When school let out for the summer last April, the first thing I did was drive to Barnes and Noble.  For me, summer break is a three-month reading spree. I read about 15 books this summer, ranging from literary classics to fun novels for the beach.  Here are six books reviews from my summer library.


"A Man Called Ove" by Fredrik Backman

This novel about a cantankerous old man, who rediscovers love and friendship after a life filled with tragedy and hardship, will make you smile. It will also inspire you to reconsider your hatred for the evil and heartless old professor we all have (everyone has a story).

"A River Runs Through it" by Norman Maclean

This book is an absolute classic, and for anyone who dreams of being a writer someday, Norman Maclean wrote this book (his first) in his 60s!  "A River Runs Through it" is a touching account of Maclean’s life growing up in Missoula, Montana, with imagery that makes the majesty of the rivers and mountains of Montana palpable. It’s also a great book to read if you want to learn about fly fishing. 

"In a Dark, Dark Wood" by Ruth Ware

WARNING: This book may induce nightmares. "In a Dark, Dark Wood" is a goosebumps-producing thriller about a bachelorette party gone wrong…in the middle of the woods.  Read it with the lights on and you won’t be able to stop yourself from turning the page.

"The Road" by Cormac McCarthy

Cormac McCarthy is one of the most talented living American authors.  This chilling novel follows a boy and his father on their journey through post-apocalyptic America.  I recommend keeping the lights on for this one too.   

"Maybe in Another Life" by Taylor Jenkins Reid

This novel experiments with a structure that I’ve never encountered.  The main character is faced with making a big decision in one of the first scenes, and the rest of the novel follows the two different storylines that result from either choice she makes by switching chapter to chapter.  

"Into the Wild" by Jon Krakauer

This is an amazing investigation of the story of Christopher McCandless, aka Alexander Supertramp.  Journalist and mountain-man Krakauer delves into the details of the true and tragic story of a college graduate who sets out to live off the land.

Contact buzz writer Lucy Nalen at Lucy.nalen@richmond.edu.