Summer Reading: A List of Classics

Summer and reading go hand in hand.  You’ve got your beach reads and your escape reads, you have your self help books and your get-better-at-your-job books.  There are options to educate and inform and expand your world view.  Plus, this summer a whole heckuva lot of our activities and our plans have been postponed, canceled or shifted so finding time and space to read is like a little more possible than in previous summers.  As an educator and an avid reader myself, I love a good list of reading options.  And, thank goodness, our library is offering curbside pick up for requested books currently.  Plus, TR is fortunate to have our very own bookstore right on Main Street in the As The Page Turns.  If you can’t find what you want on their full shelves, they’ll order it for you.

At my house, reading is a daily occurrence so when I decided we needed a post to encourage summer reading, I looked to one of my own bookworms.  She’s about to be a junior in high school and if we can’t find her inside the house the first spot we look is on our deck and there she’ll be – lounging in a chair and enjoying a novel.  (She’s personally a big fan of dystopian literature such as Hunger Games and the Maze Runner series. I asked her to stick to classics for this installment of your summer reading suggestions!)




by Mosely Keigley

During the summer it can be hard to find the right books for you to read. You want a book that’s engaging enough to bring on a hike with you to enjoy at the top of a mountain in a hammock. Maybe even a book that you were supposed to read in high school but somehow never got around to it. Such books can be hard to choose. I can help you out with a list of five classics worth reading this summer.  

1.The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

It’s a classic for a reason.  You’ll meet Daisy and Nick and Tom – and of course, Jay Gatsby.  You won’t be able to put this one down as you get a glimpse into the life of the rich and famous in the 1920s and also as you learn some tragic truths along the way.

2. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

This one is my personal favorite. I finished it this year for a class.  The novel is about a man who is convicted of a crime and serves years of work for it. After he is released he takes in an orphaned girl.  It’s a beautiful story of redemption and hope and love.

3. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Set during the Civil War, this novel features four beloved sisters and their mother who are making the best of a really difficult situation.  Throughout the book you see great character changes and the generosity of these women.  Plus, there’s a fantastic new movie version to reward yourself with after your finish the novel.  This one could make a great one to read aloud with your family.  You might laugh over Jo’s antics and I’ll beg you to try to forgive Amy for her mistakes!

4. The Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Sara, the main character, is a wealthy little girl who goes to a boarding school. Disaster strikes early on and dramatically changes Sara’s life, but she remains true to her kind and thoughtful nature despite the terrible changes.  Although this is a book for younger people, it’s a wonderful read at any age.

5. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupery

A short book that is often considered just a children’s story, this book is so much more than that. It’s about a little boy that finds a rose on his planet. He falls in love with it and when he loses his rose he will do anything to get back to his rose.  It’s tender and special and an interesting book to read.  There’s a really great film on Netflix based on this book too.



Don’t just take my word for it.  I talked to some of our TR locals about what they are reading too. I shared those below.  If you want to share what you’re reading, share them in the comments below. I’d love to see what books you think are must reads for the summer.  (I need an excuse to go to As the Page Turns anyway!)

Jonathan LaRoy,  a guest writer for TRH, sent in three of his favorite books to read:  Into The Wild by John Kakauer, Sphere by Michael Crichton and The Lost City Of Z by David Grann.

A children’s author himself, Tim Davis shared some of his favorites too: Holes by Louis Sachar, The Sun Is A Compass by Caroline Van Hemert and Behind Closed Doors by Kenny O’Dell.

Carrie Perry, who works at TR Makers and is also a writer, suggested these choices: Bridge of Birds by Barry Hughart, The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley and The Redemption of Althalus by Leigh and David Eddings.

When we polled some of you readers on  Facebook we heard about books you love like Flabbergasted (which is set in Greenville actually!) and Lowcountry Bombshell as well as A Prayer for Owen Meany.

Brandy Amidon, our mayor, is currently reading Wonder by RJ Palacio with her daughter.  (My family LOVED this book too!)  Next on her to-read list is Brown Girl Dreaming and The Vision Driven Leader.

Reading with your kids is a great activity – and really helped me to love books.  Shaniece Criss, who serves on our Town Council, says she and her daughter often read Grace for President together. “I love reading this educational and inspiring children’s book with my daughter. By the end of this beautiful story, we are always holding each others’ hands.”

Last but not least, you can always trust a librarian to have a lot of book suggestions.  Heidi Smid, who works at our TR library, picked these options: Louisiana’s Way Home by Kate Dicamillo, Here in the Real World by Sara Pennypacker and Booked by Kwame Alexander.

Many thanks to our friends for sending in their favorite books and don’t forget – please comment below on what your favorite books are and what you’re picking to read this summer! 





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