There's nothing better than reading a good classic book on a warm, sunny summer day. Whether you're chilling in your own back yard this summer or headed off to a more exotic location, you probably want some good summer reads to keep you company.
While there are plenty of new releases you could pick up this summer, why not give a classic book a go instead? Not only are there plenty of benefits to reading classics, but there are some seriously entertaining classic books out there! Ready to dive into to a new read? Here are 5 classic books we think you should read this summer.
1. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
The Sun Also Rises was Ernest Hemingway's first full novel and certainly offers a glimpse of what the author would become in his later work. Set in the 1920s, the book follows a group of American and British expats as they party and drink their way across Europe. The central focus is the San Fermín festival that takes place every summer in Pamplona, Spain. This is where Hemingway's characters converge for a major fiesta.
In traditional Hemingway style, the book doesn't have a happy ending. All of his characters are cynical and jaded, and unrequited love is a pivotal theme in The Sun Also Rises. At the same time, this is what makes the book so good. Hemingway also provides a wonderful glimpse into some Spanish traditions and customs, and you'll learn a fair bit about bullfighting culture in Spain too.
2. Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald
It’s a shame that Tender is the Night is one of Fitzgerald’s less read novels, because it’s a beautifully written book that somewhat mirrors Fitzgerald’s own tumultuous relationship with his wife, Zelda.
The book opens with the arrival of a young, newly-famous actress at a resort in the south of France. There, she meets an enigmatic couple and falls deeply in love with the both of them (for very different reasons). The novel follows the ups and downs of the couple's strained marriage and dives into some pretty dark themes. However, the setting is so beautifully described that you'll feel like you are right there on the beach in France with Fitzgerald's characters!
3. The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury
Why not spice up your list of classic books to read this summer with a little sci-fi? Ray Bradbury was one of the great writers in the genre, and he wrote some truly fantastical and immersive tales. The Illustrated Man is certainly one of Bradbury's best!
In the book, a nameless narrator encounters a man whose entire body is covered with tattoos. Even more remarkable, each tattoo comes alive to spin a haunting story. The Illustrated Man is a wonderful mix of sci-fi, horror, and fantasy—the perfect beach read for anyone who is a fan of Netflix's Black Mirror.
4. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Jane Austen's books are the perfect classic summer reads for so many reasons. Not only are they laugh-out-loud funny, but they're romantic and charming and always have a happy ending.
If you're going to read any one of Austen's novels this summer, I'd recommend picking up one of her most popular: Pride and Prejudice. The novel follows the turbulent relationship between the outspoken and independent Elizabeth Bennett and the stand-offish Mr. Darcy. As the title indicates, they each must overcome their pride and their prejudices against one another and somehow fall in love!
5. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
Last but not least, we're finishing off our list of classic books to read this summer with Charlotte Brontë's wonderful novel Jane Eyre. This book is perfect for anyone who loves a little gothic mystery mixed up with their romance.
Jane Eyre tells the story of a young woman (of the same name) who accepts a job as a governess at Thornfield Hall. Here, she meets her mysterious employer, Mr. Rochester, and complications ensue. What is Mr. Rochester hiding? Is something nefarious lurking in the attic? And will Jane ever find true love? There’s a few twists and turns thrown in there that might surprise even the most avid reader!
What are YOU reading this summer? Share your must-reads with us in the comments below! 👇
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