summer reading

Posted : June 8, 2010
Last Updated : July 1, 2022

summer reading

Summer reading provides an excellent opportunity for you to improve your academic skills while having fun at the same time. While you are on summer break, be sure to grab some good books and let your imagination take you away. often has the classics deeply discounted in the bargain bin.

Benefits of Reading

Students who read during the summer enhance literacy skills developed during the school year and gain a wealth of knowledge to carry to the next grade level and beyond. Reading can also help you:

  • Build your vocabulary
  • Perfect your writing skills
  • Open your eyes to a wide variety of opportunities, ideas, and personalities
  • Develop problem-solving skills
  • Improve upon your standardized test scores

Ways to Make Reading Fun

For many people, reading is a very enjoyable hobby. However, for others, reading can be a chore. If you fall into the latter category, you need to come up with ways that will make it a more pleasurable experience so you can reap the many benefits of reading. Here are some suggestions:

  • Get comfortable. Find a quiet, cozy environment that will be conducive to your reading. This could be a hammock in your backyard, a blanket on the beach, or pile of pillows in your bedroom. Grab your favorite snacks, sit back, and enjoy the story.
  • Create a summer book club. Start a summer book club with a group of your friends. Create a list of books to read by a certain date. After everyone has finished a book, gather together at someone's house, the pool, a coffee shop, etc. and discuss the book in detail. Finishing the books will be easier when you have something to look forward to with your friends.
  • Choose books that interest you. Choose books that are appealing to you. If you love cars, read about them. Animal lover? Get a book about animals. Once you start reading books that hold your interest, you will realize that reading is actually fun and will probably want to start reading about broader topics.

Suggested Summer Reading List for High School and College Students

The following is a list of suggested summer reading material for high school and/or college students (source: The Washington Post).


  • All the King's Men, by Robert Penn Warren
  • As I Lay Dying, by William Faulkner
  • Benito Cereno, by Herman Melville
  • Bless the Beasts & Children, by Glenson Swarthout
  • The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison
  • Brideshead Revisited, by Evelyn Waugh
  • A Canticle for Leibowitz, by Walter M. Miller Jr.
  • Catch-22, by Joseph Heller
  • Cat's Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut
  • Ceremony, by Leslie Marmon Silko
  • Cold Mountain, by Charles Frazier
  • Cry, the Beloved Country, by Alan Paton
  • Dancing on the Edge, by Han Nolan
  • The Da Vinci Code, by Dan Brown
  • Devil in a Blue Dress, by Walter Mosley
  • The Diagnosis, by Alan Lightman
  • El Bronx Remembered, by Nicholasa Mohr
  • Ethan Frome, by Edith Wharton
  • A Farewell to Arms, by Ernest Hemingway
  • The Farming of Bones, by Edwidge Danticat
  • Five Quarters of the Orange, by Joanne Harris
  • A Girl Named Disaster, by Nancy Farmer
  • Home of the Braves, by David Klass
  • Interpreter of Maladies, by Jhumpa Lahiri
  • In This Sign, by Joanne Greenberg
  • Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Brontë
  • The Joy Luck Club, by Amy Tan
  • Jubilee, by Margaret Walker
  • The Kitchen God's Wife, by Amy Tan
  • Love in the Time of Cholera, by Gabriel García Márquez
  • Lucy, by Jamaica Kincaid
  • Madame Bovary, by Gustave Flaubert
  • Native Son, by Richard Wright
  • On the Beach, by Nevil Shute
  • One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, by Alexander Solzhenitsyn
  • A Passage to India, by E. M. Forster
  • Portrait in Sepia, by Isabel Allende
  • A Prayer for Owen Meany, by John Irving
  • Ragtime, by E.L. Doctorow
  • Return of the Native, by Thomas Hardy
  • Rule of the Bone, by Russell Banks
  • Rules of the Road, by Joan Bauer
  • Running Loose, by Chris Crutcher
  • The Samurai's Garden, by Gail Tsukiyama
  • Shane, by Jack Schaefer
  • Shogun, by James Clavell
  • Siddhartha, by Herman Hesse
  • Song of Solomon, by Toni Morrison
  • The Sound and the Fury, by William Faulkner
  • The Stranger, by Albert Camus
  • Stranger in a Strange Land, by Robert A. Heinlein
  • The Sun Also Rises, by Ernest Hemingway
  • A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens
  • Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe
  • The Time Machine, by H.G. Wells
  • True Grit, by Charles Portis
  • Year of Wonders, by Geraldine Brooks
  • A Yellow Raft in Blue Water, by Michael Dorris


  • Among Schoolchildren, by Tracy Kidder
  • Angela's Ashes, by Frank McCourt
  • Fathering Words: The Making of an African American Writer, by E. Ethelbert Miller
  • Having Our Say: The Delaney Sisters' First 100 Years, by Sarah and Elizabeth Delaney
  • Makes Me Wanna Holler: A Young Black Man in America, by Nathan McCall
  • My Bridges of Hope: Searching for Life and Love After Auschwitz, by Livia Bitton-Jackson
  • Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, by T.S. Eliot
  • Profiles in Courage, by John F. Kennedy
  • There are No Children Here: The Story of Two Boys Growing Up in the Other America, by Alex Kotlowitz
  • Up From Slavery, by Booker T. Washington
  • The Water Is Wide, by Pat Conroy

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