classic novels

More Classic Novels for Your Summer Reading List

Seven more iconic books to add to your summer reading list

With a more low-key summer this year, it’s the perfect time to knock a few books off your reading list. If you’ve already made it through our earlier recommendations, here are a few more ageless classic novels that you can add to your summer reading list.

Our second list of classic novels worth revisiting includes mostly familiar titles. But you might catch at least one that’s new to you, but certainly worth discovering. Settle into a hammock (or barca lounger) and enjoy.

East of Eden

John Steinbeck’s East of Eden, originally published in 1952, follows the tragically inter-tangled tale of two families through the generations. They seem destined to replay over and again the fall of Adam and Eve and the bloody rivalry between Cain and Abel. The timeless exploration of human nature will keep this incredible novel on the list of classics for many years to come.

Slaughter House-Five

First published in 1969, Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughter House-Five is a work of science-fiction involving time travel. The author draws on his experiences as a serviceman during World War II. That creates a realistic picture of the protagonist’s wartime life. Things get strange when he becomes an exhibit in a transparent geodesic dome as part of a zoo on a distant planet called Tralfamadore. Surely, this read will hold your attention.

The Scarlet Letter

Back in 1850, Nathaniel Hawthorne published this incredible work of historical fiction. The story is set 200 years earlier in a strict Puritan community. It follows the tale of Hester Prynne, a woman who has a daughter as the result of an affair and is forced to wear a scarlet ‘A’ for the rest of her life. The story explores themes of sin, guilt, repentance, and religious legalism.

The Diary of Lady Murasaki

Travel back to 11th century Japan and learn what life was like through the eyes of Murasaki Shikibu, a lady-in-waiting in the Imperial court. Probably written between 1008 and 1010, the work provides an intriguing glimpse into the Heian era of Japan’s history.

The Count of Monte Cristo

Originally published as a series between 1844 and 1846, the work by Alexandre Dumas follows the tale of a young sailor imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit. Upon his successful escape, Edmond Dantes turns into the mysterious Count of Monte Cristo in a daring plan to exact revenge upon those responsible for his imprisonment.

Twelve Years a Slave

This true story published in 1853 is the memoir of Solomon Northup, a free black man from New York. He was tricked into going down to Washington D.C. From there, he was kidnapped and sold into slavery. He was enslaved for 12 years, until he was finally able to get word to his family who successfully freed him.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

Ken Kesey’s tale pits Nurse Ratched, a strict nurse overseeing a mental hospital in Oregon, against McMurphy, a new patient in the ward. The threat of electroshock therapy cows everyone else. But McMurphy is determined to free himself and everyone else from her tyrannical rule. Published in 1962, the novel is certainly representative of the spirit of the times.


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