It may seem hard to believe, but we're only a few weeks away from the beginning of summer! And if you're anything like me, reading for pleasure during the school year can be tough, especially considering all the other seemingly-endless homework and studying that has to get done first. Because of this, I usually try to read as much as possible during the summer--but being the bookworm that I am, it can be hard to pick which books I want to read first!
Therefore, I've compiled this list for all of you--my top 10 must-read summer reads. Hopefully you'll find one or two (or all ten!) that spark your interest, and maybe it'll be a little easier choosing what to read first this summer.
If you're looking for...
...feminist humor, then Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is perfect for you. Its short length and lighthearted tone makes for a delightful summer read, while also introducing you to a utopian world in which patriarchy and gender norms don't exist. A utopia indeed!
...a dystopian novel, then Max Barry's Jennifer Government is likely to keep you riveted. It's a satirical thriller about the power wielded by corporations in our globalized world, and its action-filled chapters and brilliant commentary will make you want to keep turning the page.
...a comfort read, then Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami is a beautiful addition to an already-beautiful summer day. This exquisite coming-of-age story will leave you feeling both peaceful and softly emotional--curl up with it on a lawn chair while a gentle breeze blows and you'll spend the day in tranquility.
...historical fiction, then The Passion of Artemisia by Susan Vreeland is a book you won't be able to put down. Set in 16th century Italy, this novel spins the tale of Artemisia Gentileschi, one of the most accomplished and progressive female Baroque painters of her generation. This story comes alive with the help of its characters, passionate nature, and beautiful writing--even if historical fiction usually isn't your 'thing,' you should definitely give this a shot.
...beautiful poetry, then you won't regret picking up Jennifer K. Sweeney's Salt Memory. Filled with poems dipped in salt water, this collection is written by a modern American poet who has put a whole new spin on the term 'beach read.'
...a classic novel, then The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë is an excellent choice. Anne Brontë is often overlooked as an author in favor of her sisters Charlotte and Emily, but in my opinion, this novel is my favorite of all written by the Brontës. It is a rebellious and passionate tale of a strong-willed artist and mother, making it a fantastic classic for any Simmons student.
...multicultural fiction, then Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories by Sandra Cisneros is only one of the many I could choose from here. This collection of stories offers vivid insight into the vibrant lives of women living on both sides of the Mexican border, while also giving voice to a strong optimism that makes this such a wonderful summer read.
...a book-turned-movie, then read The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky this summer, just in time for the release of the movie in late 2012. This deeply intimate and relatable coming-of-age story will leave you incredibly attached to it--if not because of the main character, then because of the solidarity found in having similar trials and tribulations while growing up.
...inspiration, then Sark's Succulent Wild Woman could change your life, as it did mine and the lives of many other women. I'm not typically one for self-help books, but this isn't just any old self-help book. It's inclusive, warm, touching, thought-provoking, and wildly inspirational, and if you're looking forward to learning more about yourself this summer, this book is a must-have.
...my absolute favorite book, then look no further than Janet Fitch's White Oleander. All at once luminous, haunting, and exquisitely written, this novel offers a unique tale of the relationship forged between a mother and daughter, both artists, in the face of abandonment and separation. This is a book that can be read again and again--and in fact, I'll probably pick it up once more this summer!
Happy (fast-approaching) summer, and happy reading!