Many of our readers are completing one of the strangest semesters in history. With summer just around the corner, many of us will find the need for a little escape while staying at home. So, why not pick up a good book? Many libraries have electronic book catalogs to browse or even curbside pick for you to check out a new favorite book. If you can, support your local independent bookstore as well during these tough times. If your schedule is freeing up and you have the time, or even in-between summer courses and working for a few moments of peace, here are a few summer reading recommendations!

“The Fellowship of the Ring” by J.R.R Tolkien 

If you are a fantasy aficionado or crave a much-needed escape from reality, “The Lord of the Rings” series is the perfect series to start this summer. Tolkien’s writing takes you on an incredible and immersive journey full of joy, peril, and love. Quite fittingly, the series mirrors a sentiment many feel right now through this exchange between two main characters: “I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo. “So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide.” 

“The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald 

For fans of classic novels, this story is for you. Why not experience the 1920s in the 2020s, both decades proving to be quite historic? This story is short, breezy, and decadent. With characters you will love to hate, and others you will learn to love, “The Great Gatsby” is perfect for fans of the dramatic. 

“Sharp Objects” by Gillian Flynn 

This thriller will keep you on the edge of your seat. When a vulnerable reporter returns to her childhood home, she must face her troubling past and unravel a twisted mystery. It is a short novel by the same author as “Gone Girl,” and once you complete the book, you can binge-watch the adapted miniseries starring Amy Adams! 

“Wishful Drinking” by Carrie Fisher 

It is no secret that we are all in need of a good laugh. Carrie Fisher’s humorous but honest and insightful autobiography is an excellent read for Star Wars fans who want to learn more about the face behind General Leia Organa. Even if you do not like Star Wars, Carrie Fisher tells the tale of her in such a way that will have anyone hooked. The New York Times describes it as a “funny, sardonic little memoir,” and Fisher’s personality shines as she doles out the harsh truths of fame while simultaneously making you laugh. 

“On the Come Up” by Angie Thomas 

Bestselling author of “The Hate U Give,” Angie Thomas’s most recent young adult novel is one to pick up when you need a reminder that tough times exist, but love and hope can get us through them. Highlighting struggles of the working-class and communities of color, Angie Thomas combines hip-hop, coming of age, and fighting for your dreams in one fast-paced and heartfelt novel. 

Books and other forms of storytelling are proving to be essential to many us when the world seems scary. Pick up a good book when you are feeling down, anxious, or are just tired of doom-surfing the news. Some people are not fans of reading, and that is okay, but I guarantee the right book is out there for everyone, you have to give it a chance. If anything, you can always read a little buzz!

About The Author

Rukayah Hussein

Hi, I'm Rukayah! I'm a transfer to UIUC and currently studying English and minoring in Psychology. I joined Buzz and The Daily Illini in August 2019, and I enjoy writing about the movies that I love and books I'm reading. When I'm not studying or writing, I am usually listening to a true crime podcast and drinking tea.

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