Summer Reads

I rarely get to read (for fun) during the school year, so I’ve always tried really hard to read as much as possible during my summer breaks. This summer I had a hard time getting into reading, because I just wanted to spend all of my time outside in the sunshine, but I was able to get through some good books at my part-time job (such a great perk!).

Today I’m sharing all of the books I’ve read over my summer break — NO spoilers in this post, feel free to read on!

  1. Everything is Illuminated – Jonathan Safran-Foer

    Safran-Foer is one of my favorite authors, and this book is wonderfully written. It takes a little time to understand what’s going on with multiple narrators and different time periods, but stick with it!
  2. The Last Girls – Lee Smith

    This book follows a group of adult women who are brought back together for the first time since college, and plays with the idea that nothing is ever as it seems. It was a pretty quick read, it would be great for the beach or lounging at the pool.
  3. The Casual Vacancy – JK Rowling

    Let me just say this: this novel is NOTHING like the Harry Potter novels, so drop those expectations! It’s also an adult novel with mature themes, and it’s so well done. The voice is incredible, and each chapter weaves several seemingly different characters together. Don’t be intimidated by the length–it’s well worth it!
  4. Go Set a Watchman – Harper Lee

    This novel follows the same beloved characters from To Kill a Mockingbird when Scout is grown up. It gave me a new perspective–I thought about it for days after I finished! This book is really a reflection of racial tension, and though there’s been a lot of controversy over the story, I think it was really interesting to think about when it was written (hint–Lee wrote this novel before To Kill a Mockingbird!)
  5. The Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger
    I’ve read this book so many times I’ve lost count. But it’s my favorite book–I read it almost every year and get something new out of it every time. I’ve heard it’s sort of a love-it-or-hate-it type of book, but it’s worth a shot. I think the narration is brilliant.
  6. A Farewell to Arms – Ernest Hemingway

    This book is not really a light-hearted read…but it is a sort-of romantic perspective on WW I about an ambulance driver. It has action, romance, suspense, and pages of lovely prose to sort through. I think I’d like to read it again in a couple of years to understand some of the metaphors and symbolism that is most certainly hidden within some of those drawn-out nature passages.
  7. Brave New World – Aldous Huxley

    I’m not typically as interested in the sci-fi/futuristic/utopia genre, but I really enjoyed this novel. It’s clearly well thought-out, a little bit terrifying, and it will haunt your thoughts for a while. At first it’s a little confusing, with all of the futuristic words that Huxley invented, but you’ll catch on quickly to what they mean.

So there you go! I feel pretty proud of myself to get through all of those books this summer. I’m pretty much ecstatic when I get through one or two! I hope you’ll try some of these novels on for size, and I’d love to hear what you think about them.


*Note: all images are from, and all images are linked to the books there*


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