There’s nothing like curling-up to a great read, whether with your kids or on your own. Especially during the Summer months when cottage season is here and there’s more free time to enjoy.

Which begs the question – what to read?

Over the years, I’ve accumulated a list of all time favourites, listed below. So good are these, I’d read them with my kids every night. In fact, we still do.  Reading together has to be one of the greatest gifts a parent can give their children.  It’s bonding. It’s imaginative.  It’s also a great way to end a busy day without the distractions of our phones or computers.

The kids love it too.  So much, they’ve become ferocious readers themselves (the boys not as much, but I’m working on it!).

Regardless of what you’re up to this Summer, may you take some down-time to savour the pleasure of reading.  And if you’re as fortunate as me, the company of family, an outdoor porch and beautiful lake view too.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
A story about a young Indian boy growing up on a reserve who decides to leave, and take his future into his own hands. Based on the author’s own experiences, it’s heartbreaking, funny and beautifully written.

Because of Mr. Terupt
A total page-turner. Think grade five, seven very different kids, one charismatic and profound teacher. Told from the perspective of the seven, they share their love Mr. Terupt, and the day everything changed due to a snowy accident.

The Breadwinner
Eleven-year-old Parvana lives with her family in one room of a bombed-out apartment building in Kabul, Afghanistan. When her family is left without someone who can earn money or shop for food, she transforms herself into a boy, and becomes the breadwinner.

When You Reach Me
A story about friendship, family, class and identity, this award-winning tale centers on six-grade year old Miranda, and the mysterious notes about the future she’s receiving, and coming true. Set in New York City 1979, this page-turner should be on every grade-schooler’s reading list.

Touching Spirit Bear
When violent teen offender Cole is sent to a remote Alaskan Island, he’s left to survive on his own. Mauled to near-death by a mysterious white bear, the incident proves to be a life-changing experience, one of transformation and forgiveness.

Sarah’s Key
A remarkable, historical story which brings to light the most disturbing of war times, namely the French behavior towards Jews during World War II. It unlocks the star crossed, heart thumping story of an American journalist in Paris and the 60-year-old secret that could destroy her marriage.

The Art of Racing in the Rain
A heart-wrenching but deeply funny and ultimately uplifting story of family, love, loyalty, and hope–a captivating look at the wonders and absurdities of human life . . . as only a dog could tell it.

We Were the Lucky Ones
Inspired by the incredible story of a Jewish family separated at the start of WWII, this sweeping story captures their struggles and un-wavering determination to reunite against all odds.

For more ‘adult’ reads, here’s a few always on my night-table:

 

The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari: A Fable About Fulfilling Your Dreams & Reaching Your Destiny
Talk to anyone who’s looking for meaning and purpose in their life, and chances are they’ve read this fable about a successful lawyer – who, after a heart attack, sells his belongings to trek the hills of India. The lessons learned are timeless as they are powerful.

Watch Me: A Memoir
As the title implies, this memoir by Angelica Houston is one of bravery and courage as told by one of our best leading film actresses of all time. Romance, heart-break, juicy affairs, she captures her Hollywood past with wit and grace as only Houston does best.

Goldie: A Lotus Grows in the Mud
Just when you think you couldn’t love Goldie Hawn any more. A proud and fearless woman, she bears all in this memoir including the challenges of being an actress, the demands of fame, marriage and family. But in true Goldie spirit, lifts us up with positivity and joy.

The Woman I Wanted to Be
One of the most influential, admired, and innovative women of our time, fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg opens-up about family and career, overcoming cancer, building a global brand, and devoting herself to empowering other women.