Lauren Shares Her Favourite Summer Reads
To me, the best summer reads are hundreds of pages long, allowing the reader to escape from the sweltering heat and the drone of lawnmowers. Summer isn’t my favourite season, but I certainly loved the freedom it once brought when I was a student as I sprawled out on my parents’ deck furniture, glass of wine in one hand and book in the other, the summer sun lazily setting over the tops of the trees. Now my summer reads take place at the weekend, soaking in every minute I can of uninterrupted fantasy before heading back to work come Monday.
- The Pillars of the Earth, Ken Follett This book is a rich and complex read, with many plot webs and characters. I spent an entire week in Italy reading this on a beach chair and though I got sun poisoning in the end from paying more attention to it than to protecting my skin, it just might have been worth it.
- Mandy, Julie Andrews This is my mother’s favourite childhood book. It is a gorgeous story of a young orphan who cultivates a secret garden. I felt obliged to include a light read on this list, and Mandy is just the one.
- The Bone Clocks, David Mitchell I was hesitant to add this to my list as it is quite dense and complicated, but like I stated before, that’s how I take my summer books. I lost my head in this story whilst living at home after returning from DC, and the escape it provided from the mundane quality of my days was most welcome. Be patient with it, and you will be rewarded.
- All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr It is hard to imagine anyone who has not yet read this brilliant and devastating book. It tells the tale of two children in World War II, their lives intertwined in heartbreaking ways.
- The Goldfinch, Donna Tartt This book saved me from the oppressive, horrible summer heat of Washington, DC. I read it relentlessly in the park with a carton of strawberries hidden away under the shade of a tree and in my bed as I ate half a honeydew melon with a spoon.
- Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn Again, it would be hard to find someone who hasn’t read this book, but it is a delicious, fast-paced, and terrifying novel. Perfect for sticky nights where you can’t sleep anyway so you might as well scare yourself.
- And the Mountains Echoed, Khaled Hosseini I love all of Hosseini’s books despite their ability to destroy me every single time. This one is particularly close to my heart because of the female protagonists and their harrowing stories.
- The Namesake, Jhumpa Lahiri I finished this book in 48 hours and have written an upcoming article about it. The story moves chronologically through the life of a man born to Indian parents in America; it is a swift and poignant read, a coming-of-age story about struggling to forge and accept one’s identity.
- Inferno, Dan Brown If I believed in the term ‘guilty pleasure,’ Dan Brown books would be number one on my list. I read The Da Vinci Code when I was 13 after the nuns in my Catholic school banned it, and then Angels and Demons in preparation for my first visit to Rome in 2009. Inferno takes the typical Dan Brown path, following Dr. Robert Langdon and a female companion (always…) as they race against the clock to solve an ancient, cryptographic mystery.
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, JK Rowling First of all, duh. Second of all, the tenth anniversary of the final installment is on July 21st, which makes me feel incredibly old and very nostalgic. What better time for a reread than this summer?