Summer reading: Not just for kids
Do you remember doing summer reading when you were a kid? You might have groaned about it then, but studies show that the vast majority of college students take pleasure out of recreational reading, whether their books of choice are fantasy fiction, autobiographies or graphic novels. Professors are weighing in on the benefits of leisure reading, from reducing summer learning loss to piquing interest in new academic areas. You don't have to read school books, and many professors say that students can pick up just about any genre.
"They should read trashy beach books," Andrew Vogel, assistant English professor at a university in Pennsylvania, told U.S. News and World Report. "They should read histories. They should read science. They should read news outlets - newspapers, magazines and blogs. They should read a classic or two, something by Mark Twain or Toni Morrison, and maybe even some poetry like Tracy Smith of Rita Dove."
Not sure where to start? Here are a few must reads to give you a nudge toward a successful reading summer:
100 Years of Solitude
Gabriel Garcia Marquez is one of the greatest writers of our time, and his novel "100 Years of Solitude" is considered to be his masterpiece. The book jumps around several different time frames set in a Colombia-like fictional country of Macondo. His words were translated from Spanish by Gregory Rabassa, who managed to retain Marquez' sublime eloquence and vivid descriptions. If you only read one book this summer, make it this one.
As one of Oprah's top recommended summer reading books, "Sister," by Rosamund Lipton, is an exhilarating page-turner. The life of young protagonist Beatrice is turned upside-down when her sister, Tess, is found dead in an apparent suicide. Refusing to believe her sister took her own life, Beatrice becomes an amateur detective, unraveling years of secrets. This book is perfect for seaside tanning sessions.
The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human
National Public Radio (NPR) recently spoke with three independent booksellers on their top picks for this summer. From fanciful novels with elves and goblins to nonfiction memoirs, these pros weighed in and Lucia Silva of California's Portrait of a Bookstore recommended Jonathan Gottschall's provocative and scientifically backed collection of insights about mankind's relationship to storytelling. Ever wonder why your parents' bedtime stories lulled you to sleep? Gottschall has an answer.