From chilling thrillers to classic fiction, these are the perfect additions to your summer reading list
Sometimes it can be extremely difficult to find time to read for pleasure amid the chaos of classes, exams, and papers. It can be even more challenging to decide what to read when you finally have a chance. But as the summer months approach, many students now have the time to relax with a good book.
Whether you’re staying home or travelling, these books are the perfect summer reads.
A Visit from the Goon Squad, Jennifer Egan
In this unique novel, Jennifer Egan explores the lives of thirteen characters, centring around Bennie Salazar, an ageing record executive and former musician, and his beautiful assistant, Sasha. From teenage punk rockers to middle-aged professionals, A Visit from the Goon Squad unites the past, present, and future as the characters navigate the challenges of maturation and ageing. Abandoning chronological order, Egan opts to have each of the thirteen chapters narrated by a different character at various points in time. This 2011 Pulitzer Prize winner is a hilarious yet heartfelt book that anyone can enjoy.
To the Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf
This underrated classic, set on the beautiful Scottish Isle of Skye between the years of 1910–1920, centres around the lives of the Ramsay family and Lily Briscoe, an unmarried, passionate painter. Woolf carefully crafts two distinct yet parallel plots, one following the Ramsay family’s journey to the lighthouse and the other depicting Lily’s search for her artistic vision. The two deeply connected plots also unite memory and the passage of time. Woolf’s incredible narrative is only amplified by the autobiographical elements of the novel, drawing inspiration from memories of her own summers in Cornwall. Under 200 pages, To the Lighthouse is the perfect short read for your summer vacation.
Conversations with Friends, Sally Rooney
Conversations with Friends explores the experiences of Frances and Bobbi, two former lovers who now perform spoken-word poetry together while attending Trinity College in Dublin, as they form a strange, and at times unhealthy, relationship with an older married couple. When they meet Melissa, a journalist, following a performance, the girls are drawn into her life, and Frances begins an innocent flirtation with Melissa’s husband that quickly grows into something much more. In this romantic work of literary fiction, Sally Rooney beautifully illustrates the “messy edges of female friendship.”
Into the Water, Paula Hawkins
Into the Water, Paula Hawkins’ second novel, is perfect if you’re looking for a more chilling read this summer. Women in the rural town of Beckford have an unfortunate history of drowning. But when Nel Abbott winds up dead at the bottom of the river in the same place as a fifteen year old girl was found earlier that summer, the mysterious past of the river is dredged up. Returning to care for her estranged sister’s fifteen-year-old daughter, Jules Abbott begins to suspect her sister’s death was not a suicide at all. Written from the perspectives of various characters, Into the Water is a psychological thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini
In this phenomenal novel, Afghan-American author Khaled Hosseini tells the incredible story of an unlikely friendship between two young boys growing up in Kabul: Amir, the son of a wealthy businessman, and Hassan, the son of his father’s servant. Although Amir and his father fled Afghanistan following the Soviet invasion, he cannot escape the memory of his friend. A heart-wrenching novel of male friendship, remembrance, and personal growth set against a backdrop of violence from the 1960s to early 2000s, The Kite Runner is one work of historical fiction that everyone should read.