Advice

Great Summer Reads

Thinking of going to the cottage this summer? Thinking of frequenting a public (or private) pool? Or even a beach? Perhaps you would like a way to unwind during those glorious summer nights. Reading is an effective way of doing just that – not only does it keep your mind active but, obviously, it’s flat-out entertaining. Here are a few great reads perfect for the summer reader:

For the Drama-Lover:

1 – “The Casual Vacancy” – J.K. Rowling

Definitely not to be confused with the Harry Potter franchise, this novel follows the story of a town and its reaction to the death of Barry Fairbrother. The charming little English town is turned to a battleground amongst the community to take Fairbrother’s seat on the parish council. How about a little class warfare to kick-off the summer?

2 – “Life of Pi” – Yan Martel

(Reader beware: this is not a novel about math or delicious desserts) Recently adapted into a film, this philosophical tale about a boy left to fend tragedy on his own has touched the hearts of many. Scratch that – not on his own, but in the company of a large Bengal tiger… stranded on a life raft… after his entire family sunk down in a ship moving a zoo to Toronto. It’s a heavy plot with great insight on life, primarily on the views on different religions. Not just your regular survivor’s tale and definitely not something an avid reader should miss out on.

For those into Sci-fi or Fantasy:

3 – “A Game of Thrones” – George R. R. Martin

This is the first novel in a series called “A Song of Ice and Fire” and has been adapted into an HBO show. The Stark family faces many trials when winter arrives across the lands and the battle for the Iron Throne begins. Treachery, deceit, and the joy of a dead enemy are common in the game of thrones where you win… or you die.

4 – “The Hobbit” – J.R.R. Tolkien

With the recent release of the film version of this classic tale, many readers – fans of “Lord of the Rings” or not – have been flocking to the original novel. Bilbo Baggins is a regular hobbit until he is called to join the adventure of a lifetime by old wizard Gandalf. Fighting a magnificent dragon, discovering the power of a magic ring, and challenging Gollum are amongst the chaotic stops the group takes.

For the Hopeless Romantic:

5 – “Perks of Being a Wallflower” – Stephen Chbosky

This is another heart-felt book that has been turned into a highly-acclaimed film: a coming-of-age story in which freshman Charlie steps from the edges of society into the full light of things. He strives to overcome his quirky, socially awkward nature and enter the world of love and heartbreak. Adventure and self-discovery ensues.

6 – “Silver Linings Playbook” – Matthew Quick

Pat has the eccentric belief that God intervenes in his life like a producer to a motion picture. He intends to become more physically and emotionally fit while trying to make amends with his estranged wife (which is hard when your therapist recommends adultery as a therapy) all the while being pursued by the oddball, Tiffany. Life is strange sometimes, as this heart-warming tale will tell.

For the Lover of Classics:

7 – “The Great Gatsby” – F. Scott Fitzgerald

This timeless tale has once again been remade for the big screen, this time starring Leonardo Dicaprio as Gatsby. Find out what all the rage is about! Gatsby’s fame, fortune, and post-World War I life is not all chalked up as it seems to be. Strip the veneer and you will find a man yearning to return to his humble origins.

8 – “Les Miserables” – Victor Hugo

The recently released film of the classic tale is a star-studded story that derives from the 1800’s tragedy of memorable characters like Jean Valjean and Fantine who try to escape their terrible fates. Taking place during the French Revolution, this is a historical piece whose balance between notoriety and heroism will stick with the reader forevermore.

For the Horror Addicts:

9 – “World War Z” – Max Brooks

There are not many zombie novels well-thought-out enough as Max Brooks’ World War Z. This novel features a collection of individual accounts during the Zombie War including people who strive to maintain humanity in a time of crisis. A seemingly common human survival story with a twist, this is suspenseful fun for the zombie lover.

10 – “Under the Dome” – Stephen King

A small suburban town goes into sheer panic when they are unexpectedly cut off from the outside world under a transparent dome. There is a struggle to survive and a looming fear and dread that accompany each person now from then to the end of the novel. This novel was adapted into a T.V. series.

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