None of these are light reading, as such. They’re not fluffy; they’re not “beach reads”. But they are bite-sized; each piece of writing is short, so you can dip in and out of the books between your summer adventures. You’ve probably read at least one of these, but you should stick around to read the other ones. They’re mind-blowing.
The Second Tree from the Corner (E. B. White)
This is a collection of essays and fictions from the man who brought you Charlotte’s Web. Most are satire; others are meaningful on a more personal level. They’re funny, they’re striking, they’re clever, and they’re sweet. Favorites include: Mrs. Wienckus; Two Letters, Both Open; The Second Tree from the Corner; The Age of Dust.
I, Robot (Isaac Asimov)
Asimov uses the concept of sentient, ethically bound robots to describe the politics and philosophy of human constructs and behavior. The stories are all science fiction. My favorite: Reason.
Welcome to the Monkey House (Kurt Vonnegut)
This collection of short stories is widely ranged, but largely satirical and all beautifully written. My pick is the eponymous Welcome to the Monkey House.
Labyrinths (Jorge Luis Borges)
Definitely the most dense of the collections I’m recommending here, but if you’re up for it, worth your while. Borges is a master of literary technique. This means that his stories can seem quite dry at times if you’re not into the wordplay, but even if you gloss over the boring bits, some perspective-altering concepts and insights will filter into your reading. Favorites: The Witness; The Lottery in Babylon; The House of Asterion; Inferno, 1, 32