Culture June 5, 2018
Yes, "Pride and Prejudice" made this list.
Summer is here and you know what that means: it’s time to hit the books.
After the end of a busy semester, the last thing you probably want to do is crack open another book. A “summer reading list” may not seem all that enticing. But student or not, when was the last time you read for pleasure?
Like, I-just-picked-up-this-book-and-couldn’t-put-it-down-for-five-hours-and-I-definitely-skipped-a-meal-and-ignored-some-responsibilities-but-wait-let-me-tell-you-about-this-story-and-these-characters-that-I-am-maybe-now-obsessed-with pleasure.
Maybe it’s been a while, but fear not, ENTITY is here with the best summer reading list. From fiction to non-fiction, any of these books will make great companions for the beach, the pool or maybe even that long plane ride you have coming up.
So now, you can get your tan on, relax and stimulate your mind: the true trifecta.
Grab your sunblock, beach towel and let’s get to reading with our top ten reading list.
Maybe this is not the first book you think of when you’re thinking of a light summer read, but just as fire means heat, heat means summer, right? Don’t worry, that’s not the only reason this classic made the list.
If you’re not familiar with “Farenheit 451,” this book follows firefighter Guy Montag, a resident of a dystopian future. However, Montag’s not a firefighter in the traditional sense of the word. His job is to start fires, not put them out, all in the name of destroying books which are illegal to possess.
Whether you’ve read this book before or not, there are plenty of reasons to check it out this summer. First, who doesn’t love a little sci-fi that presents parallels to our own world? Second, HBO just released a movie adaptation starring Michael B. Jordan. So you can spend the day reading the book (it’s a fairly short novella), pop some popcorn and make it a movie night.
Speaking of books adapted into movies, let us introduce you to “Crazy Rich Asians.”
This book is about meeting the relatives for the first time – something we can all relate to, but when the protagonist Rachel finds out that her boyfriend’s family is basically royalty in Singapore, well, maybe that’s where most of us stop seeing the similarities. As she spends the summer with the family, she faces not only the normal stresses of trying to impress the family but also the struggle of proving herself worthy of their son.
There’s nothing like indulging in a little romance and drama over the summer – even if it isn’t your own. Check out the book before the movie releases on August 15!
This New York Times Bestseller was also named a best book of the year by The Washington Post, NPR, Amazon and Barnes & Noble, among others. It is truly a must-read.
Ng’s second novel opens with the disclosure that someone has set a house fire in the progressive suburb of Cleveland, where the story takes place. Without giving too much away, the story deals with themes of identity, race and motherhood.
As Eleanor Henderson of the New York Times said in her review, the book artfully deals with the supposition that we are living in a color-blind post-racial society, saying, “The magic of this novel lies in its power to implicate all of its characters — and likely many of its readers — in that innocent delusion. Who set the little fires everywhere? We keep reading to find out, even as we suspect that it could be us with ash on our hands.”
If you’re into young adult fiction, this Jenny Han novel is required reading.
The story follows sixteen-year-old Lara Jean Song. Lara Jean is in the habit of writing letters to boys she’s loved as a way of letting go of them, whether or not they were ever aware of her feelings for them (spoiler alert: they never are). Lara’s letters are intensely personal, but they’re for her eyes only, so all is fine and well, until one day Lara’s letters somehow get sent out.
“To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” is earnest and light-hearted, and the first of a trilogy. And if you needed more incentive to watch it, Netflix will be streaming a movie adaptation of the book starting August 17.
More YA fiction, hooray!
This companion piece to Julie Murphy’s New York Times #1 Bestseller “Dumplin'” is another winner. You don’t have to read “Dumplin'” to understand “Puddin’,” which follows the story of Millie Michalchuk, a teenager who has attended fat camp yearly since she was young. Now, she plans on following her secret dream and kissing her crush, but over the course of the semester, things take a turn for the unexpected when she finds herself spending time with popular girl Callie Reyes.
Check out the book that Becky Albertalli, author of “Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda,” heralds as the “platonic love story of a lifetime.” Who doesn’t love a story about friendship?
One more YA then we’ll move on. But we couldn’t make a summer reading list and not include at least one book from the reigning YA queen, Sarah Dessen.
While it was hard to choose just one of Dessen’s many books (seriously, go read them all), this one puts you in that summer mood. The protagonist, Auden, finds herself staying with her dad for the summer in a quaint beach town. As she meets new friends and connects especially with Eli, an insomniac just like Auden, the lifelong perfectionist discovers what being young is all about.
Trust us, this is one you’re going to want to read.
Now here’s a book you have to read, whether you’re a classics lover or not.
Badass female author? Check. Humor? Check. Romance? Check. Movie adaptation(s)? You bet.
You’ve probably heard of “Pride and Prejudice” before and not without reason. This novel about the quick-witted and independent Elizabeth Bennet follows her somewhat tumultuous relationship with the arrogant Fitzwilliam Darcy. The events that ensue are both entertaining and enlightening, revealing that maybe our first impressions can be too harsh.
If you’re looking for something a bit more dramatic this summer, check out Rachel Kushner’s novel.
This book is narrated by the women of the Stanville Women’s Correctional Facility. That’s right, fans of “Orange is the New Black.” While it’s clear the women in this novel are guilty of the crimes they are in prison for, their stories provide a starting and necessary view of the issues inherent in our contemporary penal system.
Perhaps Vanity Fair sums this book up best in one word: “Electrifying.”
What other electrifying works are out there, you may ask? Look no further than “The Electric Woman” by Tessa Fontaine.
In her memoir, Fontaine details her journey as a member of America’s last traveling sideshow as well as her relationship with her mother. This book is sure to be as entertaining as any work of fiction found on this list, presenting a powerful story of overcoming fears and unconditional love.
If you’re seeking out some truly excellent works of nonfiction, we are happy to inform you your search is over. Written by the incomparable Joan Didion, “South and West” is your perfect summer read.
Never heard of Joan Didion? She’s a journalist most famous for her literary journalism and the effortlessly cool attitude she exudes. Her writing is made up of the kind of lines that lodge themselves deep in your brain, making her words instantly recognizable whenever you chance upon them again.
“South and West” is a collection of essays and articles literally from two of Didion’s notebooks. One, from a road trip she took through the south in June of 1970, and another from the 1976 trial of Patty Hearst.
There’s not much to say about her work other than to read it. It’ll speak for itself.
Now that you have all this information, go out and get these books – whether they be in the form of eBooks, audiobooks, library books or even a physical copy to keep. And don’t forget to enjoy your summer reads!
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