5 Best Books for Those Long Summer Days

Updated on July 18, 2017

1. Love in the Time of Cholera

I recently finished this novel and it is the PERFECT read on a hot summer day. Set in a South American country, this epic tells the story of the long, ill-fated love between Florentino and Fermina. The story of their love through marriage to other people and tragedy will melt even the hardest of hearts. Personally, summer is my favorite time to read romance (as evidenced by the number on this list) and this novel does not disappoint. The quotable passages, steamy love scenes, and foreign setting make it ideal for those long August weekends.

2. Gone With the Wind

If you haven't heard of this book or its strong-willed main character Scarlett O'Hara then you need to pick up this book immediately! For those that don't know, this novel is set before, during, and after the Civil War in Georgia. It follows Scarlett as she grows from a flirty, naive young woman into a strong, self-sufficient wife and mother that will do anything to achieve security and the hearts of those she loves. I don't know about you but I have a slight obsession with all things Southern and I can't imagine anything more Southern than summer. While this isn't exactly a beach read (it's over 1000 pages!), summer gives the perfect opportunity to finish this beast without the distractions of school.

3. The Secret Life of Bees

I first read this book when I was in high school for my freshman English class. I initially thought I'd hate it (as I usually did anything we had to read for school) but this book was fantastic! It centers around a young girl that runs away from her family and finds refuge with a group of three eccentric, beekeeping sisters. It's a story with positive female friendships and the focus on all things beekeeping and honey give it a great summery vibe. Also, the movie with Dakota Fanning, Queen Latifah, Alicia Keys and Jennifer Hudson is incredible. Read the book before you see the movie!

4. Anything by Jennifer E. Smith

Ok, so I had to include some contemporary YA Fiction to this list. Personally, the only time I pick up this genre is during the summer. There's something about the warm weather that draws me to them! My personal favorites by Jennifer E. Smith are The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight and The Geography of Me and You. Both are easy reads that feature incredibly sweet love stories. If you're tired of reading super sexy stories definitely give these a try. Nothing says summer more than teenage romance!

5. On the Road

And finally, the road trip book to end all road trip books. This thought-provoking novel follows friends Sam and Dean as they travel the U.S. Filled with all those cliches of freedom and self-exploration, this book is character-driven and deep, leaving you thinking about it for days later. Jack Kerouac is a controversial author and I recommend you take the time to form your own opinion. Also, watch the movie for some post-Twilight Kristen Stewart!

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