Picture this: in a hammock, under the warm heat of the sun, with a cold drink, and a good book. Sounds amazing, right? But what to read?
I’ve compiled a list of must-read books for the summer of 2016 – some classic, some new, but all stellar works of literature (and my standards are exceptionally high). Here’s what you should delve into while relaxing on your beach towel in the sunshine!
Persuasion by Jane Austen
Everyone has read Pride & Prejudice, but have you read this Austen classic? This is one of my favorites of hers, perfect for a nice weekend away. It features a high-class woman who struggles to regain the heart of the man of her dreams when he returns from war. A classic romance with an interesting Austen twist? Count me in!
Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
This is prime literary canon material, here. If you haven’t read this one yet, this summer is the perfect time to cross this one off your list! Both historically accurate and brilliantly revealing, this novel about the true southern belle will have you up all night reading.
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Even if you read this one in high school, LOTF never ceases to be an amazing work of literature. Each time I read it, I gain a little more insight into the minds and tendencies of the island boys. This is one of my absolute favorites that I can’t help but read over and over again
Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
If you loved Lord of the Flies, this novel is right up your ally. This creatively innovate retelling of Golding’s work explores modern themes in a familiar story. It is one of the most insightful YA books I have ever read – it’s definitely a must-read this summer!
Along Came A Spider (Alex Cross #1) by James Patterson
The Alex Cross series has always been a favorite of mine, but the very first book of the series is one of the best (with Mary, Mary as a close second). This novel (and series) is a must for the mystery-adventure-crime fan!
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
If you haven’t read this book or seen the movie (both of which are amazing), you’re probably living under a rock – so get to it! Even if you’ve already been exposed to the wonders of Green’s bestseller, relive your love for Augustus by rereading this novel this summer.
Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee
Lee’s surprising death this February was preceded by the controversial release of her second novel, Go Set A Watchman. If you haven’t read this one yet, it’s a great sequel to her classic, To Kill A Mockingbird, an important addition to your summer reading list!
Woman at Point Zero by Nawal El Saadawi
This one is less popular but all the more intriguing. Following the life of a Muslim, Egyptian prostitute and murderer, El Saadawi’s anti-patriarchal work will open your eyes to the issue of feminism around the world.
Alex Cross’s Trial by James Patterson & Richard DiLallo
Once you’ve had your share of feminist novels, it’s time to think about race relations. In this southern-based novel, Alex’s ancestors experience racism firsthand in a legal battle. This is one of my favorites, and even if you aren’t familiar with the Alex Cross series, you’ll love this spinoff novel!
The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling
Readers everywhere were excited for the 2012 release of Rowling’s newest novel, and it was a huge hit, to no surprise. If you haven’t finished this one, get it done this summer before the movie comes out (although the film release is just a rumor…)!
What are you reading under the sun this summer? Let me know in the comments!