It seems like some people (I'm not sure exactly who, but some people) think in order for a book to be considered great it either has to be painful to get through (ex. Ulysses by James Joyce) or terribly and extremely depressing (ex. Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck). Now don't get me wrong, I love me some John Steinbeck but only in small doses (because pretty much all his books are sad). I do not like James Joyce, however, in any dose (sorry Mr. Joyce).
What I'm trying to get at is I think the best books are the ones that you look forward to reading, that don't make you want to crawl in a hole and never come out, and that, dare I say it, actually bring you joy. Here are 5 examples of such books. Put them on your summer reading list.
1) The Anne of Green Gable Series by Lucy Maud Montgomery
If you love the movies, you'll love the books. If you don't love the movies, something may be wrong with you, but you should still read the books. How can I explain what reading these books are without sounding cheesy? I can't. Reading these books is nothing but a pleasure. There were several times I laughed right out loud while reading them. Which was embarrassing because I was usually riding to BYU with a bus full of strangers.
2) The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie BarrowsA fictional story based on the period during and after World War II this book is light hearted yet touches on some of the horrors people lived through during the war. I was half way through it when my sister took it from me because she needed it for her English class. I couldn't stand waiting a few days before she returned it so I picked up a copy at the library the next day. This would be more impressive if you truly understood how much I dislike leaving my house.
3) Gone with the Wind by Margaret MitchellTo put it simply: if you like drama, reality TV, or soap operas you will like this book.
4) Little Women by Louisa May AlcottWho doesn't love a story that follows the lives of a family of sisters? Let me rephrase that in case you think I'm referring to the Kardashians. Who doesn't love a moral, sweet story that follows the lives of a family of sisters?
5) The Harmony Series by Philip GulleyMaybe it was because while recovering from the "baby blues" I found some amusement in these books. Maybe it was because I have a not-so-secret desire to live in a small town where everyone knows everyone. Or maybe it was because at a young age I decided that if I weren't LDS I would probably be a Quaker (based solely on the fact that I like the Quaker hymn "Tis a Gift to be Simple"). Whatever it was I liked these books.
I just realized 4 out of the 5 authors I listed here are women. Solidarity sisters.