Five Fun Books to Read Over the Summer


Anya Geist, Opinions Editor

As summer approaches, many people find themselves with more time to read (or, they tell themselves this will be the summer they finally enjoy reading). To make your summer even more fun, here are five books I highly recommend! Whether you love to read and are simply looking for suggestions, or if you’re hoping to get into reading, these books are funny, light-hearted, and touching. Have fun!

If you like (or dislike) any of them, tell us why! Write a review, and send it to us! Or – if you have your own recommendations, we’d love to hear them!


#1: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Annie Barrows and Mary Ann Shaffer

Guernsey is a sweet, heartwarming story that takes place in the years following World War II in England. It is a unique book, because it is written in the form of letters to and from the protagonist Juliet, who is a writer searching for her next big project. When she learns about the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, a book club on the English island of Guernsey that was occupied by the Germans during the war, Juliet begins to become closer to the Society members through their letters. She learns about the trials they have faced, and the connections between them, ultimately learning more about herself and those around her. With wit and charm, Guernsey is a light-hearted book that will be enjoyable over the summer.


#2: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams

Hitchhiker’s is a ridiculous—and hilarious—book, full of interstellar travel and thoughtful satire. With commentaries on both human and alien societies, Adams makes fun of possibly everything he can. The plot is not the main focus of the book; while it is important, humor is the main point. In the beginning of Hitchhiker’s, protagonist Arthur Dent, a slightly pathetic Englishman, is protesting the demolition of his house, which is being destroyed in order to build a new highway. Little does he know, Earth is about to be destroyed to make space for a highway! Hijinks ensue, and remember, the most important thing a Hitchhiker can carry with them is a towel. . . 


#3: Funny in Farsi, by Firoozeh Dumas

Funny in Farsi is Dumas’ memoir of growing up Iranian in the US in the 1970s and 80s. Lighthearted and touching at the same time, Dumas paints a loving portrait of her slightly chaotic family and childhood. The memories she recounts are specific and detailed, which adds to their sincerity and enjoyability. From learning (or trying to learn) how to swim, to family vacations to Las Vegas, to her summer abroad in France during high school, Funny in Farsi is thoroughly fun and addictive, and is easy to fly through within a couple of days. (Read my full review of Funny in Farsi here.)


#4: A Man Called Ove, by Fredrik Backman

In A Man Called Ove, an older man called Ove goes about his life, as a curmudgeonly, seemingly joyless member of society. However, there is much more to Ove than meets the surface. Throughout the book, surrounded by his friends and neighbors, Ove grows and opens up to those around him, discovering what is important to him in life. Equal parts witty, laugh-out-loud funny, touching, and tearjerking, A Man Called Ove is a good reminder for all of us about the power of community, the importance of appreciating and valuing those close to us, and the great ability we have as people to forge new relationships with others.


#5: A Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towles

I’ve always loved historical fiction, and A Gentleman in Moscow encapsulates some of the best aspects of the genre. When the Communists gain power in the early 1900s in Russia, former Count Rostov is sentenced to house arrest—in the Metropol, Moscow’s finest hotel. A Gentleman in Moscow follows the life of just that—a gentleman in Moscow. As the years go by, the Count sees Russia change, makes new connections within the hotel, and adapts to a changed life. The writing in A Gentleman in Moscow is detailed, absorbing, and easy-to-read. This book is sure to engage the reader with its lightheartedness, emotion, and pure enjoyment of itself.