Building Your Perfect Summer Reading List


Sonya Saatzer's picture

By Sonya Saatzer - Posted on 23 June 2010

There’s something about being surrounded by books that I just love, whether it be perusing the shelves at Barnes and Noble or picking up 15 books at the library to take home with me, the endless possibilities of adventure, love, and mystery are so exciting!

For those of you like me, I don’t have to tell you how wonderful it is in the summer Reading is a great way to keep your brain healthy when not actively learning in school when you hopefully have a lot more time to spend reading. For those of you that wonder how anyone could read a book for fun, my hope is that this summer, you’ll find a real page-turner; one that takes you someplace you’ve never gone before.

It’s very difficult to find one master list of all the books you should read, so what I’d recommend is creating a custom list for you. In doing so, there are a couple of things to think about.

  1. Think about what subjects interest you:
    • Fiction or Non-Fiction
    • Horror, Adventure or Mystery
    • Science Fiction or Fantasy
    • War and Military Fiction
    • Westerns or History
    • Sports or Romance
  2. Think about places you’d like to visit or destinations that make you happy:
    • Do you like to read about stories that take place near water?
    • In your home state?
    • In Europe, Africa or another continent?
    • Somewhere warm or somewhere cold?
  3. What time period do you find most fascinating?
    • Is there a war that really grabs your attention?
    • Do you wish you grew up when your grandparents did or maybe even centuries ago?
    • Do you like the imagination that it takes to think about life hundreds of years in the future?
  4. What are other people saying?
    • Is there an author in particular that you’d like to read?
    • Is there a series that you’ve heard great things about?
    • Are there books that have won awards that peak your interest such as Newbery Medal books or National Book Award books?

After you figure out what topics you think you’d be interested in reading, you’ll be able to narrow down the books to put on your list. For me, the tricky part is finding books that fit my criteria (and it’s okay to have different types of criteria!) There are so many books out there, where do you even begin to search for titles?

I’ve compiled some websites that I think are great in order to help you to come up with titles. So, think about what you’re interested in reading, check these websites out, and set a goal for yourself for the number of books or pages you’d like to read. Then head on down to the library and stock up.

Middle School Students

Check out Barnes and Noble’s top books for middle school and high school students. Use the categories on the left-hand side to help you narrow your search to titles that would be of most interest to you:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/u/young-reader-favorites/379001670/?cds2Pid=30227&linkid=1583458

High School Students

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/u/teens-teen-books/379001099/?cds2Pid=31442&linkid=1492370

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