Is there anything better than sitting in the sun, glass of wine in hand, with a good book? Probably not. It’s no secret that I’m a bit of a bookworm, and I firmly believe that reading and vacations go hand in hand. What’s a plane/train/bus ride without a good book to while away the hours? The only problem is that there are just so many out there to choose from. I enjoy a pretty wide range of books; old, new, non-fiction, science fiction, I will read pretty much anything that catches my interest. If you’re like me in this regard, consider adding a few of these to your reading bucket list. Some are older classics, some are new, some are genres you might not typically choose, but all of them are worth a read, I promise.
- “Something Wicked This Way Comes” by Ray Bradbury: This has to be one of my favorite books of all time. I love the way Mr. Bradbury writes; it’s captivatingly lyrical. This creative thriller will have you hooked from the very first page. “Something Wicked This Way Comes” is a tale of a carnival and its effect on a small town, told from the perspective of two boys. Read if: you like science fiction and you’ve always thought that there was something mystical and creepy about carnivals.
- “The Regulators” by Richard Bachman (Stephen King): I love most of Stephen King’s books, but this one is my favorite. It’s a good summer read because it is equal parts terrifying and weirdly entertaining. This story follows the odd happenings on a single street in the suburbs when one child’s favorite characters start to terrorize the neighborhood. Read if: you’re ready to be sufficiently creeped out and enthralled all at once.
- “Play it as it Lays” by Joan Didion: This novel is a slice of 60’s Hollywood life from the view of a less than sane actress, Maria. The story is a little bit of an emotional rollercoaster, but, as always, Joan Didion does not disappoint. She is the epitome of cool and this novel radiates her sophisticated demeanor. Read if: you like your summer reads to be a little heavier than the average romance novel.
- “Why Not Me” by Mindy Kaling: First of all, Mindy Kaling is always a good idea. This book is hilarious and makes the perfect pick for a lighthearted summer read. It’s chock-full of essays that range in topic from being dumped by a girlfriend to an explanation behind her soup snake relationship. This one is sure to make you laugh obnoxiously enough that your fellow travelers will stare. Read if: You’re ready to get a good ab workout in while you read!
- “In The Woods” by Tana French: This novel is insanely hard to put down. The plot sucks you in, makes you think you know what’s happening, and then turns that on its head. The story revolves around two Dublin detectives taking on a case that is eerily similar to an event from one of their pasts. Read if: You’re ready to get involved in a chilling mystery/thriller and have plenty of time on your hands to finish the book in one sitting.
- “The Rum Diary” by Hunter S. Thompson: Thompson’s books are always a wild ride, and “The Rum Diary” is no exception. Follow his Gonzo Journalistic exploits in San Juan, Puerto Rico from one stumbling drunk adventure to the next. There’s just enough drama to keep it interesting, but not enough that it overtakes the fantastic prose. Read if: You have a Mai Tai in hand and wish you were going to the tropics.
- “Hold Still” by Sally Mann: This autobiography details Sally Mann’s life as a photographer in Lynchburg, Virginia. Her relatable anecdotes and fascinating artistic tales are easy to get addicted to. Her love of the American South is clear throughout the book, and the photos that accompany the writing are stunning. I didn’t want it to end! Read if: You’re interested in photography and ready to be totally convinced to visit rural Virginia.
- “Jaws” by Peter Benchley: “Jaws” is a classic, there’s no doubt about it. If you can believe it, the book is even more thrilling than the movie, with its love affairs and mob activity added in with the ever-present killer shark. It has all the ingredients of a great beach read, just so long as it doesn’t scare you out of getting in the water. Read if: You like your monster stories with a little romantic drama on the side.
What books are on your summer reading list?