Jay Manuel's 2020 summer reads

Sarah Gelman on August 14, 2020
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Jay Manuel's 2020 summer reads

Jay Manuel, perhaps best known as the Creative Director of the wildly popular show America’s Next Top Model, has another occupation to add to his resume: author. Manuel recently released his debut novel, The Wig, the B*tch & the Meltdown. It’s a satirical look at a fictional reality television show about modeling hosted by a difficult Supermodel. Hmmm, sound familiar to anyone? Manuel’s sassy takedown of ANTM (that’s what we superfans call it) is the perfect summer treat. And like many of us, Manuel is looking to escape from reality. As he shared:

I think it’s fair to say that 2020 is no longer in the running of becoming America’s Next Top Year. As I sit here looking out over my backyard—while quarantining at home (and let’s be honest, peeking out of one eye for the locusts to appear)—I think it’s only appropriate that this year’s Summer Reading list be one of self-reflection, preservation, healing, and hope in a time that has been challenging for every one of us. Here is my Summer 2020 Reading Guide on how to survive and thrive in what many people are referring to as, “Quite possibly—but most definitely not (fingers crossed)—maybe...the end of the world as we know it."

Here’s his list of what books he’s read and loved this summer.


A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

I’ve read this book several times and it is the perfect Summer read for me, especially for a “Quarantine Summer.” I try to read a chapter a day, because I find it helps me keep everything in perspective as the world is struggling right now. It helps me find the silver lining and gratitude on even the most difficult of days.


The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson

Let’s face it, we’re all guilty at some point in our lives of caring too much about what others think of us. This is a book that will empower you. It contains sage advice at a time when we’re all caught up with external validation.


The Chiffon Trenches by André Leon Talley

As one of the most powerful black voices in the fashion industry—an industry rife with racism—I found André’s journey on how he overcame all of the prejudices in a system designed to exclude him, so inspiring. I was captivated by his singular voice and left in awe of his tenacity. I consider it an honor to call him a colleague and friend.


The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates

This book is pure magic. I think it’s important for all, no matter what has happened to us in our past, to be able to define our own narrative. The Water Dancer is a powerful lesson about no matter how dark our history is, we can still see the light.


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