There's nothing like heading to the beach with a good book to sink your teeth into. But with so many books to read, how can you decide which ones are worth your time? *Enter me* As you start planning for your July vacations, let me share with you some of my favorites. I've loved these books since childhood and still enjoy them well into adulthood, and so I promise you, they're all good reads if you're just not sure what to read next.
1. The Princess Bride - William Goldman (1973)
Although the book version of this "classic tale of true love" is fairly different from the movie adaptation, I found it genuinely funny and just as charming. Not only that, but this book taught me some interesting things as a writer - William Goldman does an excellent job of switching POV and gives each character such love and attention that it's impossible for you as the reader not to love them and their crazy antics as well.
2. Tuck Everlasting - Natalie Babbit (1985)
After accidentally gaining eternal life by drinking from a magical spring, the Tuck family tries to live as inconspicuously as they can. When ten-year-old protagonist Winnie Foster stumbles onto their secret, they take her home to explain why eternal life is more of a curse than a blessing. The situation gets perilous whenever Winnie is followed by a mysterious man who wants to sell the water for profit. Original and thought-provoking, this novel's bittersweet ending is sure to stay with you for a while even after you've finished reading.
3. Rocket Boys - Homer Hickam, Jr. (1998)
Retired NASA engineer Homer "Sonny" Hickam recounts his childhood life in Coalwood, West Virginia - a town owned by the local mining company that was almost impossible to leave. The future for boys like Homer really held only three options: coal mining, joining the military, or getting out on a sports scholarship. In this memoir, Homer tells the story of how he and his friends beat the odds through scientific ingenuity. A refreshing read about an American dream come true.
4. The Only Alien on the Planet - Kristen D. Randle (1996)
High-school senior Ginny moves to a new school only to be perplexed by the seemingly emotionless and shy yet extremely intelligent Smitty Tibbs. Smitty has been outcasted by his classmates, who have labeled him as an alien, but Ginny has the feeling something more is going on underneath the surface. As she struggles to gain the young boy's trust and delves deeper into his abusive past, she may just end up over her head. A heartwarming story about companionship and how to love someone who is just not quite sure how to love you back.
5. The Outsiders - S. E. Hinton (1988)
In a world that dismisses troubled youths like Ponyboy and his gang as outsiders to society, Ponyboy will learn the true meaning of friendship and what it means to be good after one of his friends accidentally kills a preppy jock in self-defense. You've probably read this book in school, but I urge you to read it again through the eyes of an adult. A coming-of-age classic. Stay gold, Ponyboy.