The last time I had a summer reading list was my junior year of high school. The list was a requirement for testing into the AP English class my senior year. I put it off until the last couple weeks of summer, and spent hours each day reading Crime and Punishment (which turned out to be one of my favorite books of all time).
Having a summer reading list this summer naturally evolved from my popping into various bookstores and selecting a book from the 'Recommended Books' section. Some of the books I had heard of (usually on an NPR interview), or read a review about in a magazine, while others were sent to me via PR people. One book I wrote! While others jumped out at me from their shelves and were confirmed as good reads by the sales clerks. All in all, I have thoroughly enjoyed my summer of reading. If you are looking for a new book to keep you company at the pool (for these last few weeks of summer) or by your bedside, allow me to suggest any one of the following:
ONE MORE THING: STORIES AND OTHER STORIES, by B.J. Novak, $24.95
A New York Times bestseller. This book is a wonderful compilation of stories from a witty and intellectual writer. Some stories are a couple of pages long while others span the breadth of a true chapter. All have a laugh out loud humor that flows effortlessly. I would recommend this one for when you don't have time to get into a deeper, more complex novel, and still appreciate the well-written word. This would make a great book for the guest bedroom.
THE ROSIE PROJECT, by Graeme Simsion, $15.99.
NPR called this novel "an utterly winning screwball comedy." And that is was. Light and quirky, this novel takes you into the world of a genetics professor who is so smart and rigid in his efficient lifestyle, he decides to engineer his own match making to the 'perfect' woman. What unfolds is a humorous and touching story of love with a parallel genetics track that keeps the reader reading just one more chapter to find out what happens... A great book for travel or a long weekend spent relaxing.
WEAR NO EVIL: HOW TO CHANGE THE WORLD WITH YOUR WARDROBE, by Greta Eagan, $17
Last summer, I spent three disciplined months putting my 'wear no evil' system into a book. After a couple of years navigating this new territory of caring not only about where my food came from, and what was in my beauty products, but also recognizing that my purchases in fashion have an impact on both the planet and people involved in the production, I put my graduate research around sustainability in fashion into action! My friend Alysia Reiner (actress, Orange is the New Black) nailed it when she spoke of Wear No Evil as, "finally an approachable, practical, do-able how-to on going green with your wardrobe without sacrificing an iota of style. I love this book!" The fashion industry is the second most polluting industry worldwide, just behind petroleum. Pick up a copy of Wear No Evil and start shopping smarter for yourself, your planet and the generations to come.
AMERICANAH, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, $15.95
When I approached the checkout counter at the Boulder Bookstore with Americanah in hand, the sales girl said, "This book is amazing!" Sold! A rich narrative of a non-American black living in the USA, shares her story of growing up in Nigeria and then moving to the US and back to Nigeria. The racial and socio-economic issues of our country that are often pushed under the rug speak to us head on in this important novel. An eye opening story that changes the way you relate to immigrants, as well as all our brothers and sisters of various race. A must-read for today's global citizens who appreciate intelligent insight and amazing literature.
GIRLBOSS, by Sophia Amoruso, $26.95
Girl power takes on a whole new meaning in Amoruso's GIRLBOSS! I relate this entrepreneur inspiring book as the cool kids version of Lean In. Amoruso is known for her outspoken style and filterless live out loud mentality. She holds nothing back in her tale of how she went from dumpster diving to running a $100 million plus online retailer, Nasty Gal. For anyone who has a dream of doing their own thing, this book provides the inspiration as well as some how-to guidance from a self-started maven herself.
CLEAN CUISINE: AN 8-WEEK ANTI-INFLAMMATORY DIET THAT WILL CHANGE THE WAY YOU AGE, LOOK AND FEEL, by Ivy Ingram Larson and Andrew Larson, $17
The PR team associated with this book sent me a copy of Clean Cuisine awhile ago, and this summer I decided to dive in. I have been wanting to revamp my diet and exercise routine for a few months now, and when I started reading Clean Cuisine, it seems the guidance I was looking for found me! Ivy and her husband (md, facs and fasmbs) Andrew tell Ivy's story of being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, and looking to heal her through food. It makes sense that food would have such an impact on our health and ability to heal. Through their researched and tested diet, they discovered a way of eating (and living) that leads to a naturally healthier body with the added benefits of clearer skin, a younger looking appearance, as well as a supported immune system. If you are trying to make sense of all the fad diets and juice cleanses out there, I suggest you get a copy of Clean Cuisine to better guide your foundation of food and the choices you make each day when you eat. It provided me with enough medical science as well as real life application to be used in my day to day life, and I have already seen and experienced a better body because of it.