Summer is the time for some well-deserved rest and relaxation. In between those long sought after naps on the beach in that new comfy hammock, spend some time reading upcoming best-sellers. Taking a break from work and school doesn’t equate to taking a break from a good story and some mental stimulation. Kick those feet up, lay that weary head down, grab the latest book, and sip on some thirst-quenching lemonade while delving into the world of literature and the ultimate form of productive relaxation.
For the Poet:
“Milk and Honey” by Rupi Kaur
From Amazon: The book is divided into four chapters, and each chapter serves a different purpose. Deals with a different pain. Heals a different heartache. Milk and Honey takes readers through a journey of the most bitter moments in life and finds sweetness in them because there is sweetness everywhere if you are just willing to look.
For the Leader:
“Make Your Bed: Little Thing that Can Change Your Life…and Maybe the World” by Admiral William H. McRaven
From Amazon: Building on the core tenets laid out in his speech, McRaven now recounts tales from his own life and from those of people he encountered during his military service who dealt with hardship and made tough decisions with determination, compassion, honor, and courage. Told with great humility and optimism, this timeless book provides simple wisdom, practical advice, and words of encouragement that will inspire readers to achieve more, even in life’s darkest moments.
For the Netflix Binger:
“Thirteen Reasons Why” by Jay Asher
From Amazon: Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a strange package with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker—his classmate and crush—who committed suicide two weeks earlier. Hannah’s voice tells him that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out why. He spends the night crisscrossing his town with Hannah as his guide. He becomes a firsthand witness to Hannah’s pain, and as he follows Hannah’s recorded words throughout his town, what he discovers changes his life forever.
For the Hopeless Romantic:
“Everything, Everything” by Nicola Yoon
From Amazon: What if you couldn’t touch anything in the outside world? Never breathe in the fresh air, feel the sun warm your face . . . or kiss the boy next door? In Everything, Everything, Maddy is a girl who’s literally allergic to the outside world, and Olly is the boy who moves in next door . . . and becomes the greatest risk she’s ever taken.
For the Political Advocate:
“This Fight is Our Fight: The Battle to Save America’s Middle Class”by Elizabeth Warren
From Amazon: Written in the candid, high-spirited voice that is Warren’s trademark, This Fight Is Our Fight tells eye-opening stories about her battles in the Senate and vividly describes the experiences of hard-working Americans who have too often been given the short end of the stick. Elizabeth Warren has had enough of phony promises and a government that no longer serves its people–she won’t sit down, she won’t be silenced, and she will fight back.
For the One Who Needs A Little Help:
“You are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life” by Jen Sincero
From Amazon: Via chapters such as “Your Brain is Your Bitch,” “Fear is for Suckers” and “My Subconscious Made Me Do It,” Sincero takes you on a wild joy ride to your own transformation, helping you create the money, relationships, career and general all around awesomeness you so desire. And should you be one of those people who would rather take a bullet than get busted with a self-help book in your hands, fear not. Sincero, a former skeptic herself, delivers the goods minus the New-Age cheese, giving even the snarkiest of poo-pooers exactly what they need to get out of their ruts and start kicking some ass.
For the Speculative Reader:
“The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood
From Amazon: The story is told through the eyes of Offred, one of the unfortunate Handmaids under the new social order. In condensed but eloquent prose, by turns cool-eyed, tender, despairing, passionate, and wry, she reveals to us the dark corners behind the establishment’s calm facade, as certain tendencies now in existence are carried to their logical conclusions.
For the History Lover:
“The Zookeeper’s Wife: A War Story” by Diane Ackerman
From Amazon: A true story in which the keepers of the Warsaw Zoo saved hundreds of people from Nazi hands. After their zoo was bombed, Polish zookeepers Jan and Antonina Zabinski managed to save over three hundred people from the Nazis by hiding refugees in the empty animal cages. With animal names for these “guests,” and human names for the animals, it’s no wonder that the zoo’s code name became “The House Under a Crazy Star.”
For the Classical Enthusiast:
“1984” by George Orwell
From Amazon: In 1984, London is a grim city in the totalitarian state of Oceania where Big Brother is always watching you and the Thought Police can practically read your mind. Winston Smith is a man in grave danger for the simple reason that his memory still functions. Drawn into a forbidden love affair, Winston finds the courage to join a secret revolutionary organization called The Brotherhood, dedicated to the destruction of the Party. Together with his beloved Julia, he hazards his life in a deadly match against the powers that be.
For the Creator of Fantasy:
“All the Birds in the Sky” by Charlie Jane Anders
From Amazon: An ancient society of witches and a hipster technological startup go war as the world from tearing itself. To further complicate things, each of the groups’ most promising followers (Patricia, a brilliant witch and Laurence, an engineering “wunderkind”) may just be in love with each other.
As the battle between magic and science wages in San Francisco against the backdrop of international chaos, Laurence and Patricia are forced to choose sides. But their choices will determine the fate of the planet and all mankind.
No matter the preference, each of the books outlined above is sure to inspire an inquisitive mindset. When relaxing this summer, spend some time diving into a world of understanding and swimming in an ocean of literary possibilities. Enjoy!