One of the best things about studying geography is that once you have the right skills and resources to study the world in a different light, you can carry on your studies on your own, outside the lecture theatres. Reading is the best way to a) bridge the gap between the years of your degree, b) get a head start for the next term, since you will not know which specific journal articles will be relevant to the module c) broaden your knowledge and perspective. Over the summer I’ve been reading a few books independent of any set reading lists. I found these through google searches for reviews and relevant books, followed by an online search of the universities library for the ones I wanted. Leicester’s library has so many books waiting to be read, it is only very occasionally that it does not stock a book I am looking for!
My summer reading has included books relating to global environmental politics and economics, directly related to the Environment and Development module in second year and the Environmental Challenges module I will be studying this coming year. As well as (hopefully) helping me with the module during term time, reading is the best way to find out what you are most interested in, and delve deeper. Whilst you might have had enough of it during term time, reading can be much more fun when you read specifically what you are interested in.
Babylon and Beyond: The economics of Anti-Capitalist, Anti-Globalist and Radical Green Movements by Derek Wall, has been really useful in broadening my perspective of capitalism and the arguments for opposition to it, as well as strengthening my knowledge of global economics and what courses it could take in the future.
It can also be a great idea to go away and read books recommended by lecturers, such as The Spirit Level: Why Equality is Better for Everyone by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, which covers a lot of material in the first year human geography modules.
Of course for the physical geographers there are also endless options for reading. For example if you are interested in deserts or drylands, there are plenty of academic journal articles and textbooks to read over and familiarise yourself with various key terms and processes.
It is likely whatever you read will help in some way, even if just to practise your reading skills i.e. your ability to find and withdraw relevant information. Keeping and eye on world news is also really useful to do over the summer; you can practise the application of your knowledge and understanding to whatever the situation is, and lecturers will be very impressed!