Any book worth the paper it's printed on will immerse the reader almost from the start. Great authors seem to have a knack for doing this without fail.

Still, sometimes it can be nice to help them out a little. Reading a book with a setting that mirrors your own can be a rich and satisfying experience.

With that in mind, here are five great summer reads, all set in the summer.

'Goodbye, Columbus' by Philip Roth

Published in 1969, 'Goodbye, Columbus' was famed author Philip Roth's first book. It also just happened to win the National Book Award. Set in Northern New Jersey, 'Goodbye, Columbus' is a coming of age tale about summer love between a wealthy girl and a working class boy. Amazon, $10.20

goodbye columbus

'Evening' by Susan Minot

As Ann Lord lies on her death bed drifting in and out of a morphine-induced haze, she recounts the events and memories that shaped her life. In particular, she goes back to an affair she had as a twentysomething in the summer of 1954. Though the relationship has long since ended, it sparked a passion that has endured through her entire life. Amazon, $11.16


'The Great Night' by Chris Adrian

A modern retelling of William Shakespeare's 'A Midsummer Night's Dream,' Chris Adrian's 'The Great Night' tells the story of three people, each fleeing failed relationships, who get stuck for one night in San Francisco's Buena Vista Park. Amazon, $13.83

the great night

'The Great Gatsby' by F. Scott Fitzgerald

If you can't make it to The Hamptons this summer, at least you can read about them. The best part is, once you're done with this book you probably won't want to go. Set in the roaring '20s, 'The Great Gatsby' tells the story of Jay Gatsby's rise and fall from grace. Amazon, $8.72

The Great Gatsby

'Prodigal Summer' by Barbara Kingsolver

Set over the course of one summer in the mountains of Southern Appalachia, 'Prodigal Summer' seamlessly weaves together a story of human love with the "extravagant procreation" that is simultaneously occurring in the natural world of flora and fauna that surrounds the characters. Amazon, $10.08

prodigal summer

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