I’ve had students ask me for years for books I recommend reading over summer break. My goal is always the same: to pick books that students will enjoy reading. Here and there, you have to do something to improve yourself, your grades, or your skills, that is not entirely pleasant. We can avoid that altogether with reading! Don’t suffer–learn and enjoy!
So here it is: the books I recommend to entertain you AND make you smarter at the same time.
- Tutor Ted’s Summer Reading List To Keep You Entertained And Make You Smarter
First up, two all-time classics:
Emma by Jane Austen
You know an author is good when readers actually get addicted to reading her. Go ahead and include every other Austen book (“Pride and Prejudice,” “Sense and Sensibility”) on this list too.
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
This is the most difficult-to-read book on this list. That means more payout when it comes to the making you smarter part of the equation. This book, if you get into it, is really entertaining–it’s hilarious, even. For those of you who are advanced readers already, give this one a try. It’s worth it.
Next, two contemporary classics:
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
I hope this book makes it into the literary canon. It’s that good.
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
Okay, yeah, the subject matter is on the controversial side. But the book is so good!
Last, some very entertaining contemporary books:
No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarty
Cormac McCarthy is one of my favorite authors, and this book is a barnburner. Be ready to sit down and read this in one setting–it’s that entertaining. If you’re like me, this one will set you off on a journey to read every single Cormac McCarthy book.
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
A terrific book: thoughtful, funny, heartbreaking. I can also recommend Everything Is Illuminated by the same author.
Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
I resisted this one for awhile; it was so popular I thought it must be trashy. Au contraire, this guy is a hell of a writer. Go on a ride with this book–it’s smart and provokes a lot of tough questions.
A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
What a story. Hilarious, tragic, surprisingly magical. Just… be ready to cry.
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
Murakami’s got a singular voice. It might work for you, it might not. It works for a lot of people, many of whom end up reading all his books after picking up one.
And so many more… if you want any additional recommendations, let us know! And tell us what you thought of the books on this list!