If you're anything like me then you use summer as a time to try and relax by reading as many books as you possibly can. There's nothing better than devouring the pages of a great book under the hot sun on the beach, or in a nice air conditioned house (if you're not a sun and heat person). Books are a great way to take a trip away from reality and into a new life. Out of the many books I've read these 11 are some of my go to reads when I'm looking to unwind.
1. "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald
"The Great Gatsby" is a super quick and easy read. If you're looking for a love story to make your heart ache then this is the book for you. Gatsby is one of the most iconic characters in American literature and is still studied in great detail. If you're not looking for a love story, then this book might keep you reeled in with its intricate story line and glamorous parties. A perfect book to read if you're a fan of unhappy love stories.
2. "The Book Thief" by Markus Zusak
3. "The Bassoon King" by Rainn Wilson
With Rainn Wilson being one of my favorite actors, I am slightly biased about the perfection of this book. Wilson's book is his life story with many entertaining twists and turns. Wilson had many jobs before "The Office," and they all helped give him the ability to grow into the role of the infamous Dwight Schrute. This book is full of relatable incidents and reminds you that some of the best actors start from nothing and they build themselves up. Also, who doesn't want to know what Wilson was like before he became Dwight?
4. "Me Before You" by Jojo Moyes
5. "Gone Girl" by Gillian Flynn
If you're looking for an enticing novel that leaves you hanging off each word, look no further. Amy, a young house wife, goes missing and all signs point to her husband. None of the information in her disappearance adds up until you realize what actually happened before her absence. "Gone Girl" is a suspenseful page-turner that will be difficult for you to put down.
6. "Invisible Monsters" by Chuck Palahniuk
Everyone has some sort of identity crisis at one point or another in their lives and Invisible Monsters encompasses this crisis in the form of a model who has survived a gunshot to the face. Shannon lived a beautiful and glamorous life until this incident, but she has survived as a disfigured woman. Too shallow to be thankful she is alive, she focuses on how horrifying she finds herself until one day she meets someone who teaches her that your past doesn't dictate your future. This book left me genuinely shocked from beginning to end, with a plot unlike any other book I've ever read.
7. "The Art of Racing in the Rain" by Garth Stein
8. "The Harry Potter Series" by J.K Rowling
If you haven't read the "Harry Potter" series yet before, I demand you to go to your closest copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and don't put it down until you're finished. This series has changed my life entirely and I wouldn't be me without it. Harry Potter books take you to an alternate reality and make you wish you were a wizard more than anything else in life. J.K. Rowling created a series that has transformed into more than just books, it has become a set of classics. Just because you've seen the movies does not mean you get away with not reading the books. They have so much more detail and plot in them. You're never a true Potter fan until you read the books.
9. "Wicked" by Gregory Maguire
Everyone has heard of Wicked the musical, but if you haven't then I demand you look it up on the world wide web and learn everything you possible can. This book is the precursor to the famous "Wizard of Oz" story. We are told the story of the Wicked Witch of the West (Elphaba) from when she was born up until she becomes the infamous witch. As a kid I never thought I'd sympathize with the Witch, but after reading her life's backstory I enjoyed her character much more. If you're a "Wizard of Oz" fan I highly suggest reading this book.
10. "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" by Stephen Chbosky
11. "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" by Lewis Carroll
This one is an oldie but a goodie for me. I honestly don't remember how many times I've read this book, but I know it's been a lot. The Disney versions of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" are great films but the book makes you fall in love with the story that much more. This is one of those cases where the movies are as good as the books, just a little different. If you're looking for a real step away from reality, (or you like reading books where the setting is completely unrealistic) I'd recommend reading this classic novel.