Perhaps you are taking a break or you’re continuing to work but work isn’t as intense (= busy) as during the rest of the year. Wherever you are, summer is a great time to start reading. These long afternoons and equally long nights deserve something special, like a great book or two. If you are an avid reader (or want to be), check out this list of the best summer reading titles for this year. On the list are some classic titles that everyone must read at least once in a lifetime. They are books that make you feel, think and be excited. Others are quick flicks filled with romance, a little violence and interesting events. Whatever your taste is, start your magnificent journey in the world of English and world literature now.
1) The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini – This breakthrough novel was the beginning of a great writing career for Hosseini. The amazing story revolves around two friends who faced class struggles and more in Afghanistan. The story of the son of a wealthy man is heartbreaking. He befriends the son of his servant. What happens next is a contemporary epic.
2) The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho – Another one of the contemporary greats in this list, and apparently one of the most popular books ever. It was written in Portuguese, but the English translation is excellent. The book is about a shepherd boy. He wants to find a treasure buried in the pyramids. He leaves his homeland (Southern Spain) and goes to Egypt. His quest (= search) is thrilling and inspiring. A must read for those who want to fulfil their dreams.
3) The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank – Another translated classic, from Dutch. This book is an uplifting depiction of how people can be steely and full of resolve and hope through war and its horrors. The diary is actually a memoir of a girl named Anne Frank, who is a wonderful writer despite her young age. Her diaries were found in her attic and later turned into a book. The backdrop is 1942 when Frank and her family were hiding from the Nazis. This book is not just a depressing outlook on war. Instead, it is a beautiful memoir of the life of a girl. It is highly readable and very amusing.
4) The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Sallinger – This book is on every banned book list you can find. It comes with very clear, penetrating observations in the life of a young boy. However, some find the language quite edgy. All in all, this is one book that you cannot miss. You will never find an account of adolescence (= teen years) as clear and honest as this one.
5) To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee – This book has won a Pulitzer Prize. It was even turned into a movie and a play later. It is known as a literary masterpiece. Though it has a very regional backdrop (it’s set in Alabama), its appeal is universal. Its main theme is the struggle against racism. The book is also funny and reads like a movie, because the language is visual.
6) We Were Liars by E. Lockhart – Only just published (a few months ago) and already a bestseller. Although not a literary masterpiece, this is a hugely entertaining young adult story about a group of teens, cousins actually, who meet every summer on a private island. Their families are rich. They fall in love, they play and swim, but then there is something going terribly wrong. This one will glue you to your sundeck for one long reading day! Promise.
7) The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green – You may have seen the movie already, which is wonderful too! However, as you know, the film never beats the movie! The tragic love story of Hazel and Augustus, two very ill cancer patients, may melt your heart. Yup, another young adult novel, but as serious as an adult one.
8) Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami – Originally written in Japanese, but Murakami always works closely on the English translation (he studied English). This is the latest novel from Japanese wunderkind and bestselling author, and it may not be his best or his deepest. The subject, how old school friends grow apart, is one that everyone will find interesting. Follow Tsukuru Tazaki, whose friends cruelly leave him when he becomes a student, on his journey to cope with loneliness in adult life. I recommend this book because the language is relaxed; it’s easier to read than his other novels. By the way, the cover of this book is unbelievably ugly!
9) Q & A: A Novel by Vikas Swarup – You may have seen the weepie Slumdog Millionnaire, but have you read the book that was the inspiration for it? As usually happens, much better than the movie, but also a very different story. It’s a very fast-paced story about an Indian poor boy who finds himself in prison because he’s answered all twelve questions right to get the main prize in the popular game show “Who Will Win a Billion?” Um, is that rupees or dollars? Ram tells lawyer about his hilarious adventures that brought him the answers.