You're scouring The New York Times Best Sellers list, desperate to find the book that shows the perfect you: mysterious, yet inviting; attractive, yet humble — but you're left running in circles.

Allow our expert advice to guide you toward the perfect summer read — you have more important things to focus on this summer, like getting that perfect sunburned, aloe-vera-slathered bod in the Hamptons.

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

A critically acclaimed classic (and a favorite of pretentious manipulators on South Campus), The Catcher in the Rye will have you fluent in Holden Caulfieldisms, calling everyone who's just trying to participate in your discussion section a “phony.”

While you sit back on the beach, let this book feed your delusion that you're not like other girls. Pretend your parents aren't in the 1%, all while feigning interest in your econ and poli sci double major.

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff

Written for 3-to-8-year-olds with a Lexile measure of AD410L, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie is an easy read for all non-SESP students. With difficult to pronounce words like “comfortable” (com-fort-a-ble) and “remember” (re-mem-ber), this one will keep social policy majors busy for at least a couple of hours while they listen to the waves crash and their McCormick friends rant about how they have to “do math and not sleep.”

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

This one's for all you manipulative little business boys who are looking to climb the Northwestern social ladder. You've tried everything: the sailing team, rushing AKPsi — well, actually, that's all you've tried.

This read will guarantee that someone's dad with a finance job will approach you, even if he's asking, "Do we have a problem?" because you popped his daughter's beach ball with your Pit Vipers.

Pick up this book, and in no time you'll be surrounded by like-minded people with a superiority complex. They might not necessarily like you, but that's not what this book is about, and if you're reading this, let's be honest: Friends aren't your first priority.

It Ends with Us: A Novel by Colleen Hoover

Because recommending Beach Read would be too obvious. This mainstream BookTok favorite is sure to keep the creative writers and liberal arts majors interested as they relax with their toes in the sand.

You might swear you read for intellectual enrichment, but it's summer, for god's sake; you can't be expected to carry Steinbeck all the way to your cabana and back. Plus, It Ends with Us and its Wattpad-in-print sensibilities will inspire you to write again by showing you just how low the bar is for New York Times bestsellers. Lay back and enjoy thinking, “I could've written this.”

Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance

If you’re looking to become the next billionaire that jets off to space on their own dime (looking at you, McCormick industrial engineers), an Elon Musk biography is the place to start. For Musk, step one was coming to terms with being unlikeable. While that may be easy for Northwestern engineers, this book is still a must-read for any McCormick student.

Once you’re finished with Musk’s biography, you may find Joe Rogan’s podcasts to be just as helpful in your journey toward being the most insufferable “you” you can be.


Writing Bennie Goldfarb

Editing Lauren Cohn and Julia Lucas

Print Design Bennie Goldfarb

Web Design & Development Aditi Ram