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Summer Reading Suggestions

Ahhh. It’s finally summer. If you’re like me, during the semester, you are too busy reading textbooks and doing homework to carve out time to read for fun. But summer is a great time to dive into a book! If you don’t know where to start with your reading list, don’t worry: the marketing interns have put together a list of their favorite reads.  Look through this list, find your favorite, and head over to Half Price Books to score some of these awesome reads for cheap this summer.

Silver Girl, by Elin Hilderbrand

Meredith Martin Delinn just lost everything - her friends, her homes, her social standing - because her husband Freddy cheated rich investors out of billions of dollars. Through the loss, Meredith discovers what is really important in her life, while reconnecting with old friends and finding true happiness. In this book, Meredith realizes that sometimes it takes your world crashing down in order to discover who you really are. As with most of Elin Hilderbrand’s books, this book is set on the beautiful island of Nantucket.

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (and Other Concerns), by Mindy Kaling

This book is a lighthearted, easy read about Mindy Kaling’s life. You probably know Mindy from the popular show “The Office,” or her newest show “The Mindy Project.” This hilarious book is the story of how she ended up where she is today. As a comedian, Mindy of course puts a hilarious spin on all of the obstacles she encounters. She starts the book by telling of her life as an Indian child, then eventually moves through everything she had to go through in order to make it in Hollywood. This book will have you laughing out loud as Mindy continually makes fun of her situations and describes her thoughts as she goes through life.

Divergent, by Veronica Roth

This book is set in a post-apocalyptic city in the so-called Divergent universe. The book follows the main character, Tris, as she is forced to discover how she fits into the society when she realizes she doesn’t quite fit in the way she is supposed to. As the book continues, she finds out who she is and where she belongs. She is willing to fight for what she believes in. Divergent is the first book in a trilogy, so if you love it and want more, there are two other books you can sink into. The movie version of this book was also recently released.

It, by Stephen King

In the summer of 1958, seven friends encounter something horrible in their hometown of Derry, Maine. The children are terrorized by this something, which exploits the fear of its victims to hide itself while hunting its prey—in the case of young children, “It” mainly appears in the form of a clown. That summer, the children escape and kill “It,” or so they thought. Twenty-eight years later, the friends are called back to Derry to finish what they started. This book is the scariest novel I’ve ever read. It’s a long read, but one of the most satisfying.

The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green

Hazel Grace is a 16 year old with terminal cancer. To help her deal with this, her doctor sends her to a weekly support group. There she meets Augustus Water, a fellow cancer survivor. The two are kindred spirits and the novel follows them as they fall in love. I can’t lie—at the end of this book, I was bawling my eyes out, but I loved it. I started rereading the book almost as soon as I finished it.

Interview with the Vampire, by Anne Rice

This novel centers around four very different, yet similarly captivating vampires. Louis tells the story of his journey from a life of mortality to immortality. The story flows through the streets of New Orleans. The confessions of the vampire Louis are both fascinating and chilling. Interview with the Vampire is the first novel in Anne Rice’s The Vampire Chronicles. I loved the movie, so I was compelled to read the book. And like many books, the book is better than the film. If you don’t want to tackle the book, I still highly recommend the movie: Brad Pitt stars in it, so it’s a win-win.

21 Ways to Finding Peace and Happiness, by Joyce Meyers

Everyone needs a few words of wisdom, encouragement, and motivation every once in a while. Peace can be hard to come by in such a busy world. I love this book because Joyce gives very good advice about overcoming the difficulties of life, from a personal perspective. Joyce reveals that she wasn’t always the happiest person, but she shares what she did to get to where she is now. Her experience throughout the book showed me that if she can find happiness, its possible for anyone to truly be happy. Whether you need to be at peace with yourself, fix a relationship, or find some sort of clarity, you will find it in the 21 chapters of this book.

Life of Pi, by Yann Martel

I absolutely love the Life of Pi! I have to admit, I watched the movie before I read the book…but I learned a lot from watching and reading about Pi, a young Indian boy, who was named after a swimming pool in Paris, and Richard Parker, a Tiger that has the soul of a human. Without spoiling the story, I will say that this book will teach you about survival, patience, and finding direction for your life. These two main characters were left in the middle of the ocean on a very small boat after a tragic storm, and they come upon every life trial you can think of while on their journey.

Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson 

Everyone pretty much knows who Steve Jobs was. Jobs, the creator of Apple, entrepreneur, businessman, and philanthropist, not only changed the future of technology forever, but also did something that not many people in business have ever done. This book lets you really get to know the ins and outs of being in the business field. I learned a lot about being a leader and what being creative can do for you. You can learn a lot from Jobs and this book will give you an opportunity to “get inside” the head of a real genius by following his young adult life and his successes. This book tells a great story, while reinforcing the importance of team building, trust, and loyalty.

Lone Survivor, by Marcus Luttrell

Lone Survivor is a story of bravery, honor, and patriotism. Written by Marcus Luttrell, a U.S. Navy SEAL, this book takes you on a journey from his experiences as a teenager to the most intense firefight of his life. Luttrell accounts the difficulties of SEAL training and the relationships that he built with his squadmates. He also walks the reader through Operation Redwing, an extraordinary fight between SEALs and the Taliban. Not only does Luttrell vividly tell the story of watching each of his squadmates fall in battle, but also of his survival. Lone Survivor kept me on the edge of my seat and I wasn’t able to put it down once I opened the cover. This book took me on a roller coaster of emotions and I would recommend it to anyone.

Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury

Fahrenheit 451 is the type of book that made me think about what the future could be like. It’s a dystopian novel about the future, and there are parts of this book that could be very realistic in the future due to today’s problems. Fahrenheit 451’s future society consists of people living without emotions and with a government that rules all TV programs and limits freedom of speech. One of biggest issues with the society is the burning of books to destroy education and imagination. This book will put you through a variety of emotions and even open your mind to what the future could potentially be. Personally, I found myself agreeing with a few of the problems found in this book and how they can alienate people in our society.

World War Z, by Max Brooks

World War Z is a book that tells the account of a worldwide zombie outbreak. What makes this book unique is that it is written in an interview style format with each chapter consisting of interviews from someone that lived through the outbreak. I found it very interesting because the interviews ranged from soldiers who fought in the war to regular people who were trying to survive. It allowed me to live through the viewpoints of almost all aspects of the zombie outbreak. I also like this book because there are small references to today’s world. I think this is a creative take on the zombie genre and I would recommend this book to most people.

The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern

This book is about star-crossed lovers caught in a Hunger Games-esque scenario set at a magical circus. I’ve heard rumors that this movie/book combo will rival Twilight/ Hunger Games/ Harry Potter. The book is set within a circus community, where the circus travels overnight and stops in towns without warning. The circus, Le Cirque des Rêves, is only open at night and the entire experience sounds breathtaking. But what the audience doesn’t know is that a fierce competition is underway between the two young magicians, Celia and Marco. They have been trained since they were children for one purpose: to duel to the death. Celia and Marco, despite all odds, fall in love, which then jeopardizes both of their lives, along with everyone else’s.  

Lets Pretend This Never Happened, by Jenny Lawson

This true story is heartwarming and causes readers to contemplate their own choices between chapters. Jenny Lawson’s husband has been suffering for a long time and contemplates death frequently. Between her husband and daughter, Lawson discovers that we all have faults, and the ones that we try to cover up end up being the pieces that define us the most. Lawson’s story is hilarious and emotional, and she says what we’ve all been too scared to say.

House Rules, by Jodi Picoult

This story delves into Asperger’s syndrome and a family that is trying to stay together despite their struggles. Jacob, a teen with Asperger’s, is a genius when it comes to forensic analysis. He listens to a police scanner in his room and shows up to tell the cops what to do…and he’s usually right. But he is hopeless at reading social cues and expressing his feelings to others. When Jacob’s small town witnesses a terrible murder, the police seek him out. The police see Jacob’s Asperger’s symptoms as a sign of guilt. The family now has to be in the spotlight of a small town, staying strong as a family, but also answering the question: Did Jacob commit murder?

One for the Money, by Janet Evanovich

This is the first book in an ever-expanding series (it’s at twenty already and Janet Evanovich is still going!) about amateur bounty hunter Stephanie Plum. Her first-ever assignment as a bounty hunter is Joe Morelli, a former vice cop with whom Stephanie shares a romantic past. One for the Money follows Stephanie’s struggles in bounty hunting, love and life in general in a humorous and enjoyable manner. Though you can’t expect an exceptional literary experience from the books in this series, the Stephanie Plum books all have interesting stories and make great quick, fun reads. The books are interconnected, but you don’t have to read one to understand the next.

Beautiful Creatures, by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

You may have seen the movie, but it doesn’t do this book justice. Beautiful Creatures is a modern day Romeo-and-Juliet-type love story about Lena and Ethan. Lena Duchannes has a secret so big that it could tear her new home, small-town Gatlin, apart. Ethan’s lived in Gatlin his whole life, and he’s been told that Lena is trouble, but he’s drawn to her. With beautiful descriptions and perfect pacing, Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl draw you in to the story. I finished this book in less than two days. Fair warning: it’s book one in the four-book Caster Chronicles series, and the ending will leave you wanting to read the next book.

A Thousand Splendid Suns, by Khaled Hosseini

Author of the best seller The Kite Runner does it again. This novel, which also takes place in Afghanistan, beautifully tells the stories of two different women whose bad fortune brings them together. The book opened my eyes to the harsh realities that women around the world often face, but it shows how love can overcome all challenges. It is an emotional and heartfelt book, but one that leaves you with a sense of hope and triumph.

Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand

Although it was written in 1957, this novel is timeless. When the government starts turning against the nation’s most intelligent and powerful leaders, a series of disappearances occur. Through the development of complex characters and the repetitive question: “who is John Galt?” the story unravels to reveal how the past and present seem to lead to an uncertain future. Even though it is a 1000 page book, you want to keep reading just to find out who is John Galt is!

Harry Potter y la Piedra Filosifal (and The Sorcerer’s Stone), by J.K. Rowling

Since most of us have already read the Harry Potter series multiple times, why not try it in another language? It has been translated to Spanish, French, and many others. If you study one of these, reading a book that you are already familiar with in English in another language can help you learn new vocabulary. I am also a huge Harry Potter fan, so I love having an excuse to read The Sorcerer’s Stone and the rest of the series again.

A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Solider, by Ishmael Beah

We can’t forget about the 2014 Common Reading Experience Book! This summer incoming freshmen will read A Long Way Gone, by Ishmael Beah. Once they arrive in late August, they will join a community of scholars during K Week, where they will participate in small group discussions about the book with other new and upper-class students. The entire UK community is encouraged to read this year’s book.

Beah, now twenty-six years old, tells a powerfully gripping story: At the age of twelve, he fled attacking rebels and wandered a land rendered unrecognizable by violence. By thirteen, he’d been picked up by the government army, and Beah, at heart a gentle boy, found that he was capable of truly terrible acts. At sixteen, he was removed from fighting by UNICEF, and through the help of the staff at his rehabilitation center, he learned how to forgive himself, to regain his humanity, and, finally, to heal. This is an extraordinary and mesmerizing account, told with real literary force and heartbreaking honesty.

We hope you enjoy our suggestions enjoy finding time to finally read again. If you find a book you love and want to read more like it, head over to WhatShouldIReadNext.com. This website asks you for a book you really enjoyed and then will you give you other options of similar books you may like. We have also created a Pinterest Board with all of our suggestions included. Happy reading!