One of the best parts about summer is all the free time you have to read for fun, something most collegiettes™ don’t have time for during the semester. Here are some great reads you should definitely check out.
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy: This 1,000 plus page Russian novel might take you all summer to read, but trust me, it’s worth it. Known as one of the greatest novels of all time, its got adultery, a love triangle, horse racing, hunting, and drinking, all mixed in with musings about the meaning of life, religion, and women’s education in the nineteenth century. What else do you need in a good book?
Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton: Early 20th century aristocratic society and manners set in New York City; another book about an epic, tragic love affair. It’s a page-turner and a classic.
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen: Everyone always goes for Pride and Prejudice, which is also, of course, a great novel, but Northanger Abbey is perhaps Jane Austen’s most unique book. It was Austen’s first published novel, a mock-heroic, and simultaneously gothic and mock-gothic novel. The book is infused with Jane Austen’s sharp wit and irony. You will want to be best friends with the heroine, Catherine, as she awkwardly makes her way through Bath society balls and falls in love with the charming Henry Tilney.
The More Recent Stuff:
Dreaming in French by Megan McAndrews: The protagonist of this novel, Charlotte Sanders, is an American growing up in Paris in the 1970s. Her perfect life gets dramatic when her mother has an affair with a Polish communist. This book is funny, bittersweet, and very well written.
Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessel: This is one of my favorite books ever. The heroine, Blue van Meer, and her father move from one town to the next as her father moves from one teaching job to the next. The book is full of mystery, hilarity, and tragedy. Just read it.
The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri: Jhumpa Lahiri, an Indian writer who lives in Brooklyn, is a pro at writing about Indian children growing up in the US, caught between parents who are desperate to hold onto their heritage, and the pressure to assimilate to their new home. The Namesake tells the story of Gogol Ganguli as he grows up in the United States and struggles with his identity. Beautifully written and incredibly accessible prose.