With more free time than you’re used to, it’s finally time to catch up on your reading list. Below are my picks for the best books that balance quality and readability, classic clout and pop lit appeal. I had an English professor in college that called these kinds of books “beach reads.” These novels have stood the test of time, but won’t bog down your trip.
The Heart of the Matter by Graham Greene
Graham Green’s classic tells a story about an Englishman and his wife stationed in Africa during wartime. Green teaches his reader a lot about empathy through the story. I always love when a book draws a commonality a protagonist and me when they initially seem so different. Never wanting to exclude a group of readers, Green writes in a straightforward style that’s always approachable.
$10 via Barnes & Noble
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
This novel is on the fast track to becoming a classic, it just isn’t old enough yet. Ishiguro’s light sci-fi boasts a lot of humanity and supremely memorable characters. This novel has one of my favorite plot twists ever, so be ready to fall out of your chair.
$13 via Barnes & Noble
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Here’s the deal: if you havn’t read it, go get a copy and start. Classics get a bad rap for being impossible to slog through, but Fitzgerald’s masterpiece proves to be a wonderful exception. The genius of the book doesn’t just lie in the writing or the characters, but in how such a profound piece fits into so few pages. Fitzgerald proves himself to be a master of brevity with this novel that’s good enough to reread.
$13 via Barnes & Noble
Alice in Wonderland by Louis Carroll
The endless movies, clothing lines, toys and re-illustrated editions of Alice In Wonderland makes it one of the most culturally relevant books currently available. The book’s quirkiness makes it infinitely rereadable so you can always expect to find something new in Wonderland.
$5 via Barnes & Noble
Slaughterhouse 5 by Kurt Vonnegut
This is perhaps the best book by the recently deceased Kurt Vonnegut. Jumping around in its timeline nearly every chapter, it keeps the reader interested in a really fun way. Plus, it’s a book that aims to teach the reader how to let go of the unimportant things. What a perfect summer vacation read!
$8 via Barnes & Noble