Anyone who has seen Netflix’s heartwarming and hilarious Queer Eye is smitten with Jonathan Van Ness. (If you’re one of the five people who hasn’t, add it to your binge watch list post haste.) The grooming guru is also known for his web series parody Gay of Thrones, for his fervent forays into figure skating, and for his gorgeous memoir Over the Top. In it Van Ness describes his emotional journey from growing up gay in a small Midwestern town (spoiler: it wasn’t great), and the grit and courage it took for him to blossom into the icon of positivity he is today.
So what is Jonathan Van Ness reading this summer, and why? Says Van Ness: “For me, the perfect summer read is like broccoli with cheese on top: it’s nourishing and gives you something you need, but it’s also fun and easy to devour. That’s why I chose these four books. Vegetables can be delicious, who knew?”
Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid
This is a super engaging page-turner, but it also has some really powerful things to say about race, privilege, and being an adult.
Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
This novel is the queer rom-com of my dreams. The Prince of England falling in love with the son of the US president?? AND the president is a woman?? Yes please. This book is so engaging and fun to read, and just the perfect cozy escapism from everything going on in the world right now.
Do You Mind If I Cancel?: (Things That Still Annoy Me) by Gary Janetti
I’m obsessed with Gary Janetti’s Instagram and his television writing, so I knew I’d also be obsessed with his book. It’s so relatable, so smart, and laugh-out-loud funny.
Broken People by Sam Lansky
You’ll cry and laugh and cry again. Sam Lansky is the most gorgeous writer, and this—his second book but first novel—is just magical. It’s a beautiful story about mental health, memory, and recovery.
See which books the grooming guru, podcaster, and television personality recommends, and how he defines the perfect summer read.