The ABC’s of Literature: A summer reading alphabet

Summer is fast approaching, and whether you’re working an internship, doing research or even moving into the adult world, there should always be some time in summer for reading. So here’s an almost alphabet of books for the summer (as long as word counts will allow).

Douglas Adams, “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” (1978 – 1980): A hilarious, very British science fiction classic that follows a whole cast of eccentric characters from planet to planet.

A.S. Byatt, “Possession” (1990): The parallel story of two Victorian writers who fall in love and the scholars who uncover the mystery of their love affair over a hundred years later.

M.R. Carey, “The Girl with all the Gifts” (2014): A very human, very thought-provoking and refreshingly original zombie novel that delivers on both the emotion and the action.

Lydia Davis, “The Collected Short Stories” (2010): Exquisitely crafted short stories that deliver quite a punch in the space of a paragraph.

Hermione Eyre, “Viper Wine” (2015): Historical fiction that blends contemporary references, clever twists and an examination of the high price women pay for beauty.

Tana French, the “Dublin Murder Squad” (2008) series: Quite possibly the best literary crime fiction out there.

William Goldman, “The Princess Bride” (1973): Giants, sword fights, monsters and true love. (And yes, it is a kissing book.)

Rosamund Hodge, “Crimson Bound” (2015): A strikingly original take on Little Red Riding Hood with a world inspired by the French court at Versailles, a deadly heroine and a love interest with no hands.

Eva Ibbotson, “A Countess Below Stairs” (1981): A delightful romance set between the two world wars, featuring an irrepressible Russian countess working as a maid, a charming earl and a very British supporting cast.

Diana Wynne Jones, “Dark Lord of Derkholm” (1998): What happens when your world, which just happens to posses dwarves, elves and magicians, gets turned into a theme park for Pilgrim Parties from another world?

Lily King, “Euphoria” (2014): A beautifully written, concise tale of a dangerous love triangle between three anthropologists in 1930’s New Guinea.

E. Lockhart, “The Boyfriend List” (2005): An absolutely delightful, real and funny novel, with a distinctive heroine and smart take on the reality of being a teenage girl.

Ian McEwan, “Atonement” (2001): A little girl tells a lie and everything unravels. Just don’t read it outside where everyone can see you cry.

Garth Nix, “Sabriel” (1995): A sweeping high fantasy that features an intricately developed world, a strong-minded heroine and a truly chilling villain who commands the dead.

Michael Ondaatje, “The English Patient” (1992): A quiet but incredibly powerful book about a nurse, a thief, a sapper and the titular patient gathered in an Italian villa in the last days of World War I.

Ann Patchett, “Bel Canto”(2001): An elegant and elegiac story about opera, terrorists and everything in between.

Julia Quinn, “The Duke and I”(2000): Don’t let the cover fool you. This book possesses a charming and clever heroine, touching love story, and lively supporting cast.

Rainbow Rowell, “Fangirl” (2013): A story about first love, family and fandom that’ll appeal to any college student (and many adults) still trying to figure it all out.

Helen Simonson, “Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand”(2010): The unlikely love story of Major Pettigrew and Mrs. Jasmina Ali and a portrait of an English village and its uneasy relationship with change.

Laini Taylor, “Daughter of Smoke and Bone”(2011): The beginning to a sweeping fantasy trilogy about angels, monsters and the blurred boundaries between the two.


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