I think we can all agree that there are some books out there that, if you don’t like them, it’s a good indi­ca­tion that you are an evil alien come to this plan­et to enslave human­i­ty and turn Earth into one giant human-being-oper­at­ed bat­tery for your space­ship.  Like, seri­ous­ly.  If you don’t like Pride and Prej­u­dice just don’t even talk to me.  We aren’t friends and nev­er will be.  Here are some oth­er books that you’ll love or your mon­ey back.*


Emma by Jane Austen:  Austen is one of my favorite authors.  Her books are full to the brim of wit and are extreme­ly fun­ny.  Her abil­i­ty to write char­ac­ters three-dimen­sion­al­ly, espe­cial­ly when her sub­ject mat­ter is pret­ty restrict­ed to love sto­ries among the land­ed gen­try of Geor­gian Eng­land, is phe­nom­e­nal.  Emma is a great choice of book if you’ve nev­er read any Austen or if you’re already a fan of any of her oth­er books.





Big Fish by Daniel Wal­lace:  Though pub­lished in 1998, Big Fish def­i­nite­ly has a place among great lit­er­ary clas­sics.  A fusion of Homer’s Odyssey, Joyce’s Ulysses (anoth­er book which bor­rows exten­sive­ly from The Odyssey, obvi­ous­ly), and Amer­i­can Tall Tales, Big Fish is a sto­ry for the ages.  Fol­low William Bloom as he tries to dis­cov­er the truth of his father’s strange and fan­tas­ti­cal life.  If you love the idea of read­ing Homer but are daunt­ed by the lan­guage and the sheer girth of The Odyssey, give this book a try.




One Hun­dred Years of Soli­tude by Gabriel Gar­cia Mar­quez:  Man.  This book.  It’s a giant.  In terms of influ­ence, sig­nif­i­cance, and impor­tance, this book is almost beyond com­pare.  The sev­en gen­er­a­tions of the Buen­dia fam­i­ly that pop­u­late this epic nov­el are both more fan­tas­tic and more real than real life.  Also, nam­ing a char­ac­ter Aure­liano Buen­dia pret­ty much guar­an­tees suc­cess.





Jane Eyre by Char­lot­te Bron­te:  Ahead of its time in a vari­ety of ways, Jane Eyre is the book to read if pro­to-fem­i­nism, pre­cur­sors to mod­ernist prose, or incred­i­bly mov­ing sto­ries of per­son­al growth and love are things you like.  Can’ t say it fair­er than that.





gone with the wind

Gone with the Wind by Mar­garet Mitchell:  This book is a huge time com­mit­ment.  Though it’s been tout­ed as com­pul­sive­ly read­able since it was first pub­lished in 1936, there’s no deny­ing that GwtW is not for the faint of heart and/or biceps.  Sure, may­be Mitchell’s char­ac­ter­i­za­tion of South­ern­ers and African Amer­i­cans is slight­ly (or more than slight­ly) con­tro­ver­sial, but GwtW is a book that has endured and been pop­u­lar for almost a cen­tu­ry, so she must have done some­thing right.  (Also, Vivien Leigh is super pret­ty.  Not a fac­tor in appre­ci­at­ing the nov­el, I know, but if you cheat and just watch the movie, you’re in for a treat.)




The Adven­tures of Sher­lock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle:  Sher­lock is par­tic­u­lar­ly great for sum­mer read­ing for a vari­ety of rea­sons.  First is that the sto­ries are com­plete­ly riv­et­ing and are way too much fun to even con­sid­er putting down for an instant once you get into one.  Sec­ond is that, because the Holmes sto­ries are a col­lec­tion of short sto­ries, not a sin­gle, long nov­el, it’s easy enough to fin­ish one quick­ly and be able to take a short beach break or pop­si­cle break or what have you.



Hap­py read­ing!  And stay tuned for more KU Sum­mer Read­ing lists com­ing soon to a com­put­er near you!


*Just kid­ding.  We do not give refunds under any cir­cum­stances.  Sor­ry.  I will bet you ten bucks that you’ll like any book on this list, though.  Come in, buy a copy, and shake on it.  You come back and tell me you didn’t like it, I’ll pay up. 

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So, what do you think?