3 Great Reads For The Summer

Reading has countless benefits. Nothing feels better than being able to escape into the world of literature after a long and tiresome day. There are so many things that we can learn from books – they improve our verbal abilities, imaginations, understandings of the world, and more. Upon entering university, however, many students put a stop to recreational reading. This is quite understandable, since we are all constantly drowning in assigned readings, assignments, and group projects. With summer fast approaching and days of schoolwork behind us, here are three books that you should definitely check out when you have time.

1. Pride and Prejudice

This is perhaps my all-time favourite book. It tells the story of the Bennet family, consisting of Mr. and Mrs. Bennet and their five daughters. The book centers around Elizabeth Bennett, the second eldest of the five daughters, and her relationship with the arrogant, wealthy Mr. Darcy. Not going to lie, the language used in this book is quite different from your everyday modern novel. But once you get used to it, you will generate a deep appreciation for Jane Austen’s skillful writing style and voice.

2. Gone with the Wind

A very lengthy read, but definitely worth your time, Gone with the Wind is my go-to book when I’m feeling stressed or down. It’s one of those books that you can flip open to a random page and start reading, and immediately be sucked into a whole new fictional world. The novel is set in the South during the American Civil War and Reconstruction era. It tells a coming-of-age story of young Scarlett O’Hara, the daughter of a plantation owner. The plot is full of unexpected twists and exciting events, making it hard to put down. The determination and bravery of Scarlett O’Hara’s character make her a true role model for many.

3. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

My final recommendation is this semi-autobiographical novel by Betty Smith. The novel is set in the early 20th century in New York City, and features an impoverished but determined young girl, Francie Nolan, and her family. It is truly a “work of literary art that brilliantly captures a unique time and place as well as incredibly rich moments of universal experience” (Goodreads).

Do you see any similarities among the three books that I’ve recommended? Yes, I’m a big fan of classical literature, but additionally, all three of the books that I’ve recommended feature a heroine and are bildungsromans (coming-of-age stories). Stop by a library during the summer and give one of these books a try! You’ll soon find yourself "awww"-ing over Elizabeth and Darcy’s relationship, enchanted by Scarlett’s O’Hara’s fiery nature, and inspired by Francie Nolan and her family.