• Reading in Sun

    With summer in full swing and temperatures rising, the best way to beat the heat is to curl up in your air conditioned room with a good book. These five books are stories about children in summer who go on adventures and face all kinds of mythical and very real problems. Check out any of the following books to stop sweating the heat and be sucked into a summerland tale. 

    8.5 The Remarkable Journey of Coyote SunriseTHE REMARKABLE JOURNEY OF COYOTE SUNRISE
    By Dan Gemeinhart

    Coyote is a twelve-year-old girl who has been living on the road with her father, Rodeo, for the past five years. They travel all around the U.S. in motorhome converted from an old school bus. They drive for adventure, but also to escape the home where her mom and two sisters were lost in a car crash. But when a park is planned to be demolished in their hometown, the park that holds a buried memory box their whole family hid, they must make the trip back to rescue it. Their fun, care-free lifestyle embodies the feel of a summer vacation and makes the book a captivating read. 


    8.5 The Last Last Day of SummerTHE LAST LAST-DAY-OF-SUMMER
    By Lamar Giles

    With the last day of summer bringing that feeling of dread, Otto and Shead, cousins who can’t help their desire to spy and uncover the secrets in their little town in Virginia, mistakenly stop time. While frozen in the last day of summer, they meet strange people and creatures and roll off into the adventure of a lifetime. But having a perpetual summer day isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. If they don’t unfreeze time, time could stop for good. 


    8.5 Where the Watermelons GrowWHERE THE WATERMELONS GROW
    By Cindy Baldwin

    Della discovers her mother picking black seeds out of a watermelon one summer’s night and can tell something isn’t quite right. Her mother has struggled with mental illness in the past to the point of hospitalization. With her father’s farm in trouble, Della sees that she needs to be the one to help her mama heal before her home falls apart. What does she use as medicine? Her neighbor’s magic honey. It may just heal the heartache in her life. 


    8.5 Counting to PerfectCOUNTING TO PERFECT
    By Suzanne LaFleur

    All of Cassie’s problems seem to be because of her sister, Julia, who is the favorite daughter and receives all the attention now that she has a daughter of her own. It seems no one cares about her competitive swim meets and collapsing group of friends. So when Julia tells Cassie that she’s going on a road trip with her daughter and isn’t telling their parents of her plans, Cassie forgoes her summer plans and hops in the car with her sister for a road trip that will change her perspective completely. 


    8.5 SummerlostSUMMERLOST
    By Ally Condie

    After the devastating death of her father and brother, Cedar’s family packs up to spend the summer in Iron Creek. While settling into their house, Cedar sees a boy dressed randomly in a costume riding his bike through town. When she follows him, she finds herself at the town’s Summerlost theatre festival. She gets a job in concessions, makes new friends, and discovers the mystery that shrouds the festival and follows her. 

  • Pile of Books

    I always start out each year with the same, good intentions. I dream about reading the books I hear people raving about, that I meant to read, but didn’t get around to. Though, I find my list of books to read growing exponentially larger than my list of books I have read. If you’re anything like me, you may be looking for an answer to this discouraging cycle. There is the hope of a new year’s resolution to set yourself straight, but it takes a little planning and thought. Here are a few suggestions of how you can read as much as you can. 

    Pick the books you’d like to read.

    For some of you (*ahem* me), it may be hard to make a definitive list of books to read in a single year. In 2019, there were over 4 million books published in the U.S. It is physically impossible for one person to read all the books. Devastating, I know. That’s why it is so important to make a list of what books you want to get to this year. This list can be whatever you want it to be. If you’re a person who needs structure, give yourself a definitive collection of must-reads. If you need more flexibility, work around the genres you enjoy. 

    The most important thing when making your list is to understand your “why’s” for reading. Are you reading for pure entertainment? Are you reading to learn about a specific subject? Are you looking for an escape from a plague-ridden world? (Sorry, was that too close to home?) Paying attention to your motivation will guide you to create a comprehensive, attainable list of books you are genuinely interested in. 

    Make a plan.

    This is a common principle for any type of goal you set: give yourself a timeframe. The best way to kill a goal is to not hold yourself to it. So start by writing down an obtainable goal that best suits you and your lifestyle. You could have an allotted amount of books to read for the year, month, or week. Or you could make a goal of how many minutes you will read every day or week. 

    Another method to make sure you are reading everything you hope to read is to make a goal for each genre your wish to read. I like this flexibility because when it’s time for me to move to a new book, I can look at my list and decide if I’m more in the mood for a biography or young adult fantasy. 

    Be flexible.

    Don’t be afraid to skim some books. You don’t have to put your heart and soul into everything you read. Remind yourself that it is alright if you find a book that’s not worth the investment of your time. Francis Bacon said, “Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested.” Make the hard decision of which books you would like to feast on. 

    Fit in reading where you can

    My last and certainly not least tip is to fit in reading where you can. If you have a busy schedule, be reading different books in different formats. That way you can read when you have a spare minute, whether that’s while you’re commuting or waiting in line. Have a physical book you can read while at home, an eBook you can read while out running errands, and an audiobook for when you’re on the move. With all these tips implemented in your life this year, you can seep reading into the cracks of time during your day and read as much as you possible can.

  • Coworkers

    I don’t know about you, but working from home has gotten a bit too boring. There used to be so many people to interact with, observe, and even gossip with. There’s less drama and intrigue when you’re at home. Check out these novels that take place in the workplaces that you can’t be in right now. Get caught up in a daydream about the days when you could stand closer than 6 feet away from a person. Prepare to have your mind blown as you read about social interactions that are not possible today. 

    6.1 AttachmentsATTACHMENTS
    By Rainbow Rowell

    Lincoln didn’t think his internet security officer position for a local newspaper would be so invasive. Day after day, he is tasked with reading emails that are flagged and considered inappropriate for the workplace. When the fun, personal email exchanges of Beth and Jennifer pop up in his inbox, he finds himself captivated by insights into their lives. After months of reading about their struggles, frustrations, and humorous outlooks on life, he winds up caring about these women, and possibly even (dare he say it) in love. 


    6.1 The Hating GameTHE HATING GAME
    By Sally Thorne

    Lucy Hutton is a firm believer that hard work, charm, and a little bit of people pleasing will get her into her dream career. Though, there always seems to be one thing standing in her way: Joshua Templeman. He, her polar opposite and ultimate nemesis, is constantly one-upping her, which scares her into fighting for a promotion that would make her Joshua’s boss. However, things get a little complicated when Lucy begins to develop an actual attraction to the man who has made her professional life miserable. It gets even more complicated when they share an unexpected kiss. 


    6.1 How Not to Die AloneHOW NOT TO DIE ALONE
    By Richard Roper

    Andrew’s job can be heavy and depressing. He reaches out to the next of kin of those who have died alone. It takes its toll, but his coworkers believe that he winds down from the dreariness of his job when he goes home each day to his wife and two kids...who don’t exist. Andrew is caught up in his web of white lies and it comes back to bite him when a new coworker, Peggy, steps into his life. Her friendship could be the cure to his loneliness, but will the truth cost him real happiness? 


    6.1 The CactusTHE CACTUS
    By Sarah Haywood

    In Susan Green’s perfectly crafted life, she has everything she needs; passion for her career, a flat with enough space for one, a man with no strings attached. Everything is just as she likes it. So, when she finds herself a newly expectant mother and her own mother passes away, she is forced to reframe her expectations for life. And, when her brother’s friend Rob shows interest in her, she is forced to reframe her expectations for love as well. 


    6.1 The WarehouseTHE WAREHOUSE
    By Rob Hart

    Cloud is a powerhouse tech company that is slowly taking over the American economy. Employees don’t just work on the company campus, they live there. When his company is demolished by Cloud, and his options are limited, Paxton takes a security position there. We get a glimpse of the monotony and suppressive world within the walls of the company by meeting Zinnia, a spy on the inside, searching for the Big Brother-esque company’s deep dark secrets. She sees Paxton as an easy target, but learns that there is more to the pawn than he appears to be. 


    6.1 SeveranceSEVERANCE
    By Ling Ma

    Candace Chen is so devoted to her work and her routine that she hardly notices when the plague first hits New York City. Life as she knows it, stops. The city quickly empties out and companies shut down. She finds herself aligning with a group of former employee survivors. With secrets, power-hungry leaders, and differing opinions, this novel presents an all new workplace, more cut-throat than ever, as it is every man (or woman) for themselves.