Since I was little, I have always looked forward to the first day of summer when I would go to the bookstore to pick up new books for my summer reading. I’m so busy during the school year that I often become unable to find time to read and therefore the summer is my catch-up time. Every summer I make a list of 20+ books, of which I read at least twenty. I’m a little behind in posting my list as I have already read a few, but I am so excited to share my anticipated reads, and what I’m loving so far! Here are the first ten books on my reading list!
1. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doer
I’ve already read this novel and it is one of the best books that I have ever read. All the Light We Cannot See follows the intertwining journeys of a young French girl, Marie-Laure and a German boy, Werner, throughout and beyond the heart wrenching years of WWII.
“Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.
In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s converge” (Amazon).
This tale of morality and survival is full of breathtaking metaphors and imagery that will leave you unable to close the book, yet dying for it not to end.
2. Travelling to Infinity: My Life With Stephen by Jane Hawking
The inspiration for the film, The Theory of Everything, this novel is written by Stephen Hawking’s ex-wife, Jane. With a PhD in Spanish poetry, Jane genuinely captures the extraordinary life of the theoretical physicist. A must-read!
“In this compelling memoir, Jane Hawking, Stephen Hawking’s first wife, relates the inside story of their extraordinary marriage. As Stephen’s academic renown soared, his body was collapsing under the assaults of motor-neuron disease, and Jane’s candid account of trying to balance his twenty-four-hour care with the needs of their growing family will be inspirational to anyone dealing with family illness. The inner strength of the author and the self-evident character and achievements of her husband make for an incredible tale that is always presented with unflinching honesty; the author’s candour is no less evident when the marriage finally ends in a high-profile meltdown, with Stephen leaving Jane for one of his nurses, while Jane goes on to marry an old family friend.
In this exceptionally open, moving and often funny memoir, Jane Hawking confronts not only the acutely complicated and painful dilemmas of her first marriage, but also the fault lines exposed in a relationship by the pervasive effects of fame and wealth. The result is a book about optimism, love and change that will resonate with readers everywhere” (Amazon).
3. The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill
“Abducted as an 11-year-old child from her village in West Africa and forced to walk for months to the sea in a coffle—a string of slaves—Aminata Diallo is sent to live as a slave in South Carolina. But years later, she forges her way to freedom, serving the British in the Revolutionary War and registering her name in the historic “Book of Negroes.”
A sweeping story that transports the reader from a tribal African village to a plantation in the southern United States, from the teeming Halifax docks to the manor houses of London, The Book of Negroesintroduces one of the strongest female characters in recent Canadian fiction, one who cuts a swath through a world hostile to her colour and her sex” (Lawrence Hill).
4. Paper Towns by John Green
Paper Towns shows us that we must get lost to find ourselves. A beautifully written and thought-provoking read that has just come to the big screen, starring Nat Wolff and Cara Delevingne – yet another reason to read the book first!
“Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificent Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs back into his life—summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge—he follows. When their all-nighter ends and a new day breaks, Margo has disappeared. But Q soon learns that there are clues—and they’re for him. Embarking on an exhilarating adventure to find her, the closer Q gets, the less he sees the girl he thought he knew” (Amazon).
5. A Train in Winter by Caroline Moorehead
This non-fiction read follows the lives of French women in the Resistance during WWII. Tragic, inspirational and full of loyalty, this is a book to read this summer.
“In January 1943, 230 women of the French Resistance were sent to the death camps by the Nazis who had invaded and occupied their country. This is their story, told in full for the first time—a searing and unforgettable chronicle of terror, courage, defiance, survival, and the power of friendship” (Amazon).
6. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
Following in the footsteps of John Green, this hilarious but tragic read honestly portrays the struggles that the average teenager faces in high school. This was also recently released as a film! After reading the novel I cannot wait to see the movie.
“This is the funniest book you’ll ever read about death.
It is a universally acknowledged truth that high school sucks. But on the first day of his senior year, Greg Gaines thinks he’s figured it out. The answer to the basic existential question: How is it possible to exist in a place that sucks so bad? His strategy: remain at the periphery at all times. Keep an insanely low profile. Make mediocre films with the one person who is even sort of his friend, Earl. This plan works for exactly eight hours. Then Greg’s mom forces him to become friends with a girl who has cancer. This brings about the destruction of Greg’s entire life” (Amazon).
7. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
“It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still.
Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement” (Amazon).
To Kill a Mockingbird
“Compassionate, dramatic, and deeply moving, To Kill A Mockingbird takes readers to the roots of human behavior – to innocence and experience, kindness and cruelty, love and hatred, humor and pathos” (Amazon).
Go Set a Watchman
“Go Set a Watchman features many of the characters from To Kill a Mockingbird some twenty years later. Returning home to Maycomb to visit her father, Jean Louise Finch-Scout-struggles with issues both personal and political, involving Atticus, society, and the small Alabama town that shaped her” (Amazon).
9. I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
Malala Yousafzai is an inspiration to girls world-wide. Her courage is reason enough to pick up this memoir.
“On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, when she was fifteen, she almost paid the ultimate price. She was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive.
Instead, Malala’s miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York. At sixteen, she became a global symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest nominee ever for the Nobel Peace Prize.
I AM MALALA is the remarkable tale of a family uprooted by global terrorism, of the fight for girls’ education, of a father who, himself a school owner, championed and encouraged his daughter to write and attend school, and of brave parents who have a fierce love for their daughter in a society that prizes sons.
I AM MALALA will make you believe in the power of one person’s voice to inspire change in the world” (Amazon).
10. The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown
“In this stunning follow-up to the global phenomenon The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown demonstrates once again why he is the world’s most popular thriller writer. The Lost Symbol is a masterstroke of storytelling that finds famed symbologist Robert Langdon in a deadly race through a real-world labyrinth of codes, secrets, and unseen truths . . . all under the watchful eye of Brown’s most terrifying villain to date. Set within the hidden chambers, tunnels, and temples of Washington, D.C., The Lost Symbol is an intelligent, lightning-paced story with surprises at every turn” (Amazon).
What books are on your Summer Reading List?