For millions of kids, teenagers and adults across the nation, reading a good book is an essential part of the summer. Whether it’s a student working through a reading list for next year’s classes, a teacher keeping up with the latest educational techniques or simply a breezy novel just for fun, it seems almost everyone finds time to read. With that in mind, here are some of my book recommendations to think about during the summer:
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (five-book trilogy)
by Douglas Adams
– A genius blend of science-fiction of satire, these books are legendary but still under-read. Even though a five-book trilogy may sound like a time commitment, each of these novels are quick reads that you’ll want to finish just to hear all the punchlines.
Brave New World
By Aldous Huxley
– The story of a future where everyone is addicted to anti-depressants and society is genetically pre-determined, the future of humanity seems dim. Although you may think of this one as boring, or a book you might assign a student to read, the truth is that Huxley’s vision of the future is both entertaining and frighteningly more accurate with every passing year.
The Phantom Tollbooth
By Norton Juster
– A bored kid named Milo journeys to a world where he goes on a quest to save the Kingdom of Wisdom and learns the value of his own mind. You might think of this just as a children’s book, and while it’s true that the book was written with kids in mind, the audience is much wider. Read this one for nostalgia and for enjoyment of puns, reading, writing and comedy.
Harry Potter (seven book series)
By J. K. Rowling
– While it’s likely that you’ve read all seven of these books already, rereading old favorites can be one of the best things about summer. This series hasn’t lost any of its charms in the time since publication, and while the movies are certainly fun, nothing beats reading the originals. Is there a better time than summer to read about the battle between good and evil, and the future of the wizarding world?
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking
by Susan Cain
– If you’re an introvert, you may have already read this book, but for those who aren’t familiar, it’s a must-read. Author Susan Cain dives into the differences between introverts and extroverts and examines the way society often revolves around the expectation that everyone should be outgoing, friendly and assertive.
Far From the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity
by Andrew Solomon
– This book focuses on many of the unusual traits and characteristics that children cope with and how families deal with these differences. Solomon devotes each chapter to a specific trait, like dwarfism, deafness or schizophrenics, and focuses on specific families that have dealt with these issues. Both thought-provoking and engaging, the stories will deepen your understanding of these complex issues.