12 Books to Read This Summer

BöckerSummer is the one time of year that we can hope to find some respite from the demands of life. School is out, vacationing is in full swing, and free time is usually at our disposal. It would make sense to put some of that free time to good use.

Reading is one of the most enjoyable activities that I have ever participated in. Books teach us, grow us, and entertain us. If you haven’t, I would recommend that you check out my article about why I think reading is important.

Last week Luke Adams posted his reading list, and this week I am doing the same. Since I have three months without school, I plan to read at least twelve books this summer. Here are the books that made the cut:

1. The Great Gatsby

Wikipedia describes it as a “cautionary tale” and says that it delves into the “recklessness of youth.” The Great Gatsby is also widely regarded as the Great American Novel. Think of it as Confessions – minus the Christianity, Augustine, philosophy, and antiquity – with a pinch of Americanism and tragedy thrown in for good measure. Where was that connection again?

2. Atlas Shrugged

Atlas Shrugged is Ayn Rand’s magnum opus and the work that was the catalyst that took her from being a mere novelist to a popular philosopher. Who wouldn’t want to read an anti-statist dystopian novel that references Greek mythology in its very title?

3. The Wealth of Nations

Adam Smith is regarded as the father of modern economics, and The Wealth of Nations is his key economic work. If you want to get the background for a lot of contemporary economic thought, read this. Too bad certain prominent *ahem* “figures” don’t have this on their reading lists.

4. The Odyssey

This Homeric epic has influenced western thought, art, and culture for millennia. Supposedly it is a must read for understanding the history of western civilization. I guess we’ll get to determine that for ourselves.

5. The Aeneid

The founding myth and national epic of the Romans is important mostly because of what it is – a book that explained to the Romans who they were and where they came from. Also, a couple of the main character’s descendants are a wolves.

6. How to Win Friends and Influence People

Dale Carnegie’s best-selling self-help book is considered a foundational guide to climbing the ladder of success. If you are a nobody and want to become a somebody, then this book might be for you. With that in mind, I’m no longer so sure why this book is on my list…

7. Animal Farm

An allegorical novel that decries the corruption and immorality of the soviet regime. Allegorically. With Animals.

8. 1984

The dystopian novel that is famous for “Big Brother” and responsible for the creation of the adjective “Orwellian.” If a book has coined two popular phrases, you should probably pay some attention to it.

9. Hamlet

Shakespeare wrote it. Need I say more?

10. The Old Man and the Sea

The Ernest Hemingway novel in which an old man struggles to capture a giant marlin. When he finally reels it in, sharks… um… Well, I think I almost gave away the plot twist. Just go read the book.

11. The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People

A business book that sells over 25 million copies can’t be that bad. If you want to win in life, read this book. It applies to much more than just business… or else it wouldn’t have sold over 25 million copies.

12. Walking

Walking, an essay written by Henry David Thoreau, is bound to be interesting. Just keep this in mind: Solvitur Ambulando or “It is solved by walking.” On that note, I think I hear a nature trail calling my name…

Anyway, that is my reading list for this summer. Some of these books are rather enormous, so I hope that I will be able to finish them all. But I am definitely going to give it a shot.

Summer is one of my favorite times of year because I usually have some spare time to do things that I enjoy during this time of year. This year reading topped the charts as a must-do activity.

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