You may have spent the school year using books for doorstops or kindling, but soon you’ll be free enough to make fiction your friend. Included here are some titles that should inspire you to buy a stack and create your own source of fun summer reading. Take them to the pool or the beach, read them on the treadmill and on your lunch break.
To get your mind moving after it recovers from finals, pick up a collection of Sherlock Holmes stories. Arthur Conan Doyle packs intrigue into these mini-mysteries that won’t hurt your head. Then you can move on to some classics like Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist and Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, both of which will be shown on the big screen next fall (the former directed by Roman Polanski and the latter starring Keira Knightley).
Speaking of movies, there are more than a few films coming out this summer that are based on great fiction. There’s Douglas Adams’ hilarious Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and H. G. Wells’ War of the Worlds. You may also want to get started on J. K. Rowling’s 752-page Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire, which will be in theaters in November…and it may take you until then to get through it all.
For Harry’s muggle fan-base, you’d better pre-order Harry Potter & the Half Blood Prince (the sixth book in Rowling’s series) if you plan to start reading it on July 16th. Also being released this summer are Chuck Palahniuk’s new novel Haunted (May 3) and Specimen Days (June 7) by Michael Cunningham (author of The Hours).
To stretch your mind into the realms of cultural and historical fiction, think about Anita Diamant’s The Red Tent which re-envisions the biblical story of Jacob and his wives, or Arthur Golden’s Memoirs of a Geisha which tells the story of…well, it’s pretty evident from the title. And finally, on a campus where most students know more about Tolkien than their nation’s president, just start reading so that you can stop lying about having a favorite character. I’d start with The Hobbit.

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