Summer Reading List for Book Lovers

Summer is the perfect season to lay out in the sun or in the shade of a tree with a good book and a tall glass of lemonade. For book lovers, summer can be the perfect time to catch up on a list of books that have been waiting to be read. From the beach to the swimming pool, there are a number of books that any book lover should pick up.

Beach Reads for Book Lovers

Beach reads are fun, light, easy reading for taking along on vacation –whether that vacation leads to a beach or not. Having a few fun books along for reading during travel and vacation downtime ensure that there is never a dull moment.

  • The Passage by Justin Cronin was released in 2010, and tells the story of a post-apocalyptic America overrun by vampires. Cronin’s take on the vampire mythos is sure to satisfy older readers and teens that are growing bored with the Twilight fad. Although Cronin utilizes the common motif of a military experiment gone wrong to create the setting for The Passage, there is much more under the surface.

Literary Reads for Book Lovers

Literary reads are not always the best books to take on vacation, since their depth and complexity can become lost in the bustle of travel and sightseeing. Picking up a few literary books can satisfy that summer craving for brain food at home, however, and reading a good novel is one of the best ways to spend a summer evening.

  • Muriel Barbery’s novel The Elegance of the Hedgehog (2008) was translated in English from the original French, and the flawless transition of the story is a masterpiece of storytelling. The Elegance of the Hedgehog follows a young girl named Paloma living in a ritzy apartment, and the elderly concierge, Renee. Paloma and Renee have more in common than meets the eye –both are able to see through the absurdity of their lives, and find a friendship that transcends class boundaries.
  • Water for Elephants (2007), by Sara Gruen, is a story of the Depression set in an unconventional setting. After the death of his parents, Jacob ends up running away from school and landing on a circus train. The young veterinarian is given a job caring for the circus animals, but there is more to the situation than meets the eye. Jacob begins to fall in love with the animal trainer’s wife, and their relationship puts them both in danger. Told in the present tense, from ninety-year-old Jacob’s perspective and in his memory, Water for Elephants is sure to delight any book lover.
  • Neil Gaiman’s Carnegie Medal-winning novel The Graveyard Book (2008) is a book that will enchant and amaze fans of Gaiman as well as first-time readers. The story follows Nobody, called “Bod,” a young boy raised by ghosts after his family is brutally murdered. The book follows Bod as he grows, learning to survive within and without the graveyard. As Bod grows, the mystery of the man Jack who murdered his family also grows and deepens, threatening Bod’s safety and the safety of his graveyard home.

Literary Mash-Ups for Book Lovers

  • The best-selling Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2009) is not the only literary mash-up to grace bookstore shelves. A number of similar undertakings by new authors and by Ben H. Winters, co-author of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, have been created. For lovers of great literature, these books are a refreshing and entertaining look at books many readers have considered untouchable.
  • Android Karenina (2010) is a remake of Tolstoy’s immortal Anna Karenina, only in Winters’ re-imagined Russia, robots are nearly ubiquitous. With its steampunk feel and Tolstoy’s brilliant storytelling lighting up the background, Android Karenina is a great book for anyone interested in these literary mash-ups.
  • Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters (2009) is another of Winters’ creations, taking a classic Austen and adding creatures from the deep to this well-known love story. Austen fans will enjoy both Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

Reading is one of life’s simplest pleasures, and finding a good book is a treat for any book lover. Summer is the best season to try new books and return to some old favorites.

Check it: The Power of One: Author and Hero: Bryce Courtenay’s Novel on Youth in Apartheid South Africa

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