Recommended Summer Reading List

A bunch o' books suggested by the folks at Avid Bookshop in Athens, Ga.

Ah, summer. A time of cool drinks and good books. Whether you're looking for books for adults, young adults or children, the folks at have you covered. They have assembled a booklist that will delight readers of all ages.

Oh, and if you can't find the book you want on the shop shelves, the staff will happily order it for you.

Happy reading!


1. The Age of Miracles – Karen Thompson Walker

A haunting and unforgettable coming-of-age debut for fans of speculative fiction set against the backdrop of a world where the earth has slowed, and the days grow longer. A breakout debut.

2. John Henry Days – Colson Whitehead

From the author of "The Intuitionist" comes a retelling of the legend of John Henry that sweeps across generations and cultures in a stunning, hilarious, and unsettling portrait of American society.

3. Dandelion Wine – Ray Bradbury

Certainly anyone wanting to know what made Ray Bradbury the human being he was should read Dandelion Wine.

4. The Art of Fielding  - Chuck Harbach

An intricate, poised, tingling debut. Harbach's muscular prose breathes new life into the American past-time, recasts the personal worlds that orbit around it, and leaves you longing, lingering, and a baseball convert long after the last page.

5. Farther Away – Jonathan Franzen

While he may well be one of the biggest contemporary literary egos, Franzen’s essays (particularly the titular essay regarding the late David Foster Wallace) are often filled with important ethical questions and provocative tension.


1. When You Reach Me – Rebecca Stead

If A Wrinkle in Time is well-loved after you read it, next reach for Rebecca Stead's When You Reach Me, a gorgeous gem of a book in which the main character is obsessed with L’Engle’s novel.

2.  The Fault in Our Stars -- John Green

On the surface, this is a love story between two teenagers with cancer. Look closer and this book is about grief, joy, and the type of legacy one leaves after death. How beautiful to see these reflections through the eyes of young adults. Due to subject matter, this is a good choice for grades 11 and up.

3. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl – Jesse Andrews

Me, Earl, & the Dying Girl is real, raunchy, funny, and deeply moving. Two teenage boys develop a friendship around shared insecurities and a love of Werner Herzog. One reviewer calls this “a dispatch from the frontlines of adolescence.” Perfectly put.

4. Battle Royale – Koushun Takami, translated by Yuji Oniki

You love the Hunger Games? Battle Royale served as a very strong influence to that now-bestselling series. Check it out!

5. Every You, Every Me – David Levithan

David Levithan is one of the best YA novelists out there. He has realistic insights into the lives of today’s youth.

Classic Kids:

1. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain

Twain’s incisive humor stands in a class of its own. Satirizing a Southern antebellum society that had ceased to exist about twenty years before the work was published, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is scathing look at entrenched attitudes.

2. A Wrinkle in Time – Madeleine L’Engle

Madeleine L’Engle’s timeless (and time-bending) A Wrinkle in Time is as fresh and unique as it was at the time of its 1962 publication. The first in L’Engle’s Time Quartet series, A Wrinkle in Time probes into themes of good versus evil, conformity, and the nuanced sensibilities of childhood.

3. Nancy Drew Series – Caroline Keene

A cultural icon, Nancy Drew has been cited as a formative influence by a number of women, from Supreme Court Justices Sandra Day O'Connor and Sonia Sotomayor to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and former First Lady Laura Bush!

4. Roald Dahl’s Children’s Fiction

An ingenious imagination, a fascination with odd and ordinary detail, and a lust for its thorough exploitation are the strengths of Dahl's storytelling. Books such as Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Twits, the BFG and others will never go out of style.

5. The Yearling – Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

The Yearling, set in rural Florida at the end of the 19th century, tells the story of the relationship between young Jody Baxter and his pet fawn, Flag. Lush, atmospheric, and based largely on Rawlings’ personal childhood, The Yearling continues to be a wonderful summertime read.

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Rebecca McCarthy June 09, 2012 at 03:23 PM
What are you reading this summer?
Rachel Watkins June 09, 2012 at 05:39 PM
You can invest in entrepreneurship and create local jobs by buying your summer books from Avid! Order online and select "pick up at store" for no shipping charges! http://www.avidbookshop.com/


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