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the cousins beach house in the summer i turned pretty season 2
the cousins beach house in the summer i turned pretty season 2
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Culture > Entertainment

Three books that feel like Summer

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at ICU (Japan) chapter.

Summer feels like a big bite into a fresh apple, summer feels like dancing on the street, summer feels like loving someone, getting your heart broken and then getting it fixed again, summer feels like the trees waving in the hot air and your heart shakes with it. Summer feels like crying and laughing out loud. I love this opening uWu

I want to introduce three books that makes me feel like summer. 

The first would be Beartown by Fredrik Backman. Backman is my favorite author of all time and I could recommend any one of his books for any time of the year, but Beartown feels the most heart breaking, and I think summer is a good time to be heartbroken. It is a story about being hurt by people but having your family firmly beside you, they hurt with you, and somehow, that makes it a lot better. Quoting the book: “The best friends of our childhoods are the loves of our lives, and they break our hearts in worse ways.” Backman has this beautiful talent when it comes to writing about people and relationships, with metaphors and lines so beautiful and straight to the heart. It is a book that feels like a guitar played by the person you love the most, and they hold onto your hand so softly as if they’re not holding on at all, and your heart beats for that second. It is a book that gives readers courage to go on with life, and for sure summer is a time when you really need it. +

The second book, Klingsor’s Last Summer, the title already fits our theme. It is about a painter spending his last summer in southern Switzerland——about passion, poetry, alcohol; about love and death. I don’t think we need to stress how great a writer Herman Hesse is. Reading this book makes you feel like a philosopher, thinking about all sorts of concepts like time and life. “This day will never come again and anyone who fails to eat and drink and taste and smell it will never have it offered to him again in all eternity. The sun will never shine as it does today…But you must play your part and sing a song, one of your best.” This is a book that makes you feel like someone threw you into the lake on the hottest summer day, and you’re drenched in the green lake water from head to toe, and then they lift you up again, all the water on you splashes on to the ground, you’re soaked to the bone, and you laugh out loud; this is a book that gives you the urge to run out in the pouring rain, spinning around and around, just for the feeling of the heavy rain hitting your skin in mid-July. 

Finally, the last book is by another favorite author of mine, Gabriel García Márquez. Strange Pilgrims is a series of short stories by Márquez, and if you like magical realism, you cannot miss it. Reading this book feels like walking on the streets of Madrid bathed in the sun, hot and sweaty, you walk and walk on an endless street and the whole worlds starts to spin, until you can’t tell what’s real and what’s not anymore. Are you in a dream, or did you just walk out of a time machine? Or are you in the actual reality that you haven’t found before? “A strange sensation is overcoming me, pronounced and brief like the smell of my father’s aftershave. How remote the days seem now when I wait for the phone to ring, hoping for a voice that will make my stones dance.” Márquez has the power to write about the smallest things in the weirdest, and it touches your heart in many ways. 

Every summer makes us feel somehow nostalgic. Thinking back on the summer of 2015, and what you were doing that summer, isn’t it crazy how time passed by us so ruthlessly? But there will always be the next summer, and hopefully this one is just as breathtaking as these books are.

Yiyan Zhang

ICU (Japan) '26

My favorite author is Fredrik Backman. My favorite story is Light Is Like Water. My favorite drink is coffee.