My Go-To Summer Reads

Image result for reading quotesWe are nearing the end of summer which means afternoon thunderstorms, ice cold lemonade, and more time for ourselves than we have any other time of the year… While we have been absolutely swamped with life this summer (school, work, people) I still found a few moments to catch up on some personal reading. We decided to compile a list of my favorite authors to read during the summer- some new, some old. The books written by these authors are usually short, easy reads that we definitely did not want to put down.

  1. Jane Austen (Emma, Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility)
  2. Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club, Lullaby, Survivior, Invisible Monsters)
  3. Stieg Larsson (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo -Millenium Series)
  4. Rainbow Rowell (FanGirl, Eleanor & Park, Landline)
  5. Ernest Cline (Ready Player One)
  6. John Green (Looking For Alaska, Paper Towns, The Fault in Our Stars, An Abundance of Katherines)
  7. J.K. Rowling (Re-Read that classic series)
  8. Lauren Conrad (L.A. Candy)
  9. Jenny Han (To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, P.S. I Still Love You)
  10. E. Lockhart (We Were Liars)

The great thing about these authors is you can obviously read their works anytime. Summer may be ending soon, but fall is just around the corner. Hello pumpkin spice everything, chunky sweaters, and perfectly cozy reading weather!

alex&whitney

 

The Five Must Haves for Your Bookshelf

tumblr_inline_n094767kHc1qid2nwI love to read. A self-proclaimed bibliophile if you must. I even have an Instagram account solely dedicated to my bookish ways (@lexislibrary). While over half of my books are actually packed up and tucked away in storage—cries for days—I do have a pretty hefty book collection (especially if you count the books I have on my Kindle!) and I wanted to provide you lovely gems with my own personal beliefs on what every bookshelf should contain no matter your preference of reading genres.

I promise this wont be daunting in any way and you might already have a lot of the following in your bookshelf

 

The Five Must Haves:

1. Light and easy… every bookshelf should have at least one if not more (I choose more) light and easy read book. My personal favorite genre for this is Young Adult Fiction. Light and easy books are the best type of book to just toss in your bag and take with you wherever you go. Some examples that happen to be on my shelf:

Eleanor & Park, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, An Abundance of Katherines, Looking for Alaska, and We Were Liars.

2. Classics… I know, I know, classics usually receive a rap of being the type of book that people like to talk about reading but never actually read. Personally some of my favorite books are classics however, and maybe this is because I didn’t get to read the light and easy category in high school but instead I was reading “real literature” as one of my English teachers so kindly put it. They take your mind to a different kind of place. I don’t own nearly as many classics as I do light and easy books but will provide more examples simply because classics aren’t as warmly loved by the masses these days…

The Sound and the Fury, As I Lay Dying, The Great Gatsby, Lolita, The Catcher in the Rye, Wuthering Heights, The Beautiful and Damned, Animal Farm, The Little Prince, Anna Karenina, etc.

3. Series… Who doesn’t love a series they can just dive into? They pretty much are the best set up for reading because if you are like me, there are always those books that as soon as you get to the end… you want—no, need—more of the story. Well, fear not, because if it is a series… ON TO THE NEXT. Though, total downside is when you finish the series. Do not judge me for some of these because even Twilight was popular once…..

Harry Potter series, A Series of Unfortunate Events, The Lunar Chronicles, Pretty Little Liars, Twilight Saga, and The Lord of the Rings

4. Plays… So some of you might end up leaving this off… which I totally won’t judge you for… but I was a theater kid in high school and there is something pretty relaxing to me about reading plays. It truly is like putting on a movie in your head. Some of the plays I own copies of and love are

 Ghosts, Tartuffe, Hamlet, Romeo & Juliet, Our Town, The Taming of the Shrew,

5. Memoirs/biographies… I personally prefer memoirs more than biographies but they are both very similar, I only recently got into reading memoirs and actually only own three if you include one that I bought my mom and am welcome to read whenever since I live with her. Because of this, I will include some memoirs that are on my wish list as well.

Bossypants (Tina Fey), Seriously… I’m Kidding (Ellen DeGeneres), The Andy Cohen Diaries: A Deep Look at a Shallow Year (Andy Cohen), Home: A Memoir of My Early Years (Julie Andrews), Yes Please (Amy Poehler), and Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) (Mindy Kaling)

Obviously with a list such as this one, there is plenty of wiggle room to pick the specific books of your choice. However, as an avid reader I do believe it is important for a bookshelf to be well-rounded! Plus, with the holiday season in full swing (Happy Hanukkah to my celebrating readers!!!) books are always a must for any wish list!

 

Happy reading, stay cozy and be well. tumblr_lk4vfuWL8v1qijadwo1_100

alex

 

 

 

 

Books I Read This Month – August

monthly reads

So August was a little less crazy & I managed to finish more than one book this month! Okay so I only finished two, but I blame that on my night class which has basically sucked all of my reading time out of my day ^.^

1. It’s Kind of a Funny Story, Ned Vizzini – This book was surprisingly amazing. If you read my about me section, you know I worked with adults & children in psychiatric settings so I was curious to see another’s perspective of such an environment. Usually these novels about someone in a psych ward is so far from the truth it’s almost embarrassing, but this one was pretty spot on… probably because the author actually wrote this after his own experience which I found fascinating. This novel is an easy read, very eye-opening, and ended in a way that made you smile. This book was definitely a good weekend read! While some parts hit home a little too close, I thought this novel was such a joy to read. Also, apparently they made a movie based on this book so I think I might go check it out….

2. Zoo, James Patterson – Great idea, ridiculous writing… as in this entire book sounded like a 2nd grader wrote it. The idea of animals attacking humans is what drew me to pick up this book. However, just a few chapters in & I was smacked in the face with this description of the lion, “His powerful chest rises and falls under his almost strawberry blond mane. His dusky amber eyes narrow, focused on the distance. he opens his mouth slightly, whiskers tingling as he scents the dry wind”. I’m sorry, but I could not get over how just god awful the writing was and it was all downhill from there. Maybe I’m just snobby when it comes to descriptive terminology but almost strawberry blond mane should never actually be written in any literature. I won’t even touch on the sad science in this book…. *spoiler* pheromones… really?

Books I Read This Month – July

monthly reads

Or rather…. book I read this month. Is it just me or is time moving much faster than a few months ago? How is it already August 2nd? Anyway, I’m going to apologize in advanced that I only read one book this month (only one!!)  July was such a tough month for school that most of my reading consisted of digestive anatomy and urinary system malfunctions…… I could review those for you all? Just kidding. I’ll spare you the insanity. I did start a couple books this month so next month I promise there will be more! However, the one book I did finish this month was absolutely fantastic & I want everyone to read it because it will make your heart feel so warm & happy. We all need books like that in our life.

1. Attachments, Rainbow Rowell – Of course I was going to read the only Rowell novel I hadn’t read yet. I honestly think Attachments is now my number one Rowell novel right now. The friendship between Beth & Jennifer reminded me much of my own friendship with my person* which is probably why I loved this book so much. You also fall in love with Lincoln despite his slightly creepy obsession with Beth & Jennifer’s emails. At least he admits it’s a little weird, a little wrong. You find yourself secretly cheering for him. Plus he plays Dungeons & Dragons. I will say that this is the one Rowell novel that didn’t just end after something wonderful happen (not really a spoiler because something wonderful always happens in Rowell’s books). Rowell graciously adds one last chapter that makes you smile really big inside, leaving you wanting more but satisfied you at least know what happened. Attachments is everything I needed in a book I didn’t know I needed. Go to Amazon & buy it right now.

*Grey’s Anatomy reference. The Meredith to my Christina ♥

Do you have any book recommendations? If so, leave a comment! ♥♥♥

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Books I Read This Month- June

monthly reads

Ok seriously. How is time flying by so fast? It’s already the 2nd of July & I didn’t even realize it! Life has been super crazy lately & I barely find anytime to read except right before I fall asleep… So this month I didn’t have a chance to finish as many books as I had hoped, but I did finish 2 *small cheer*! I’m in the middle of two other books so hopefully I will finish those by August.

1. Landline, Rainbow Rowell – Rowell’s novels are the perfect summer read. Easy, feel-good, & usually fast-paced. Landline did not disappoint! This book describes a marriage that is struggling. No the husband didn’t kill anyone, the wife didn’t scheme her death. The relationship between Georgie & Neal is seemingly typical, as the years go on & they simply grow apart. There’s no cheating, no backstabbing. It was quiet refreshing in all honesty (especially after reading Gone Girl) While I won’t spoil the ending, this novel makes your heart warm even if there is a weird, sci-fi landline phone thrown in the mix……..

2. Oryx and Crake, Margaret Atwood – I really, really wanted this to be my next favorite series. I love Atwood & I love her writing. The reviews are normally very positive & it’s a dystopian-ish novel so how could I not love it? However, I just could not get into Oryx and Crake as much as I had hoped. While it is a fantastic read, I didn’t find it as good as a read as I did The Handmaid’s Tale. I partially blame my lack of interest in my busy schedule. I believe if my mind didn’t have a billion things running around, I would have loved this novel much more. This story begins in the middle of a situation which kind of threw me off guard and there are tons of flashbacks…  The writing is classic Atwood- beautiful, poetic, & very much stream of consciousness at times. I will definitely read this novel again because I believe it deserves a second chance.

Do you have any book recommendations? If so, leave a comment! ♥♥♥

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Books I Read This Month – May

monthly reads
It’s the last day of May! Where in the world did this month go?? I read some pretty interesting books this month and actually the last few months. This month I only managed to finish 3 books, but I wanted to mention 3 others* I read a few months back that I thought were surprisingly good!

may books

1. Dark Places, Gillian Flynn – The hype of “Gone Girl” in the media prompted a lengthy discussion one day at work regarding Gillian Flynn & her novels. So, naturally, while wandering aimlessly around Target, I picked up Dark Places & Gone Girl. I decided to read Dark Places first because, well I’m not sure why. This was my first introduction to Gillian Flynn & I will say I was impressed. Her character development is pretty head on & that final twist (important in “thriller” novels) is almost, but not quite book throwing quality. It’s definitely a fast, thrilling read.

2. Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn – I will admit I did not enjoy Gone Girl as much as I thought I would. While Gone Girl had that same WTFitzgerald  moment like Dark Places, I didn’t really bond with any of the characters. I was always torn between “Oh poor Nick. Oh wait, poor Amy. Oh wait….” Plus reading a really depressing marriage like their marriage isn’t really my thing. It definitely was a page turner & just like Dark Places, I’d recommend it as a filler novel**.

3. *Eleanor & Park, Rainbow Rowell – I was a little hesitant to read these books because I rarely ever venture into the “teen fiction/romance” section, but the cover was super cute so I just had to see what inside. This book took me back to my high school days & it was such a fun read. I surprised myself when I actually cried at one point in the book (a very good indicator that you should probably read this book). The ending was heart wrenching & I just had to know what happened next. I can only hope for a sequel (which is not happening). I would recommend definitely giving this book a chance if you’re in the mood for a good read on a rainy day with a cup of hot tea.

4. *Fan Girl, Rainbow Rowell –  After Eleanor & Park, I was instantly hooked on Rowell’s writing. I was so happy when Fan Girl did not disappoint. While I’m not as hardcore as Cath, I have read my fair share of fan fiction (don’t judge) so I thought it was enjoyable to read about someone who wrote fan fiction. This book was amazing & reminded me of my hermit days in college. In my unprofessional opinion, Rowell’s work flowed effortlessly & it was such an easy, refreshing read. I instantly connected with Cath. Just like Eleanor & Park, I needed the story to continue once I read the last page . I had bonded with these characters & I just had to know what happened next!

5. Insurgent, Veronica Roth – I love dystopian novels. I don’t really know who doesn’t. If you liked Divergent (the book… and movie!), Insurgent is just as good. Like any trilogy, the first books are usually the best. Often times, the remaining two fail to compare with the first. However, that is not the case with Insurgent. This is a solid sequel & Roth does an amazing job building up the story. It took me a while to read Insurgent after I read Divergent, but after I had finished Insurgent, I immediately went out & bought Allegiant!

6. *The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood – Margaret Atwood is queen of dystopian, speculative fiction (not science fiction). This was the first novel I had read of hers & I am officially a fan. While series like The Hunger Games or Divergent are good, The Handmaid’s Tale is sophisticated (in a way). Atwood’s writing is more refined, more calculating, more believable…. I was a bit weary when I picked it up because some label it as “feminist literature”, but in my (again unprofessional) opinion, Atwood doesn’t smash women’s oppression in your face. She uses it to illustrate the bane of humanity, what happens when it’s good versus bad & the bad take over, etc. While it’s a little heavier to read, I definitely flew through this book & would recommend it to anyone!

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Exactly how I felt after Eleanor & Park, Fan Girl, & The Handmaid’s Tale.

* Books I read before this month but were really good so I had to include them!

** filler novel: light books to read in between really heavy, emotional, life altering novels (i.e Anna Karenina or A Song of Ice & Fire)

Do you have any book recommendations? If so, leave a comment! ♥♥♥

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