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Summer Reading List

Updated on January 14, 2010

5 Books

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.

Giant
Giant

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.

The Importance of Being Earnest
The Importance of Being Earnest

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.

And Then There Were None
And Then There Were None

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.

The Hobbit
The Hobbit

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.

Pride and Prejudice
Pride and Prejudice

Comments

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    • Rose West profile imageAUTHOR

      Rose West 

      9 years ago from Michigan

      gulnazahmad, those are some of my favorite all-time books. I hope you enjoy the others as well!

    • profile image

      gulnazahmad 

      9 years ago

      I am a big fan of J R R Tolkien and Jane Austen, especially Lord of the Rings and Pride and Prejudice they are great. I am going to grab the rest of the three books soon.

      Nice selection of books

    • Rose West profile imageAUTHOR

      Rose West 

      9 years ago from Michigan

      2uesday, if you've never read Wilde or Christie, you'll really enjoy these! Thank you so much for reading!

    • 2uesday profile image

      2uesday 

      9 years ago

      Book marked this as I tend to read more in the summer months. I've read the Hobbit and Pride and Predjudice but never anything by Oscar Wilde or Agatha Christie. Thank you Rose.

    • Rose West profile imageAUTHOR

      Rose West 

      10 years ago from Michigan

      I haven't read any books by Bradbury, but I'll have to look into it. Thanks for the tip!

    • Visionary Poet profile image

      Visionary Poet 

      10 years ago from northwest florida

      All are great reads. though pride and prejudice was one of my least faves. I would probably replace it with a bradbury classic like martian chronicals or something wicked this way comes. All in all great list.

    • Rose West profile imageAUTHOR

      Rose West 

      10 years ago from Michigan

      Oh yes, seriousness at meals is not to be frowned upon. Or so Wilde would say.

    • Jane Grey profile image

      Ann Leavitt 

      10 years ago from Oregon

      Excellent choices! Though you neglected to mention that when one is going to read an entirely new summer booklist, one requires regular and wholesome meals.

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