How to Choose Books for Your Summer Reading

beach readingSummer is my favorite season of the year. I absolutely love warm weather and the feel of sunshine on my shoulders. The Summertime is also many readers’ favorite time of the year because it’s a space where clocks and time are slowed and the easiness of life takes over. For some, summer reading is a perfect opportunity to catch up on the reading you’ve been wanting to do all year, but hadn’t had the time. Choosing books for the summer can be both an arduous and exciting task. If you are like me and want to read many books over the course of the summer, you may want to “spice” up your reading list with a variety of choices. Below you will find the type of books you may want to add to your reading list for those hot summer days spent in the shade or out on the beach.

1. A classic-You can’t go wrong with a novel written by one of the greats. Opt for one that is set in the summer or in a hot place, to maximize your summer feels.

2. A mystery-Go for a page turner or a real thriller. It’s perfect for those nights around a bonfire on the beach, or if you need good travel book for those long train rides.

3. A self-help book-The summertime is the perfect time to reflect on all you’ve done so far during the year, and to see if those New Year’s resolutions actually held up. Pick out a self help book that really stretches you and your mind. I find reading self-help books during the summer helps gear me up for the schedule packed and zooming fall season.

4. A biography-If you’re typically not a fan of non-fiction, try opting for a biography on someone whom you really admire. Take a peek inside their life and find out the not quite ordinary.

5. A contemporary/modern novel written by a person of color-No this does not mean go pick out a Maya Angelou quote book, or to lug around Roots. This mean go find a newish-sort novel written not by an old dead white guy. This mean do your research and find out who the hot writers are right now and how they are impacting the community. Any minority community that is. If you want to diversify your reading, now is the time to do so.

6. A graphic novel-Because sometimes while the sun is beating down on our backs, the last thing we can concentrate on a string words put together. Try reading a graphic novel and let the pictures do the talking for you. It’s also a great way to spice up your reading, and try something new if you never read any graphic novels.

7. A play-Generally Not many people grab stage plays to read, and I for the life of me can’t understand why? Plays are some of the most fascinating reads. Try one out this summer.

8. A coloring book- Yup. I said it. A coloring book. With adult coloring books coming into fruition, more people are recognizing the calming and therapeutic nature of drawing. So grab your pencils, crayons, or whatever you like best, and start filling in your rainbow pages.

9. A study book or some subject. Yes I know. The summer is NOT the time to be pressing your brain too hard, or to think about school or teaching. However, it actually is the perfect time to exercise those brain muscles and keep brain in tip top shape. I’m not so great at math. And even though I’ve already graduated university, I want practice my math skills because it keeps other parts of your brain sharp as well!

10. A series-You know that ten part saga you’ve been wanting to start all year but didn’t have the time? Well here’s your opportunity! Begin a book series. That way, if the series is extremely good, you’ll have something to look forward to reading the entire summer.

I hope the above list of suggestions really help you in choosing your summer reading list. Remember it’s your reading list, so always choose something that is tailored to your taste. What other suggestions do you have for picking out summer reading?

Happy Reading!

Book Review: Tender is the Night- F. Scott Fitzgerald

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It is without a doubt that F. Scott Fitzgerald reigns as a literary master. His most famous novel The Great Gatsby will forever be a classic. Timeless and on every ‘must read’ list. It is because of his widely received success for his previous novel that inspired me to try another work his. Tender is the Night is his final stretch of a novel and closely autobiographical. The novel reflects the battle he and mentally ill wife, Zelda underwent.

The novel focus on the lives of Dick and Nicole Diver. Wealthy, popular, well spoken and well traveled. However harboring deep issues within their relationship. The setting in is both France and Italy and frequently the novel switches between the two. As new relationships arise, including the brawny Tommy and the lovely actress Rosemary, Dick and Nicole’s relationship becomes even more strained than it already is. As the story grows deeper, the audience learns that Nicole is mentally ill and Dick is actually her psychiatrist/doctor. The novel flashes back to the meeting of  the couple and how they ended up getting married. Although the novel is an overt depiction of the deteriorating relationship between the author and his wife, Fitzgerald adds the liberation of women in the novel, especially Nicole. Nicole finds a new sense of self as she grows distant from her illness and of Dick. Tender is the Night questions the authenticity of relationships, the freedom of women, and how the effects of mental illness influences a person’s surrounding.

They looked at each other at last, murmuring names that were a spell. Softly the two names lingered in the air, died away more slowly that other words, other names, slower than music in the mind.

Closing this novel, I took a deep breath, and realized what a horrible and boring novel that was. No matter how profound you try to get, this novel is hard to get in to. It’s plot is so unorganized and has no real purpose. I wonder if Fitzgerald had trouble  coming up with something, as this seems to be just a slur of paragraphs, and a slew of selfish characters. I was annoyed with every character, and because the story felt so lopped together, I didn’t feel any connection to the characters. I hate not finishing books but I felt burdened to trudge through this one. Also I didn’t agree with the treatment of minorities in the novel (especially blacks), and I thought adding that element was unnecessary and didn’t serve as a definite purpose. Even though The Great Gatsby was good, I’m seriously doubting his writing skills in any of his other novels. I was so happy to finally be able to put down this novel; perhaps it was just too melodramatic and boring for my taste.  With that being said, I would not recommend this novel to anyone, unless you want to be bored out of your skull.

Happy Reading!

Book Giveaway!

Hey everyone!

I’m hosting a  book giveaway just in time for Mother’s Day! The book is Living with Intent by Mallika Chopra. Some of you are familiar with this last name and it’s because it’s Deepak Chopra’s daughter! Here’s some more information on the book:

Living With Intent cover

“Whether we know it or not, we matter; today matters. Mallika Chopra shows us all how to live quiet lives of inspiration. Her book and journey are not to be missed.”

—Elizabeth Gilbert, bestselling author of Eat, Pray, Love

“Mallika Chopra was consistently finding herself overwhelmed with the stress of trying to balance being a mother, wife, and successful entrepreneur. But it was more than being overwhelmed; she felt guilty about not giving each section of her life (her children, her husband, her career) the attention it deserved. Even though she spoke to others about bringing balance into their lives as the CEO of Intent.com—a portal dedicated to sharing and supporting people’s intentions—Mallika realized that she had lost her own purpose, balance, and peace.

Being the daughter of famous healer Deepak Chopra doesn’t mean you are immune to the chaos, exhaustion, and stress that so many people experience each and every day. But it does mean that when you realize you need help, you can access a world of wisdom. LIVING WITH INTENT: My Somewhat Messy Journey to Purpose, Peace, and Joy (on sale April 7, 2015, Harmony Books) is Mallika Chopra’s practical yet deeply personal look at her yearlong journey to discover some workable answers to feeling overwhelmed.

On her path to live a more meaningful life, Chopra sat down with experts, including Andrew Weil, Eckhart Tolle, Marianne Williamson, Daniel Siegel, Ariana Huffington, and Caryl Stern, who’s valuable advice and input is gathered in this practical memoir. Each chapter is devoted to one step on her journey and a piece of her INTENT action plan.”

If you are looking for some balance in  your life or know someone who is, this book is perfect. It’s a great gift to give for mother’s day. Highly recommended by authors all around the world, Chopra’s healing book will surely make you feel at peace.

To enter the giveaway (U.S.A. participants only):

1. Post the picture of the cover page of the book (found above), on either Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

2. Write #choprabookgiveaway as the caption/status/tweet

3. I will pick one winner to receive a copy! 

Good luck and happy reading!