I remember the days when my summer reading list consisted of Babysitter Club and American Girl books. My, my how times have changed. Instead of reading to earn points for free pizza or colorful bracelets– I’m reading for the soul. Here’s a list of books I recently bought to enjoy this spring/summer.
Summer Reading List
Americanah – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
This story is about a Nigerian couple who tries to flee to America *dramatic pause* post 9/11. The tone is a little more serious than the books I usually, but I’m always down for a dramatic, romantic adventure.
Between the World and Me – Ta-Nehisi Coates
A few months ago, I attended a discussion of Between the World and Me without reading the book. The conversation was great enough to make me want to own the book as soon as possible. You’ve probably read enough blog posts about my nephews to know they’re a pretty big part of my life. They’re the main reason I bought this book. Read below to find out why…
“In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation’s history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of “race”, a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men.” (excerpt from the Publisher’s summary)
Big Little Lies – Liane Moriarty
I’m behind in all the shows, especially HBO’s Big Little Lies. Reading the book obviously isn’t the same as seeing Reese Witherspoon and Zoe Kravitz on my screen, but it’ll do. If you’re unaware, Big Little Lies follows an investigation of a parent who wound up dead at an elementary school trivia night. Naturally, the investigation gets a little messy.
Purple Hibiscus – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
I love a good coming of age story. Purple Hibiscus tells the tale of a teenage Nigerian girl in search of freedom.
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life – Mark Manson
For decades we’ve been told that positive thinking is the key to a happy, rich life. “F*ck positivity,” Mark Manson says. “Let’s be honest, shit is f*cked, and we have to live with it.”
Ya girl loves anything that revolved around self-help and good vibes only, but life isn’t always rainbows and butterflies. I can’t wait to read Ranson’s take on positive thinking.
I am always Team Book. I will always be Team Book. However, I do like to see the screen adaptations of the books I read. I have to read the book first though. I’ll wait until a movie is available on DVD, rather than view the screen adaption before getting a change to read the book. I’ve got a few book-to-screen adaptations I’m looking forward to in my list below. You will not find the new 50 Shades movie here because I think the book is trash. To be clear, it’s not the “sexy” content that I think is trash, it’s the awful writing.
#TeamBook: 7 Book-To-Screen Adaptations To Look Forward To This Year
I joined the Show Your Blog Love Book Club and Big Little Lies is the book we’re reading for February. My book was just delivered last Friday and It’s a page turner. The HBO miniseries premieres this weekend and I don’t think I’ll be finished in time to watch it live, but I’m off on Monday and don’t plan on leaving the couch much. 🙂
Premieres: February 19, 2017
Starring: Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, Alexander Skarsgård, Shailene Woodley and Zoë Kravitz
Synopsis:Big Little Lies follows three women: Madeline, Celeste, and Jane, each at a crossroads. The book is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive.
Before I Fall was recommended to me by a fellow bookworm. The premise reminds me of If I Stay which was also became a book-to-screen adaptation. Before I Fall been sitting on my Kindle for a few months now, but I plan to tackle it after Big Little Lies.
Coming to theaters: March 3, 2017
Starring: Zoey Deutch, Halston Sage, Logan Miller
Synopsis: Samantha Kingston has it all: looks, popularity, the perfect boyfriend. Friday, February 12, should be just another day in her charmed life. Instead, it turns out to be her last. The catch: Samantha still wakes up the next morning. Living the last day of her life seven times during one miraculous week, she will untangle the mystery surrounding her death—and discover the true value of everything she is in danger of losing.
In one semester of English, in either my freshman or sophomore year of college, (why does this feel like such a long time ago), my professor constructed a WWII unit. In addition to having us all watch Life Is Beautiful, she introduced us to this book.
Coming to theaters: March 31
Starring: Jessica Chastain, Daniel Brühl, Johan Heldenbergh
Synopsis: 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.
I saw this book continuously being recommended in my book clubs and I’ve always wanted to read it, especially after I found out it inspired the Choose Kind Movement, an anti-bullying campaign. I recently saw the trailer and I just can’t say no to a Julia Roberts movie. So the book makes my list.
Coming to theaters: April 7, 2017
Starring: Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson, Jacob Tremblay
Synopsis: August Pullman was born with a facial difference that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face.
This is probably the book-to-screen adaptation I’m the most excited about. If you liked The Fault In Our Stars, you’ll love Everything, Everything.Seriously if you don’t tear up watching the trailer, you’re a monster — and not one of Lady Gaga’s.
Coming to theaters: May 19
Starring: Amandla Stenberg, Nick Robinson, Anika Noni Rose
What it’s about: A quarantined girl who’s allergic to basically everything and everyone falls in love with the boy next door, who becomes the biggest risk she’s ever taken.
Here’s my disclaimer. You’re either going to laugh at me at the end of this post or totally hate me for bringing back some repressed feelings of grief for fictional characters that you may have finally made peace with. My apologies. I read a lot and I watch a lot of TV. Because of this, I’ve got a lot of thoughts and feelings about fictional characters. I’ve shared a few of my fictional crushes, but I need to process some heavier emotions.
Raise your hands if you’ve ever grieved a fictional death?
Yup, I’m going there. On Sunday The Walking Dead gut punched me and countless others as they brutally killed off two amazing characters. One in particular hurt like hell. Glenn Rhee, the beautiful soul and father-to-be, who in my opinion was the true soul of the show was snatched from our screens. He managed to utter four beautiful last words to the love of his life and from the mass hysteria spreading across the interwebs you would have thought a real person died. I’ve read the comics and knew that Glenn was going to meet his fate. That didn’t make watching Denny Duquette Negan beat Glenn to a pulp any easier. But he’s not even, real!, you say. Uh, I know that, but he’s been gracing my screen for seven years. I’ve watched his character grow and evolve. Suddenly, he’s gone. Can’t a girl feel a sense of loss?
I’m sure every fandom has a few fictional deaths they’ll never let go of. Hell, I’m still angry at Rose for being selfish and not sharing that wardrobe door with Jack. Empathy and sympathy are phenomena we experience almost daily in our dealings with others, and they play key roles in the way we respond to fictional characters.
“These characters are an escape from some of the stresses of life,” he said. “Watching these shows allows you to decompress and not have to think about things for a little while. You’re exposed to different aspects of the characters’ lives — their losses, their loves and their own griefs, everything that goes into the human condition — and you eventually begin to empathize with them and form an attachment. We see some of ourselves in them.”
Because of these emotional bonds we form watching certain characters, it’s perfectly understandable that we mourn their loss when they die on a show, Rowney continued.
Let me start by saying this isn’t in any particular order and I’m leaving Glenn off this list.
1. Poussey Washington, Orange Is The New Black
Poussey’s death was spoiled for me because I had the audacity not to watch all the episodes the day they were released on Netflix. I hope you read that in the most sarcastic tone ever. However, it still hurt, especially with the recent deaths of black people by the hands of law enforcement.
2.The Young Ones, The Hunger Games
Primose Everdeen and sweet, innocent Rue. Lawddd why?! I know the tributes are going to die, but I closed my book/shutdown my Kindle when we lost little Rue. To make matters worse, Prim’s death is the reason Katniss chooses Peeta – which I wholeheartedly disagree with.
3. Jen Lindley, Dawson’s Creek
I became a puddle of tears watching Jen Lindley record a goodbye video for her daughter. Also, can we talk about the choice of having Sarah McLachlan’s Angel play during this scene- like we weren’t already suffering.
Dear John Green: The Fault In Our Stars was already sad then you riddled Gus with cancer and gave us this eulogy from Hazel.
“I can’t talk about our love story, so I will talk about math. I am not a mathematician, but I know this. There is an infinite between 0 and 1. There’s .1 and .12 and .112 and an infinite collection of others. Of course there is a bigger infinite set of numbers between 0 and 2, or between 0 and a million. Some infinities are bigger than other infinities. A writer we used to like taught us that. There are days, many days of them, when I resent the size of my unbounded set. I want more numbers than I’m likely to get, and God, I want more numbers for Augustus Waters than he got. But, Gus, my love, I cannot tell you how thankful I am for our little infinity. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. You have me a forever within the numbered days, and I’m grateful.”
9. Tris Prior, The Divergent Series
I’m still not convinced this death had to happen. Veronica Roth, get at me girl. I need to chat with you about this one.
If none of these fictional deaths registered with you shame on you I’m going to give you one more chance to prove you’re not heartless.
10. Mufasa from the Lion King
I hope the sadistic Disney writer who suggested this particular scene is proud of himself. I am 27 years old and Mufasa’s death is still one of the most tragic things I’ve ever seen.
Hmm, I may have to make a Part Two of this list. Which fictional deaths would you add to this list? Leave a comment below.
I’m going to tell you again. I am a book worm. Sorry, I’m not sorry. Tomorrow is National Book Lover’s Day. To celebrate, I’m sharing a list of essential girl boss books. I’ve read the first four books listed and have heard amazing things about the other three. Everyone has their own definition of: #Girlboss. However, I think all of these girl boss books stress the importance of loving yourself, knowing your worth and achieving your dreams.
I couldn’t make this list without #Girlboss. Favorite quote: “A #GIRLBOSS is someone who’s in charge of her own life. She gets what she wants because she works for it. As a #GIRLBOSS, you take control and accept responsibility. You’re a fighter- you know when to throw punches and when to roll with them. Sometimes you break the rules, sometimes you follow them, but always on your terms. You know where you’re going, but can’t do it without having some fun along the way. You take your life seriously, but you don’t take yourself too seriously. You’re going to take over the world, and change it in the process. You’re a badass.”
There’s nothing really new in this book, but Jen shares some words of wisdom (while calling you a wuss) in order to motivate you to be the badass you truly are. This book isn’t for everyone, but I quite enjoyed the way she presented the information. Favorite Quote: “Imagine what our world would be like if everyone loved themselves so much that they weren’t threatened by other people’s opinions or skin colors or sexual preferences or talents or education or possessions or lack of possessions or religious beliefs or customs or their general tendency to just be whoever the hell they are.”
In Radical Self Love, Gala Darling stresses the importance of treating yourself with the respect you deserve and how loving yourself is the key to happiness. Favorite quote: “Feeling intimidated? Just start small. Channel your mother when you get dressed, or think like your aunt when you’re doing business. Then let it swell, and make it bigger. Think Madonna’s ego, Kanye’s ambition.”
This is the memoir of the youngest Nobel Peace Prize recipient. On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, when she was fifteen, Malala was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive. I didn’t get far in this book before I was in tears. Favorite Quote: “Let us pick up our books and our pens,’ I said. ‘They are our most powerful weapons. One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world.”
I was never an English major. I can’t discuss Sylvia Path or Kafka at length. Pride and Prejudice is my favorite Jane Austen book and I’ve been told (by lit snobs majors) that this makes me basic. *Kanye shrug* I love books!! I have fictional crushes on literary characters. I have a Kindle, but I love and use my library card like I’m trying to earn frequent flyer miles. I refuse to see a movie unless I’ve read the novel it’s based on first Basically this is me:
Back in undergrad, I started writing down some of my favorite quotes or passages from literature. I now have a few notebooks of these fantastic book quotes and I wanted to share a few with you all (with some of my commentary 🙂 ).
Memorable Book Quotes
Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind. “Pooh?” he whispered. “Yes, Piglet?”
“Nothing,” said Piglet, taking Pooh’s hand. “I just wanted to be sure of you.” — A.A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh
“’Why did you do all this for me?’ he asked. ‘I don’t deserve it. I’ve never done anything for you.’ ‘You have been my friend,’ replied Charlotte. ‘That in itself is a tremendous thing.’” —E.B. White, Charlotte’s Web
I couldn’t pick just one quote from Maya Angelou’s I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings.
Sorry, not sorry.
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
“Life is going to give you just what you put in it. Put your whole heart in everything you do, and pray, then you can wait.”
― Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
“She was beautiful, but not like those girls in the magazines.
She was beautiful, for the way she thought.
She was beautiful, for the sparkle in her eyes when she talked about something she loved.
She was beautiful, for her ability to make other people smile, even if she was sad.
No, she wasn’t beautiful for something as temporary as her looks.
She was beautiful, deep down to her soul. She is beautiful.” — F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Beautiful and Damned
Butterfly in the sky I can go twice as high Take a look It’s in a book A Reading Rainbow
Do you remember getting your summer reading list at the end of the school year? Maybe it’s a habit, but as an adult I still create a summer reading list for myself. Now it’s a little harder to find time with work and blogging taking priority, but I love taking out some time and flipping through a book whether on my Kindle or the pages of a physical book.
Bookshelf to Big Screen
I’m a big believer in reading a book before even considering seeing it in theaters. Perhaps, that’s why I’ve been slightly underwhelmed by a lot of the YA series turned movies (Hunger Games, The Divergent Series) The books are usually ALWAYS so great and while I love seeing them on the big screen – sometimes it doesn’t compare to what I felt when reading. For example, if I told you I Kim Kardashian ugly cried reading The Fault in Our Stars it wouldn’t do the cry justice.
Did I get a little sniffly watching the movie – absolutely, but nowhere near the same emotions were emitted as when I turned the pages. With that being said, I did complete quite a few bookshelf to big screen reads this summer.
Ay yi yi. So I just gushed about The Fault in Our Stars, but I can’t do the same for Paper Towns. I was so disappointed in this novel. I struggled to get through Quentin, the main character’s, constant obsession over a manipulative and selfish girl- Margo Roth Spiegelman. And he continues to call her Margo Roth Spiegelman throughout the book. The parents in this book were unrealistic. The other characters in the book with the exception of Radar are just as unlikable. The story had potential and I wanted to like it, but I was seriously underwhelmed. I was excited to see the movie before reading the book, but will wait until it hits HBO or Redbox.
Designated ugly fat friend? What kind of misogynistic mess is that, you say? Don’t let the title turn you off. I love YA fiction, but sometimes they are just too “young”. This book, while set in high school, is something every girl can relate to. Every girl at time has felt like the designated ugly fat friend. The DUFF doesn’t just mean ugly or fat. It’s the feeling of insecurity we all feel at one point or another. Am I pretty enough? Smart enough? Funny enough? This novel takes you through that narrative wrapped in humor and snarky comebacks. I loved this book and would highly recommend it. I’m a big fan of Mae Whitman from Parenthood, and she kills it in this movie. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
I know. I know. I’m late to the game. I’ve been avoiding Ben Affleck, his stubble, and all the chatter about how crazy Rosamund Pike’s character Amy Dunne was until I could sit down with this book. And boy did Gone Girl live up to it’s expectation. I’d also add that the movie did not leave me disappointed either. For those of you have neither read the book or watched the movie, I won’t spoil it. However, I will say the books draws you in from the first chapter. By the time you get to Part Two of Gone Girl, the intensity level is kicked up a notch. It’s dark and twisted and I loved it.
Speaking of crazy ladies – let’s talk Serena Pemberton. Serena is the Amy Dunne of 1929. Now I’m pretty sure I’m supposed to hate her, but I loved the badassness of Serena. Does she do or attempt some unforgivable things? Absolutely, but she knows she’s a baddie and makes no apologies for it. As far as the movie, J Law and Bradley Cooper’s chemistry is everything. While the movie has quite a few differences than the novel, it’s definitely worth watching.
I love Issa Rae and her ABG webseries (and I’m anxiously awaiting her HBO show), so I was very excited about the book. Issa Rae is hilarious, but this book wasn’t. I purchased the audiobook and it made for decent background noise sitting in traffic. There were some very funny parts and I learned a lot about Issa Rae, but it was a little disappointing overall.
Every blogger and her cousin has been gushing about this book, so I thought I would check it out. I haven’t gotten that far, but I am finding Sophia (the founder, CEO, and creative director of Nasty Gal) has such an interesting story. She opens the book with: “I have three pieces of advice I want you to remember: Don’t ever grow up. Don’t become a bore. Don’t let The Man get to you. OK? Cool. Then let’s do this.” Uh yes!! The Walking Dead, Compendium 1 by Robert Kirkman
Listen call me a nerd, but I absolutely love The Walking Dead TV show. Since becoming a fan, I’ve wanted to get my hands on the comics – which are brilliant. I’ve only put a small dent into the compendium, but am thoroughly enjoying it even without my boo Daryl Dixon.