Flip through the pages of a good book this summer! // Photo Source: Conde Nast
Summer is the perfect time to catch up on all the things you’ve been dying to do or have been missing out on during the hectic days of winter and spring. Now that your schedule is more flexible this season, one of the things you should cross off your ‘things to do this summer’ checklist is reading a good book. Sure, there are TV shows and blockbuster movies competing for your attention every summer, but it’s also important to nourish your mind with the written word.
Here are some recommendations for you to savor this summer. Whether you’ll be reading them at the comfort of your own home or bringing them along to your sun-drenched beach vacation, you’ll be spellbound by the stories in the following titles.
My Name Is Memory by Ann Brashares
If you need a bit of hyper-romanticism in your summer reading but you need it done in an elegant and measured manner, this love story by Ann Brashares is perfect for you. Combining mystical and fantasy elements in an adroit weaving of past and present timelines, My Name Is Memory traces the immortal romance between two star-crossed lovers. The pair, whose souls transcend time and space, meet in different physical bodies in various historical periods, all the while escaping a dangerous force that threatens to sever their passion permanently. The idea of literal soul mates is a refreshing take for a romantic work of fiction that does not involve supernatural creatures of any sort, and makes for a great summer read.
Daytripper by Fábio Moon + Gabriel Bá
What better way to elevate your summer reading than by visualizing the story on the pages? Graphic novels might have the reputation of only appealing to niche audiences, but this incredible work by Brazilian twins Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá is something that everyone should read. The central conceit of Daytripper is anything but ordinary: a man lives key chapters of his life, only to die at the end of that moment and proceed with the next chapter of the story and repeat the process. The universal themes of life, death, rebirth, spirituality, family bonds, friendship, and love are expertly blended in this extraordinary graphic novel to showcase a fantastic personal journey augmented by vibrant and dynamic visuals.
And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
Fans of the critically acclaimed novels The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns will rejoice at author Khaled Hosseini’s newest offering. Those who prefer some gut-wrenching drama on their summer reading list won’t be disappointed with And the Mountains Echoed. Hosseini once again plays on his cultural strengths by setting his story in Afghanistan and focusing on the deeply emotional struggles of a new family, which parallels his two previous books. This time around, the story concerns a father selling his youngest daughter to a childless couple, and is presented in chapters as seen through the eyes of various characters as opposed to just one protagonist. Soulful, complex, and awash with the human element, this is a book worth your reading time this summer.
The Beach by Alex Garland
Your summer reading obviously won’t be complete if you don’t have a book with a season-appropriate setting, and Alex Garland’s seminal debut novel is just the thing you need to spice up your list of must-read books. However, don’t be deceived by the innocent title of the novel; it packs a brilliant punch filled with just the right amount of suspense, darkness, and chills—a literary tonic sure to invigorate you from the sultry weather. Focusing on the journeys of a curious traveler and encountering a secret society of globetrotters hidden in the titular location, The Beach draws heavy influences from classic works by William Golding (Lord of the Flies) and Aldous Huxley (Island). Brutal, hypnotic, and utterly transportive, this is a book you’d want to read every summer from here on out.