an excellent Summer Reading List should have a few components:
first and foremost, it should make you excited. I so rarely get to devour books that I truly relish the time I get to spend sitting out on a porch or curled up on a blanket just me and my book.
second, it should make you think - but not too much. that's why I always vote for something you love but haven't read in a while (The Hobbit), something you've heard is amazing but haven't had a chance to read (Prodigal Summer), something that makes you think more broadly about your work (The Checklist Manifesto, Choice), and one that you know isn't serious at all (The Dovekeepers), and then I always think a good magazine (NewYorker) is delightful because it's even less of a commitment, but you're still taking time to delve into worlds unknown, thoughts that have nothing to do with your every day life, an adventure, a meeting of new minds, right from your own front porch.
"the best moments in reading are when you come across something - a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things - which you though special and particular to you. And now, here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is if a hand has come out, and taken yours."
- Alan Bennett