Summer may start on June 21st on the Northern hemisphere, but in all honesty, it starts at the end of July, when vacation season kicks in, and for students when all of the exams are over. So until the end of September, when next serious business and academic endeavors start, most of the people will spend their time relaxing or partying, or doing whatever they couldn’t during the previous time of the year. Nevertheless, lack of academic and business activities is not an excuse for you not to feed your intellect, and what better way to do so, then to spark it up with some written word.
In front of you are three books which should be on your (and everybody else's) reading list, unless you’ve already read them, in which case you should just do it again.
“Animal Farm” by George Orwell
This is a “heavy-hitter”, but not in terms of length and complexity. It is a rather short and fairly simple read, which you can make in one day, or one afternoon even, if you’re enthusiastic enough; or it’s 40 degrees Celsius outside, and no sea or pool near you. The reason why this book should be on everybody’s reading list is the perfection with which it uses metaphors and symbolism to describe the unfair treatment of people by other people. George Orwell’s original idea was a critique of Stalin’s Russia, but the reason why it’s a classic in my opinion is that it transcends through time and perfectly describes the mindset of current capitalist and political elite around the world. The first time I laid my hands on “The Farm” was in my first grade of High School, and I’ve read it more than 10 times since. It is in the top of my list of both favorite and best books ever written.
“Penguin Island” by Anatole France
It’s a real mystery to me how even 95% of French people I’ve spoken to have never heard about François-Anatole Thibault or Anatole France. I mean, come on guys, I know that France has one of the all-star crews when it comes to art and writing,but this dude is a French Nobel Prize winner in literature. In my search for new literature to read I stumbled upon some of his quotes on the Internet, and fell in love with the fluent and easy-to-read style. It was rather difficult finding his books translated into my mother tongue, but eventually I found “Penguin Island” (L'Île des Pingouins) and got blown away but the pure ingenuity of it. The book speaks of the evolution of human society, the creation of first social injustices and how and why people started using each-other for personal benefit. This may all sound a bit too usual and boring, but not wanting to spoil anything from the book to you - trust me, it is not. The beginning of the society was described in such a clever and thrilling way for me, that it sucked me into reading this mid-sized book in just three days. This is maybe the best social critique in the form of a novel that I’ve ever read in my life, and you definitely shouldn’t miss it.
“The Master and Margarita” by Mikhail Bulgakov
Bonus: If you’re into modern literature, read the first tome of “My Struggle” by Karl Ove Knausgård, a Norwegian writer who caused one of the biggest turbulences in literature in the last 15 years. His dead-honest autobiography in which he describes in detail and without any taboo and restraints his growing up, made such a stir and was so brutally honest and hard that his entire family renounced him, his mother supposedly got a stroke and his wife left him. If that’s not enough to make you read a book, I don’t know what else is. What I do know is that I bought the first tome a day after it was published, and I’m going to buy the second one in the next few days.