Summer Reading List 2012: 10 Timeless Books to Pick Up or Download Before Summer is Over

There are some books which are so good, we just cannot them put them down. And it's usually these books which make one think about everything life has to offer. 

True, some books may be required reading if one is a college student (particularly an English major), but others truly just let us escape into a world that is not our own. 

Here are some fiction and non-fiction books which anyone can and should read at any time:

10) To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (fiction, 1960). 


It is hard to say in a sentence what this book is about, but it covers many topics in the South from innocence to hatred.

9) The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (fiction, 1922). 


This is a story about the American dream, as well as about life.

8) Someday We’ll All Be Free by Kevin Powell (non-fiction, 2006). 


This book is a collection of essays in which Powell looks at life in America, from tragedies to portraits of the country as a whole. Regardless of political beliefs or associations, this book is a good read for those wanting to read into the mind of a real thinker, and challenges one to think about their role in the world.

7) Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson (non-fiction, 2007). 


This book tells the story of how Greg Mortenson who after his failed climb up Pakistan’s K2 found inspiration to build a school in a remote village. That only lead to more schools in more villages, and a great humanitarian cause that followed.

6) Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (fiction, 1813). 


Not everyone might enjoy this pick, but examined more closely it really is just a book on the human condition. And, are we not all human?

5) The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde (fiction, 1890). 


A novel that deals with the innocence of youth, in more ways than one.

4) The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton (fiction, 1920). 


A novel about scandal when scandal was not a common word, and the consequences of making decisions.

3) Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (fiction, 1950). 


After reading this book, you'll think about literature in a new light.

2) The Help by Kathryn Stockett (fiction, 2009). 


Set in Mississippi in the 1960s, this book shows the power of sticking to one’s beliefs and never giving up.

1) The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger (fiction, 1951). 


Rebel without a cause teenager who finds himself trying to understand life. Just read it.

While literacy rates for youth and adults is at nearly 84%, there is still somewhat of a push to get people to read more. Reading only opens doors, and one can never tell where those doors will lead. So pick up (or download) a book.