It’s been a while since I’ve gotten the chance to really read outside of my classes. I’ve been stuck in the middle of Emma for far too long despite loving every minute of it. But with summer just around the corner, I’m extremely ready to not only have the time to read again, but to have the ability to read on the beach all summer long. This is a list of great books for the beach, but in all honesty, it’ll just be a few (very) random recommendations from yours truly.
Wicked was one of my favorite books that I read last summer. It’s not very much like the play, but it’s great if you’re looking for something that will force you into an existential crisis over the idea of how evil is viewed. Where the play is tragic in its own way, the book is far darker and offers less moral absolutes. Plus, the pages of my copy are green at the ends, so it looks hella cool.
2. Pride and Prejudice
Jane Austen is one of my favorite authors of all time, and Pride and Prejudice is, to me, a perfect novel. There’s some mystery, intrigue, fabulous character development, and just general awesomeness. If you’ve never read Jane Austen before, I highly recommend it, especially as an early feminist novel or simply to read a classic.
3. Survival of the Sickest
This is less of a novel and more of an intellectually stimulating book, and one of my favorites that I’ve had the pleasure of reading poolside. If you’re interested in biology at all, then this could be a great book for you this summer. Survival of the Sickest examines the evolution of certain disorders such as hemochromatosis, diabetes, favism, and more.
4. Harry Potter
If you haven’t read the Harry Potter series yet, I can only assume you’ve been living under a rock. Despite having a loooong list of books to read this summer, I am really hoping that I get the chance to reread the series again—after all, it’s a classic that has somehow managed to define an entire generation of people.
5. Game of Thrones
The Song of Ice and Fire series isn’t exactly a light read. You may only get a chance to read it over the summer just because you have more than an hour at a time to do anything. Personally, I haven’t finished the series yet, but if you haven’t read the books or watched the show, it should definitely be a priority this summer.
6. The Alchemist
Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist is a short and simple read, but the ideas and the story are infinitely deep, and it’s so easy to fall in love with. I have not met a single person who has read this book and disliked it.
7. Fahrenheit 451
Another classic, Fahrenheit 451 is a quick read with a lot of existential ideas and lessons on societal values. Despite a few plot points that I’m still fairly sure don’t work out, it’s one of those books where if you didn’t get the chance to read it in high school, it’s important that you take the time to look into it.
8. The Secret Garden
This is an adorable book that has some sentimental value. When I was younger, my mom would read this to me, and now that I’m older, I’m hoping to read it again this summer with a more mature mentality. Here’s to hoping it’s as good as I remember.
9. 100 Years of Solitude
I haven’t gotten the chance to read this book yet, but it’s next on my list right after I finish Emma. This book is on a ton of different lists with titles like “50 Books You Need to Read This Summer” or “10 Books Every College Student Should Read.” I’m looking forward to finally taking it from my bookshelf and cracking it open.
10. Star Wars Psychology: Dark Side of the Mind
This is another book that I have yet to read. I bought this over Spring Break, and I am extremely excited to read it. This book goes into the psychology of all of the Star Wars movies, and it thoroughly examines the science and reasoning behind each character’s actions and reactions. Anyone that is interested in both psychology and Star Wars should definitely check this out and add it to their summer reading lists.