Summer is a fantastic time for reading; whether you’re away on holiday or staying at home, summer offers university students almost three months of work free time. It's always fun to binge watch a new TV show or play a video game for hours on end but reading a book (that has nothing to do with work or academia) is one of the best past times. If reading isn’t for you but you still want to enjoy the stories, why not try audiobooks? They’re perfect for long walks and car journeys.
Quick and Easy Reads
Bridget Jones’ Diary
Most of us have seen the films and although they’re very good, nothing quite compares to the book. Helen Fielding’s novel is hilarious and is one that will have you laughing out loud. The main character is relatable and voices all the inner feelings that many of us are often too shy to admit. Perfect light-hearted reading!
The Bookish Life of Nina Hill
Abbi Waxman’s novel is one that book lovers will definitely relate to. When introverted Nina’s life is changed, her usual bookstore job and weekly plans are interrupted by a new man, Tom, and the death of an unknown relative. This book has humour, romance and a good story line – making it great for holiday.
The Rosie Project
This is another book in which the life of the protagonist, Don, completely changes. The romantic partnership that Don so carefully tries to plan is disrupted and readers are left with a humorous and heart-warming story of friendship and a very spontaneous kind of romance.
The Life of Pi
Yann Matel’s novel is one that is so fun and engaging to read, as well as carrying a deeper, more metaphorical message. It's filled with suspense, compassion and the heart-warming bond of family and friendship. It's not very long either which makes it a great piece to take on holiday – although maybe not best to take on a cruise!
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine
This book is funny, compelling and easy to read but also brings mental health to the surface. Eleanor Oliphant leads a simple life full of repetition and structure, but that very quickly changes after a small act of kindness changes the way she views the world. Gail Honeyman’s novel is a captivating story that sheds a different light on the world that most people take for granted.
Books to Escape With
Game of Thrones
George R. R. Martin’s fantasy world has won awards on screen but - as usual - the books are even better. The series offers readers the chance to jump into a completely different setting and the story line is complex and rich that it remains enticing throughout. The depth of so many different characters and their relationships makes this series incredibly special and well worth a read over the summer.
Written in 1818, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is the oldest book on the list. We’re all aware of the story of the monster and the scientist, but the book offers so much more than its legend lets on. Despite being over 200 years old, Frankenstein is an amazing novel that is still relevant in modern society Both the novel and the author are spectacular so if you’d like a classic pick up Frankenstein.
The God of Small Things
A must-read. Set in India it follows the lives of twins, Rachel and Esther, and how they navigate life in a world very different to ours. One of the best things about the novel is Arundhati Roy’s ability to combine the big and the litte things to show how everything can make a difference. The rich description of India and nature makes it perfect for reading on a warm summer’s day.
Are we Lemmings and Snowflakes?
Holly Bourne’s novel is a great exploration of mental health that demonstrates what it is truly like to live with it. It is honest and brings forward the importance of kindness and understanding as well as presenting the fact that mental health illnesses is never a person’s fault – it is a disorder not a decision. This is an intense novel that is thought provoking and true to life.
The Jungle Book
Rudyard Kipling’s novel is full of beautiful description and unforgettable animals that come alive. Another novel set in India, but this time there is an exploration on wildlife and nature and the importance of family and friendship. The story makes it fun to read while also being a piece of literature that evokes raw emotion and awe in its readers. Despite its length it is one of those books that, once you pick up, you can’t put down.
If you’re looking to escape into your summer, pick up a book over the next few months; it is one of the best ways to relax without fixating on a screen.