Summer Reading List
Here are five books to add to your summer reading list. Yes, I know they are mostly English and mostly classic, but I hope to add more hubs with wider literary expansions later on.
Giant by Edna Ferber
Giant is one of my favorite books. Those familiar with the 1956 movie (starring Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, and James Dean) will know that the setting is the dry and dusty and unforgivably arrogant Texas, with its cattlemen and its oil tycoons. This is the story of a woman from Virginia who leaves everything she has ever known to move to Texas with her unfamiliar husband, who owns a cattle ranch. Leslie and Bick both have strong impetuous personalities, and they, combined with the large and beautiful landscape and the instability of the ever-changing times, make for a drama that at its heart is all-American. Ferber captures our hearts with fast-paced yet enchanting language. Giant tells the story of love that endures through hardship and pain, riches and prosperity.
The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
The Importance of Being Earnest is a play that finds the irony hidden in late-19th-century social mores using a wit that only the English can use. The plot follows two couples, Gwenolen and Jack, and Cecily and Algernon, through a maze of real names, false identities and ridiculous ideals. The ridiculousness is, in fact, what makes the characters’ lines so funny. This a humorous read all the way through. It’s a lot of fun reading it aloud with a few friends. I recommend reading the four-act version of this play.
And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
And Then There Were None (which has also been published as Ten Little Indians) is a thrilling murder mystery novel. In true Christie form, this book deals with the psychological pathways of the victims as well as those of the murderer. Ten people find themselves trapped on a small island off the coast of England. They are unable to escape as each one is killed off by someone unknown. The someone unknown is one of the ten. A barren island, stormy seas, and guilty consciences create a mysterious atmosphere that delights the reader. This is an easy-to-read book worth reading if you want a good scare.
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Hobbit (a prequel to The Lord of the Rings) is indeed a fantasy novel, and therefore might be an attractive read only to certain people. Be that as it may be, this book has stood the test of time and is truly an English classic. In a fictional and imaginative world called Middle-earth, Bilbo the hobbit finds himself unexpectedly, and practically unwillingly, on a quest with a group of dwarves to rescue a mountain-full of treasure from a fire-breathing dragon. Bilbo is pulled out of his comfort zone only to find himself up to the challenge of adventure. This tale is filled with elves and trolls and all manner of fantastic creatures. Those who can appreciate an escape from the reality in our own world, will appreciate this book.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Pride and Prejudice is, to many, the epitome of Jane Austen’s works. The love story of Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy has captivated many a girl, but there is more to the story than the story itself. We learn that “first impressions” (as the novel was first titled) are often very wrong and that the way we must view others should be based on their character. Although the characters have flaws, those who learn to overcome those flaws are the happy ones in the end. This book is not only for the female mind, but it is suitable for the male as well, as it is a literary study of the hearts and actions of individuals.
Want More Books?
- Fall Reading List
When we read, the book that we are reading absorbs something of the atmosphere around us. I read this book sitting on my grandmothers front porch, surrounded by falling leaves and pecans and the...
- Winter Reading List
Winter. The dim days of earth's sabbath are before you. You will be housebound, chilly beneath your blanket. You will sip hot beverages and warm your hands up at the gas stove. You will catch the cold and...
- Book Review of The Professor, by Charlotte Bronte (Author of Jane Eyre)
Though readers all over the world have enjoyed Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, many have not had the privilege of being exposed to her lesser-known novel, The Professor, which is deeply revealing in its depths...
- Literary Criticism of King Lear
This play is about true vision.Those characters one would suppose are blind are the ones who see best; and those who have no physical blindness really cannot see a thing. In ancient Britain, when kingdoms...
- A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
Lemony Snicket opens new horizons with "A Series of Unfortunate Events." You may have thought that all creative thought and imaginative writing left the earth with childrens authors Roald Dahl and Dr....
- Clouds in a Tumbler: a Literary Analysis of Jane Eyre
There was no possibility of taking a walk that day. We had been wandering, indeed, in the leafless shrubbery an hour in the morning; but since dinner... the cold winter wind had brought with it clouds so...
- Margaret Hale, The Heroine of North and South
One of the strongest female characters in English literature is Margaret Hale, the heroine of North and South, written by Elizabeth Gaskell. She may not have the wit of an Elizabeth Bennet, nor the...
- Howards End by E.M. Forster
Howards End by E.M. Forster was originally published in 1910. The novel is set in Edwardian England and deals with the conflicts between social classes, developing an overall theme of humanism. As...
What Do You Think About Kindle?
- eBooks: To Read or Not to Read
Whether we like it or not (and I often think not), our world is constantly changing and quickening its pace. We live in an inconstant age of electronics. We are obsessed with owning the latest generation...
More by this Author
Kazuo Ishiguro's book The Remains of the Day is a modern classic retelling the days of post-War England. Through the eyes of a butler, the decline of the aristocracy is told with heartfelt understanding and complex...
For imaginative children, Lemony Snicket's Series of Unfortunate Events is the cream of the literary crop. All thirteen dreadful books are educational, original, and, sadly, tragically inclined.
The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket, as part of his Series of Unfortunate Events, is both entertaining and educational. Follow this study guide to learn about activities that can make your reading experience even better.