Summer readings: find your perfect holiday partner
After a great debut with The Girl on the Train, author Paula Hawkins put her vivid imagination to work with this suggestive title. This story starts with a loss: in the last days before her death, Nel called her sister, Jules, but she didn’t answer. Now Nel is dead, and Jules and her teenage niece have to face secrets and ugly truths that Nel had never explained.
The story has numerous twists and witnesses, each giving different viewpoints, leaving the reader questioning who is trustworthy. The fact that Beckford, the village where the story takes place, has a long-running history of witchcraft and rituals happening at the place where Nel dies, gives the book a sinister atmosphere and makes it impossible to put down. And everyone knows that one of the best summer readings possible are thrillers. Well, Into the Water is a twisting and chilling thriller, with different plot lines that will keep you turning the pages.
Gilead has taken everything away from the women of what once was the United States. As a new order based on a totalitarian Christian theonomy arises (a form of government in which society is ruled by divine law), women experience the loss of their rights and freedom to do, roam, work or own anything, without the consent of a man. Author, Margaret Atwood leads us by the hand while we explore the subjugation of women to a patriarchal and misogynistic society, told from the point of view of the handmaid named Offred (the book’s central character).
This curious name derives from the possessive “of Fred”, the Commander she serves and to whom she should bear a baby. Handmaids are the response of the ruling elite to falling fertility rates: fertile women are kept as captives and forced to have babies in order to ensure the survival of society. Atwood perfectly draws out the feelings, thoughts and despairs of a woman who is trying not to lose her identity, despite the odds. This dystopian novel portrays an interesting view on the human soul and its yearnings. It is certainly worth a read.
Also, this summer reading can be mixed with the HBO TV series about the book; you’ll love it.
A Pulitzer Prize winner, this novel by John Steinbeck is a classic piece of American literature. Set during the Great Depression of the 1930s, The Grapes of Wrath tells the story of the Joads, a poor family of tenant farmers from Oklahoma. The Joads seek for a better life in California, away from the economic hardships of their homeland. Considered to be one of the best realist novels ever written, The Grapes of Wrath is a celebrated title due to its historical context and the magnificent insight into a family’s exodus and the ensuing wreckage.
Another great American writer, Ray Bradbury penned this acclaimed dystopian novel in 1953. Fahrenheit 451 portrays a hypothetical futuristic American society, where books and knowledge are outlawed. In this society, ironically, the duty of firefighters is to burn books. The main character is a firefighter named Montag.
As he slowly becomes disillusioned with his duty, he starts questioning the utter purpose of burning and erasing knowledge. Discovering that the system encourages people to be ignorant, so making it easier to control the population, Montag chooses to fight against it. And a curious fact: the novel owes its name to the exact temperature at which paper catches fire. Also this one had a movie version in 1966, directed by French director François Truffaut.
Reading is a pleasure that can take time, and it’s entirely worth the effort. Also, think about summer readings as an opportunity to add new genres and titles to your personal library. If it seems too hard for you to choose amongst these great books, we suggest you read them all— under the cool shade of an umbrella, of course.