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Friday, June 14, 2024

Whether you are waiting to catch a flight, sitting by the pool or waiting for a Gainesville thunderstorm to pass, reading a book is a great way to pass the time. Here are a few books you should pick up the next time you find yourself aimlessly scrolling through Amazon (or, hopefully, at an actual bookstore).

“One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories” by B. J. Novak

For those of you who are fans of the TV series “The Office,” you’re familiar with author B.J. Novak as the undedicated intern Ryan Howard. Novak published “One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories” in 2014, which contains 65 short stories of varied length and topic — from romance to that cute girl you spotted from across the room to road rage.

This collection of short stories is perfect for the reader who doesn’t enjoy sitting down and reading an entire novel from start to finish. Why bother getting worked up over a plot line and becoming attached to characters when your main goal is to simply relax?

Throughout my time of owning and reading the book, I often find myself flicking through the pages and stumbling upon whatever story title catches my eye first. The book, and all the stories within it, is a great collection of fiction pieces that should definitely be on your summer reading list.


“The Girls” by Emma Cline

If you’re looking for a novel that will keep you on your toes, crack open “The Girls.” Published in 2016, this fictional thriller is Emma Cline’s debut novel.

This novel gives an exciting angle to the thriller with a majority of the main characters being women.

The story follows the protagonist, Evie, during two time periods — the present day and the ‘60s. Present-day Evie is staying at the vacation home of an old friend when she crosses paths with a dysfunctional young couple who force her to reminisce about her past.

When the novel transitions to flashbacks, readers find out that Evie spent the ‘60s in a cult after being drawn into the group by its charismatic leader (who sounds a lot like Charles Manson). The book follows these flashbacks, revealing the events leading up to Evie joining the cult and all the turmoil that succeeded it.

“Of Mice and Men” by John Steinbeck

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I know what you’re thinking. “Of Mice and Men,” among many other classic works of fiction, was stained by copious book reports and poorly constructed project posters. However, becoming reacquainted with these novels following a lackluster first impression is a solid choice for your summer reading list.

The story, which is set during the Great Depression, chronicles the adventures of migrant farm workers George Milton and Lennie Small. Despite being down on their luck, George and Lennie spend their evenings dreaming about their aspirations of acquiring their own land — right down to the alfalfa for the rabbits.

However, with big dreams come big challenges. While George dreams of being independent from those he has worked for throughout his life, Lennie merely dreams of being independent with George and finds himself easily fixated on soft things.

Although this novel has graced many high-school summer reading lists, reading classic American novels with newfound appreciation — whether it’s F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby” or Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird” — is a great way to pass time this summer.



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