7 In Book Reviews

Summer Reading Guide: Just the Classics

This time of year summer reading lists pop up all over the book community. Often you’ll find them full of exciting new releases or breezy beach reads. Modern Mrs Darcy, Novel Visits, and Literary Quicksand all have great summer reading recommendations. Since I often don’t keep up with current releases, I decided to take a different approach to the summer reading list. Here you’ll find a collection of classics that are either fairly short in length, easy to read, or feature exciting plots. Enjoy!


Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury 

This novel clocks in at less than 200 pages. It’s a dystopian novel that showcases a future where books are burned, not read. With censorship and political correctness becoming more of an issue, this feels as timely as ever. Plus, HBO just made this into a movie featuring Michael B. Jordan.





Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier 

A gothic mystery that will creep you out and keep you on the edge of your seat! If you like thrillers or mysteries, check this one out. A newlywed couple return to the husband’s manor, only to be haunted by memories of his late wife. The details about what really happened to her are slowly unraveled, resulting in suspense throughout. 





Emma by Jane Austen 

Love is in the air throughout this Jane Austen classic. While not as well-known as Pride and Prejudice, it features an amusing heroine who has a penchant for matchmaking.





The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

Mark Twain’s best known work is worth a visit if you’ve never read it. From Goodreads “A nineteenth-century boy from a Mississippi River town recounts his adventures as he travels down the river with a runaway slave, encountering a family involved in a feud, two scoundrels pretending to be royalty, and Tom Sawyer’s aunt who mistakes him for Tom.”





1984 by George Orwell 

If you haven’t read this since high school, give it another shot. The dystopian society and its effects on the lives of the characters is fascinating and heart wrenching.





The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Roaring 20’s in New York is the perfect summer escape. Gatsby and Daisy are one of literature’s most recognizable pairs. They center this rollicking masterpiece that includes more lavish parties, free flowing alcohol, and loving obsession than you’ve ever seen.




The Call of the Wild by Jack London 

If you need to take a break from the heat, this adventure novel is set in Alaska. Buck is kidnapped and forced into the toilsome and rough life of a sled dog. He eventually must fight for his survival and rely on his animal instincts to become leader of the pack.





Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White 

I have a soft spot for anything written by E.B. White, but Charlotte’s Web is a particular favorite. It brings back wonderful memories of reading as a child and it’s combination of farm / county fair setting makes it perfect for this list.





The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

If you’re a fantasy fan, this series is for you. Narnia is a magical and enchanting land filled with a variety of memorable characters. The first book in this series will always be my favorite, but if you can’t get enough of Narnia then by all means, read on!






What other classics would you add to this summer reading list??

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  • Reply
    June 25, 2018 at 9:26 am

    Rebecca is a great one – I read it for the first time last year, loved it, and now want to read more of her books.

    I love The Chronicles of Narnia. I love the way The Magician’s Nephew sets up the series. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe is my favorite, though.

    • Reply
      Rachel Kamery
      June 26, 2018 at 7:14 am

      Same here with the rest of DuMaurier’s books. I think I’ll try My Cousin Rachel next.

  • Reply
    Fairy Kissed Daisy
    June 25, 2018 at 2:29 pm

    Some really great picks! I’ve tried Rebecca a fair few times but have never been able to finish it. I really loved 1984 but I’d say I liked Animal Farm a smidge more, have you read it? I’m always intrigued by Farenheit 451, maybe I’ll add it to my read soon list

    • Reply
      Rachel Kamery
      June 26, 2018 at 7:14 am

      I think I read Animal Farm way back in middle school. It’s probably worth giving it a reread now that I’m older.

  • Reply
    Allison @ My Novel Life
    June 25, 2018 at 4:39 pm

    Great list! I have yet to read a Jane Austen book. I would probably start with Pride and Prejudice though, since it’s so notable. Although, I do like that Clueless was based on Emma. I could make those connections while I read. Thug Notes on YouTube also does a hilarious video about Emma that’s really good, so at least I’d be familiar with the story line.

    • Reply
      Rachel Kamery
      June 26, 2018 at 7:13 am

      Ahhh! Yes you have to read Austen at some point! Pride and Prejudice will always be my favorite so that’s a good one to start with 🙂

  • Reply
    June 27, 2018 at 11:33 am

    Rebecca is great–I’m planning to read more Daphne du Maurier after finally reading that one last year. Emma is my favorite Jane Austen novel (though I haven’t read them all). I like trying to squeeze in a classic every now and then–love this idea!

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