Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Summer is in full swing and we can't think of anything more relaxing than sitting on the warm sand or under tall, lush trees with a good book. A novel provides a wonderful escape where you can be whisked away to a completely different time period (or world!) and become engrossed in the lives and thoughts of characters. Here are a few of our favorite classic novels for you to spend your summer days musing over! 

To the Lighthouse by Virgina Woolf: Published in 1927, this novel details the Scottish travels of the Ramsay family during 1910 and 1920. Instead of traditional storytelling, Woolf's modernist style focuses on introspective narration with an emphasis on perception and observation. To the Lighthouse demonstrates to readers that characters are not always good and evil; but contain multitudes that can make them both unreliable and complicated. Woolf's three-dimensional characters along with her beautiful storytelling make this a must-read!

The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins: The woman in white that appears at the beginning of the text propels the story into a whirlpool of mystery. With dramatic events at every turn of the page and filled with multiple narrators, this novel will capture both your inner detective and imagination. Published in 1859, this text is one of the first "sensation novels," meaning it is filled with melodrama and gothic elements, which creates a story that is both enthralling and entertaining. You won't be able to put this book down until the truth to the mystery is revealed!

A Room With A View by E.M. Forster: If novels filled with romance have you swooning, this dynamic text is the one for you! Published in 1908, the story is centered around Lucy Emerson, a repressed woman living during the Edwardian era who wants to embark on a free life alongside the man who has her heart. With romantic settings in both Italy and England, this emotional rollercoaster of a novel is a bookshelf essential.

Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys: Any Jane Eyre fan will have their interest piqued at the notion of a prequel to Bronte's classic text. A detailing of the life of the infamous Bertha, or in this text, Antoinette, Rhys tackles issues of colonization and questions to the true character and intentions of the beloved Rochester. This 1966 text challenges the romantic nature of Jane Eyre, and provides readers with an alternative perspective through which to view characters, even ones that are deemed evil.

Nine Stories by JD Salinger: This collection of short stories by the adored author of Catcher in the Rye includes some of his most famous shorter works. Ranging from comedic to dark, each of the stories is incredibly powerful and captures the beauty and complexity of the human condition.

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We can't wait to sit back and be absorbed into each of these literary masterpieces! Which of these books have you added to your summer reading list? 


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