Fun in the sun reading

Spinnaker

The scarcity of required summer reading is a luxury for tertiary education students. However, since most folks think picking up a book pales in comparison to a sunburned day at the beach, the Spinnaker took it upon itself to compile a list of summer favorites. Grab these titles from the public library, bring ‘em to the beach with you and bask in the glory of less-laborious brain wrinkling than the school year offers.

1.       “Infinite Jest” by David Foster Wallace
This 1104-page brick fits summer culture perfectly with a season-long event called Infinite Summer. The website for this marathon gives the math: A thousand pages divided by the 92 summer days equates to 75 pages per week. No big deal. Lovers of footnotes, you’ll never love them more than while you’re flippin’ through the pages of this epic. Family drama, suburban craziness and les Quebecois, what else do you require? And while summer scientifically begins June 21, you might as well start May 1 because, let’s face it, 75 pages a week might be asking a little too much.

2.       The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
Real or not real: You haven’t heard of “The Hunger Games” or its most noticeable release, “Mockingjay.” Well, it’s time to meet Katniss Everdeen, a 16-year-old girl from not-too-futuristic Panem, who volunteers herself for a competition where she will fight with other teenagers to their gory death. Collins peers into the emotional state of a nation suspending in front of the gates of total disarray, and the Mockingjay causes it all. It’s time to take out tesserae – the generous gift of grain and oil in this starving society – because you’ll be begging to participate in the well-written and biting “Hunger Games.” May the odds be ever in your favor.

3.       “The Rum Diary: A Novel” by Hunter S. Thompson
The Spinnaker is a big fan of good ol’ HST, in case that’s not evident among a group of student-journalists. Take it easy with this tale of an American journalist who ventures to Puerto Rico in search of a better job and, you guessed it, drunkenness. The summer leaves lots of room for goin’ Gonzo, and there’s simply no better option of doing that than with one of Thompson’s narratives. Enjoy this book with the drink(s) of your choice because its author enjoyed those and more while composing it.

4.       Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson
The English language has a thing for translating something from another language and making it its own. That said, “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” and its two sequels do not go unnoticed in bookstores across the country. Originally written in Swedish, this series chronicles Lisbeth Salandar, the girl, and her misadventures with a journalist to find a 40-years-and-running missing person. The story reveals sex trafficking and murder scandals. What’s summer without a little dark mystery every now and again?

5.       “Water for Elephants: A Novel” by Sara Gruen
Many know circuses for their treatment of animals and abundance of tightropes, and this book does not shy away from the crude details. It follows an older man narrating his stories of circus-dwelling and his duties as the animal caretaker as a 21-year-old. While Gruen writes what traditionally fits into the romance genre, the assistant features editor thought it necessary to include this intimate piece, just in case the rest of the list daunts those who equate summer reading with light reading.