Every year, students embark on summer vacation with reading lists. Usually consisting of classics and a few token young adult titles, the lists are designed to stave off summer reading loss, a backsliding of literacy skills that affects many students during the summer months.
Of course, these lists are only effective if you actually read the titles--we did, of course, but the Grammarly offices are full of word nerds and English literature geeks. (And let's face it, The Scarlet Letter isn't exactly beach reading material.)
Here are our suggestions for a summer reading list that you'll actually want to read. It's a mix of classic and contemporary, fiction and non-fiction, with the occasional bestseller thrown in. Enjoy!
Dystopia (Before Dystopia Was Cool)
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. Originally published in 1953, the title is the temperature at which books burn. For maximum irony, read it on your Kindle.
Also check out: Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell; Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Memoir that Makes You Realize How Good You Have It
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou. This 1969 memoir by the late Dr. Angelou chronicles her early life, from her harrowing childhood to her eventual independence.
Also check out: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank; The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien
A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson. School may be out--and, for most of us, over forever--but that doesn't mean we have to stop learning. Bryson's book is a surprisingly accessible tour of human discovery and science.
Also check out: Cosmos by Carl Sagan; A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking
Young Adult Isn't Just for Teens
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell. Rowell's sweet coming-of-age story, set in 1986, isn't just for teenagers. It appeals to anyone who survived high school--plus, it features mix tapes!
Also check out: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (Keep the Kleenex handy!)
Read It Before You See It
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. Statistically, you've probably already this book. Gone Girl is a runaway bestseller, but if you haven't gotten around to reading it yet, you have just enough time before the movie comes out. Avoid spoilers for this one.
Also check out: The Giver by Lois Lowry
Revisit the Classics
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. You already know the story: Girl meets boy, they detest each other, and then they fall in love. However, Austen's comedy of manners is more than just the familiar love story; it's also a cutting look at the social mores of the time.
Also check out: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood. Atwood's feminist nightmare of a world where women have no control over their bodies or lives was first published in 1998, but its message has never been more important.
Also check out: The Awakening by Kate Chopin; The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir
Swords and Sorcery
A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin. Yes, it's huge. And yes, it's only the first book in an ongoing series. But while Game of Thrones has saturated our culture thanks to the hit HBO series, the books are well worth reading. Pro Tip: if you plan to take this one on vacation, get it as an e-book or audiobook.
Also check out: The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
What do you plan on reading this summer? Share your recommendations in the comments!
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