If you’re attending any kind of school, you’ve probably received an extensive list of required reading material from your teachers or professors. If you haven’t, the list is on its way and you’re quietly mourning the loss of your summer in a darkened room, tears flowing freely.
But wait - there is hope.
Weep no more, because I’ve decided to assign my own summer reading list to those of you who are looking for a bit of entertainment between long volumes about dust mites and the growth of corn in New Zealand. Even if you’ve managed to escape the mandatory reading assignments, there’s no reason you shouldn’t give the following books a chance.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid and its sequels - Jeff Kinney: Quick, widely available and hilarious at any age, the saga of everyone’s favorite long-suffering middle child, Greg Heffley, simply can’t be passed over.
Train-spotting - Irvine Welsh: Phonetic accents, pub fights, soccer rivalries and narrators of questionable reliability. What’s not to love? This alternately funny and disturbing tale of Scotland’s drug-fueled underground and its inhabitants is hard to put down once it’s been picked up (and once you’ve gotten the hang of the accents).
The Stepford Wives - Ira Levin: Joanna Eberhart has made it her mission to discover what exactly has been going on at the Stepford Men’s Association. The answer is far more shocking than the billiards and whiskey-fueled parties she had expected. This classic satire of suburbia is a very quick read with delightfully believable dialogue.
Everything is Illuminated - Jonathan Safran Foer: In all honesty, this is one of the few instances where the film version far outshines the book. However, this funny and touching novel is still absolutely worth a read. A young American man (who shares the author’s name) journeys to rural Ukraine in order to discover the truth about a family secret. His companions include a young man with an interesting grasp on the English language (sleeping is referred to as “manufacturing z’s) and an equally interestingly named dog.
Hannah Barger is a recent Wilson Central graduate and plans to attend Tennessee Tech University in the fall to major in journalism.