Summer is a great time to catch up on all those books you should have read in high school. This summer and fall, you can read the classics and still have time to enjoy the warm weather.
If you’re looking for an excellent place to start, we’ve compiled a list of classic and contemporary literature that will make your summer reading fun and educational! Below is a list of books from various high school reading lists.
‘Their Eyes Were Watching God’ by Zora Neale Hurston
‘Their Eyes Were Watching God’ was published in 1937 and chronicled the life of Janie Crawford. Janie was born into poverty in rural Georgia but worked to rise above her past, hoping to achieve some semblance of equality.
‘The Old Man and the Sea’ by Ernest Hemingway
‘The Old Man and the Sea’ is another classic that you should pick up this summer. ‘The Old Man and the Sea’ follows Santiago, who finds himself out fishing with his son, Manuel, after finding his wife, now deceased, gone with their money.
‘1984’ by George Orwell
Orwell’s book was written in 1949, and it highlights a bleak, though fictional, future society. In the book, people are brainwashed into thinking that their leader is always right, no matter how cruel he may be. The people blindly worship him and do everything he demands. ‘1984’ highlighted privacy issues that were prevalent during Orwell’s time.
‘Brave New World’ by Aldous Huxley
‘Brave New World’ was written in 1932. It explores how advanced technology, genetically advanced people, and a forced system of sexual reproduction would affect the people in society. The book is set in the year 2012, so it’s quite futuristic.
‘The Great Gatsby’ by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Published in 1925, ‘The Great Gatsby’ highlights the classic symbols of American literature. It’s about a wealthy playboy, Jay Gatsby, who is obsessed with the past and works to achieve its symbols in his present. He exchanges money for love with his neighbor in the novel, Daisy Buchannon.
‘Dracula’ by Bram Stoker
‘Dracula’ was published in 1897, and it’s the first modern vampire novel. In the story, a group of people goes to Transylvania in vain attempts to stop a mysterious vampire from killing Count Dracula, who is rumored to have been reformed by God. The group discovers, however, that Dracula has created a civilization of vampires in his castle.
‘Les Miserables’ by Victor Hugo
Published in 1862 in France, ‘Les Miserables’ is a classic during the early 19th century. The story follows Jean Valjean as he tries to escape after being released from prison and caring for an illegitimate daughter. Hugo’s book highlights the importance of the church and family in French society.
‘The Grapes of Wrath’ by John Steinbeck
Published in 1939, ‘The Grapes of Wrath’ is a classic American novel from Steinbeck. It follows the Joad family as they wander across the country from Oklahoma to California after losing their land and livelihoods to a flood. The Joad family experiences extreme hardships as they struggle to find a way to survive.
There you have it: a list of summer reading classics and contemporary literature. Now, all you must do is pick up a book and enjoy the weather. Good luck!