Best Summer Reads
By Sam Levenberg, Staff Writer
So, I walked into my kitchen earlier and saw, sitting in a little bowl on the counter, the first summer tomatoes from my dad’s garden. As I sat down to enjoy a few lightly salted tomato slices (you should try it—it’s surprisingly delicious), I remembered some of the other small things that make summer simply delightful: eating dinner on the porch, lounging by the pool, playing summer nighttime games like capture the flag or manhunt, and, most especially, taking the time to sit down and read a good book.
Being an English major, I am required to read a lot of books, some of which are enjoyable, some of which are not. Often the books I read for school are not the ones I would pick up in my spare time. Ever since I was a little kid, I have enjoyed reading good adventure stories because they are always amazingly fun to read and can usually be finished in a day or two. As I have gotten older, the stories shifted from young adult to mature fiction, but my love for adventure stories has not diminished. So without further ado, here are some of the books, authors, and stories I have been reading this summer.
Fables: This is not technically a series of book-books, but a series of graphic novels. The story lines they contain are so intricate and wonderfully original that I have literally spent hours reading and re-reading the series. In short, magical creatures called Fables, kicked out of their own world, end up in moving into ours. The series is about their struggles to live among humans, or “Mundies” as they call us, while still keeping their own lives in check. If you’re interested in a new spin on storybook characters such as Snow White, Prince Charming, The Big Bad Wolf, Cinderella, Jack (from “Jack and the Beanstalk” fame) and others, then this is a must read.
Amberville: This one is definitely interesting. Set in a world exactly like ours, except populated by anthropomorphic stuffed animals, Amberville is a gritty, dark mystery novel that does not disappoint. While the mystery itself was not all that spectacular, the characters in the story are what sold it for me. If you’re interested in reading something wayyy out of the ordinary, then this is definitely for you.
Percy Jackson: When I say Percy Jackson, I mean the whole series, not just the first book (read the book, DON’T see the movie—the book is way better), because it features a genre and a story arc that are personally right up my alley. Having had to read canonical literature for most of the last eight months has been grueling, so picking up this series and reading it cover to cover in two weeks was a nice break. As well, being a fan of mythology, I was pleased to see how Rick Riordan incorporated almost every Greek myth and story into his books in various ways. These are nice and easy reads, but they’re still fun and engaging all the while.
Roald Dahl: This man is my favorite writer by far. Many of you have probably read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Matilda as well as a number of his other children’s stories. Yet, what I love most about his writing is his short stories. While mostly dark and humorous, all of them are simply amazing to read. Consequently, his stories cover a lot of the darker topics his more popular fiction does not, and yes, there are quite a few—murder, art, sex and humanity’s insanity are some of the more common ones, but this topic list has an extensive range. If you get a chance, I strongly suggest you pick up a copy of The Best of Roald Dahl. My personal three favorites are “Lamb to the Slaughter,” “Skin,” and “Pig,” but if you do read his stories, let me know which ones you liked. I can talk about his works for hours upon hours upon hours.
That’s it for now. I wish you all a happy day, and happy night, and a happy everything. Feel free to contact me with any of your good summer reads, as I am running out of books to read and could use some mighty suggestions.
With summer restlessness,
Posted on July 24, 2013, in Cool Stuff and tagged Amberville, best summer reads, books, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, college, english, english major, fables, Lamb to the Slaughter, Matilda, Percy Jackson, reading, Rick Riordan, Roald Dahl, sam levenberg, summer, yorick magazine. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.