What to Read This Summer

Summer is a wonderful time for media all-around. Between blockbusters at the box office and the return of many tv shows, you might think you're all covered. However, for the bookworms out there, summer is a great opportunity to relax and curl up with a good story. Whether you're poolside, heading to the beach, or in your own cozy space, summer is a great time to read. If you're looking for suggestions to pick up this season, look no further:

Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney

A recently-published love letter to life in a big city, Lillian takes you on a surprising trip. Follow the titular character through a walk in Manhattan as she shares her firsthand experiences and life lessons, for better or worse. This book literally transports the reader and teaches us about empathy, history, and both the glitz and grit of city life.

Catching Fireflies by Patsy Clairmont

The title alone is a perfect throwback to a childhood summertime hobby. It may sound like your average self-help/advice book that everyone gets their hands on during this time of year, but I promise this one book is a unique experience. This take on 'light' reading introduces life lessons through cheeky and clever writing. It weaves together stories that can assist and inspire anyone who is open to them, and they're the perfect way to brighten your days.

The Night Sister by Jennifer McMahon

Summer doesn't always equal happy romances and self-improvement. For those of us who enjoy a good thriller or mystery at any time, this novel is sure to please. Set in a once-thriving town in Vermont, The Night Sister connects three different generations, all of whom are hiding a dark secret attached to a mysterious run-down hotel. It's a wonderful mix of mystery and magical realism to create a modern-day fairytale for all to enjoy.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

If for whatever reason you weren't required to read this during your time in school, this read makes a great choice for the summer season. Set in the summetime in the Roaring Twenties, this novel explores the ideas of social class, decadence, and helpless dream chasing. Follow the protagonist Nick Carraway as he befriends his wealthy, eccentric, and mysterious neighbor Jay Gastby. Gatsby throws lavish parties on a nightly basis and as the reader discovers more about each character, the less we're certain that they're likable. This book takes a fairly simple concept and presents it beautifully. It challenges your thoughts on motivation, love, and relationships. Trust me, there's a reason it's on so many mandatory curriculum lists.

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Another gripping mystery about the effects of deceit, infidelity, and the always popular question: do you really know the people you live around. Told through the perspective of a woman struggling with alcoholism, this story has an interesting take. The reader is often uncertain whether or not she's reliable, given her drunken dizzy spells and fuzzy memory. This pushes the mystery even further. Could the protagonist have committed the crime? Did she have a part in it? Does she know something that she can't disclose? You won't be able to stop until you find out.

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

Water for Elephants serves as both a gripping love story and a wonderful piece of historical fiction. The story follows Jacob Jankowski, a student studying veterinary science, and how he gets swooped up in the excitement of joining a circus. Initially a stowaway who was unable to finish his schooling, the circus takes him in after they discover him in one of their train cars and hire him to look after the animals. During his time there, he falls in love with the wife of one two frightening and strict patriarchs of the circus. This is juxtaposed with Jacob in the current timeline, who reflects upon all of his adventures as an older gentleman. Exploring avenues of forbidden affection, the mystifying and horrifying truths of the circus world, and what it means to find a home, Water for Elephants is far bigger than it seems.There are so many good reads out there for you, but if you want something other than a book about vacation, here's a good place to start. Whether at the beach or enjoying time alone, these aim to please. Enjoy your time off, happy reading!