davis

“The Palace Papers” by Tina Brown

“The Body Keeps the Score” by Bessel van der Kolk

“Unmasked” by Paul Holes

“Freezing Order” by Bill Browder


Children’s Middle-Grade Hardcover

“Wonder” by R.J. Palacio

“Refugee” by Alan Gratz

“The Last Cuentista” by Donna Barba Higuera

“Daughter of the Deep” by Rick Riordan

“Witchlings” by Claribel A. Ortega

Advice, How-To & Miscellaneous

“Atomic Habits” by James Clear

“The Mothers and Daughters of the Bible Speak” by Shannon Bream

“Good Eats 4: The Final Years” by Alton Brown

“Atlas of the Heart” by Brene Brown

“Half Baked Harvest Every Day” by Tieghan Gerard

Dr. Amen’s Top Book Recommendations

Here are some health and wellness books Dr. Daniel Amen highly recommends…

Also, be sure to grab a copy of Dr. Amen’s new book, You, Happier.”

In my newest book You, Happier it reveals that happiness is a brain function. With a healthier brain always comes a happier life. Creating consistent happiness is a daily journey. Read about the 7 neuroscience-based habits, rituals, and choices that will boost your mood and help you live each day with clearly defined values, purpose, and goals.

At BrainMD, we’re dedicated to providing the highest purity nutrients to improve your physical health and overall well-being. For more information about our full list of brain healthy supplements, please visit us at BrainMD.

Keith Rowe