Friday, April 20, 2012

My Top 5 Summer Reads

In my childhood home, Saturday evenings were as predictable as Wal-Mart and One Tree Hill; after spending a solid six hours slaving away at weekend chores, lawn mowing, and weeding, the whole family {minus dad, who never stops working on Saturday} would stake out their perfect spot, mom would pop some popcorn, and we would all turn to the next chapter of our favorite book. The nest six hours would involve the blissful silence of everyone getting lost in fictionary adventure.

My family = reading.

Unfortunately, during the past five years my exposure to literature has consisted of little besides book with titles like Theories of Human Communication, Quantitative Methods, and The Practice of Multimodal Theory. Don't get me wrong, I like a good textbook, but it's hard to escape reality or enlighten the soul with research methods, and fun reading should ALWAYS be about escape or enlightenment.

I successfully read The Hunger Games {A+} and attempted the Twilight Series {Just see the movies} during my exile from real reading, but I have been longing for more time to read all of the good books my mother keeps mentioning and checking off a few novels from my classical literature 'To Read' list.

Since finishing school last December, I have been looking forward to creating a real summer reading list; full of fun, inspirational reads that do not include any references to control groups, critical theory, or sample sizes. Now that warm weather has arrived {for now at least} I am ready to read. So, if you care to join me, and I hope you do, my summer reading list will start with these five delicacies:

#1: Man's Search for Meaning

Author: Viktor Frankl

Synopsis: Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl tells the story of his survival in four different Nazi death camps. He speaks of spiritual survival, coping with inevitable suffering, gaining happiness, and finding the meaning in life's purpose.

Hint: You're going to need tissues, a highlighter, and your journal. This book quite literally changed my perspective on life.

Inspiration: "Don't aim at success -the more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side-effect of one's personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one's surrender to a person other than oneself."

#2: The Help

Author: Kathryn Stockett

Synopsis: More than a story about black maids and white socialite's in 1962 Jackson, Mississippi, this is a story about culture and humanity. An amazing narration of how three women join together to share their lives in hopes of forever altering the destiny of a small town.

Hint: If you've seen the movie, the book is 10 zillion times better! I cried, laughed, and shouted Halleluiah!

Inspiration: "You is kind. You is smart. You is important." -Aibileen to Mae Mobley

#3: To Kill A Mockingbird

Author: Harper Lee

Synopsis: During the Great Depression in Maycomb, Alabama, one family, Alticus, Jem and Scout Finch, struggle with society's definition of justice, and learn that personal honor and a clear conscious hold more value than social approval.

Hint: Even if you read this in high school, you should read it again with your grown-up-adult perspective.

Inspiration: "Before I can live with other folks I've got to live with myself, the one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule." - Atticus Finch

#4: Jane Eyre

Author: Emily Bronte

Synopsis: An honestly romantic story about a young orphan girl who struggles, like every other woman, for equality and dignity in a society that wants to deny her that right.

Hint: The old English writing style is a little difficult at first, but perseverance is worth it!

Inspiration: "Laws and principles are not for the times when there is no temptation: they are for such moments as this, when body and soul rise in mutiny against their rigor: stringent are they' inviolate they shall be. If at my individual inconvenience I might break them, what would be their worth? They have a worth - so I have always believed; and if I cannot believe it now, it is because I am insane - quite insane: with my veins running fire, and my heart beating faster than I can count its throbs. Preconceived opinions, foregone determinations, are all I have at this hour to stand by: there I plant my foot." - Jane Eyre

#5: Tuesdays with Morrie

Author: Mitch Albom

Synopsis: Mitch Albom gets a chance to reconnect with his college mentor, Morrie Schwartz, after 20 years apart. Mitch records his final, bedside "class" with Morrie where they discuss life, love, marriage, happiness, death and how to live life, each Tuesday.

Hint: A quick read that you won't be able to put down. This is a great story that renews your hope, determination, and desire to do and be good.

Inspiration: "Sometimes you cannot believe what you see, you have to believe what you feel. And if you are ever going to have other people trust you, you must feel that you can trust them, too - even when you're in the dark. Even you you're falling." - Morrie

Of course I'll add a couple mindless novels, Agatha Christie mysteries, and classic novels to my list, but each of these books is a staple! I have read/listened to each of these books at least once {some twice} and have always turned the last page feeling inspired and with new perspective. If you need a read that will help you ponder on the goodness, kindness, and human-ness of life {and we all do} these are your books. So, pull up a cushion, pop some popcorn, and be inspired! What better way to start a summer!

What books are on your summer reading list? Maybe we should start a book club! Seriously, we should.


No comments :

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...