13 Books To Add To Your Summer Reading Bucket List

13 Books To Add To Your Summer Reading Bucket List

Add to your summer fun with these amazing books!

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Looking for something to do during these up coming long summer days? Say no more. The following is a list of 13 books, some new, some old, and all deserve to be on your summer reading list for 2019!

'Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of The Universe'

"Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe" is a YA coming of age novel about the intense friendship between Aristotle and Dante. A significant portion of the book takes place over summer, making this the perfect time to dive into the story of their friendship and to experience all of the themes of racism, LGBTQ, and more that author Benjamin Alire Saenz delicately weaves into the story of these two young boys.

'Crazy Rich Asians'

Loved the movie and can't get enough? No worries. The hit film was based on a novel written by Kevin Kwan. Compare the adaption to its original print source, and maybe read the other books in the series as well.

'Hunchback of Notre Dame'

This is a book everyone must read and given the recent tragic fire at Notre Dame, there never could be a better time. Read the story as Victor Hugo wrote it this summer, if you've seen the Disney movie, it is most certainly a different story that will be tantalizing your mind this summer.

'The Testaments'

Following in the footsteps of Harper Lee, Margaret Atwood brings us the sequel to her classic "A Handmaid's Tale" this summer. The story is said to be set 15 years after the end of the first novel and will show us where Gilead is now. The book is available for preorder and would be an excellent summer read!

'Watership Down'

Written by Richard Adams, this tale of rabbit's seeking out a new home is anything but Disney friendly, and deals with incredibly deep and philosophical issues within its pages. If you haven't visited the story before, now is the best time to do so as the story only grows more relevant with each passing year.

'Frankenstein: The Modern Prometheus'

Published anonymously when she was 20, the tale of Frankenstein addresses undying fears of humans. Being rejected by your 'parents' and your village, life and death, the limitations of science and whether or not we should limit it. All written by a 20-year-old Mary Shelly in the 1800s and often considered the first science fiction novel, this is a must read this summer.

'Les Miserable'

Another classic tome (so big that it is often called The Brick by its devout fans) this book covers the story of ex-convict Jean Val Jean and the famous June Rebellion, different from the French Revolution. The story is one of humanity, morality, and love and is most certainly a great read to tackle this summer.

'A Song Of Ice And Fire'

When summer rolls around this year, winter will be over, and HBO's 'Game Of Thrones' will have graced our TV screens for the last time. Fill the hole it will have left in your heart by reading George R.R Martin's novels, and then wait with bated breath for the next installation with all of the fan's who have been reading since 1996.

'Dune"

If you haven't read Frank Hebert's classic science fiction epic, now is a perfect time. The book will be made into two separate movies, considering its length. 'Dune' is the science fiction equivalent of 'Lord Of The Rings' a massive epic that has spanned generations and is soon to be attempted on the screen once again. Pretend the film with Sting didn't happen and perhaps visit the miniseries once you've finished the book.

'Star Wars: A New Hope' 

Believe it or not, the first 'Star Wars' media ever produced was actually a novel published about six months before the film's theater release. The novel contains information and details that were either cut or changed from the film's official release, but also often foreshadows the prequels which would come almost 30 years later.

'Chaos Walking: The Knife Of Never Letting Go' 

Another dystopian YA novel that is being made into a film, Chaos Walking is anything but generic. Visit a dystopian world with a male protagonist that dives into a science fiction world where toxic masculinity is all too much part of the norm of the world.

'The Great Gatsby' 

Nothing screams summer like F. Scott Fitzgerald's 'The Great Gatsby.' It is a rather short novel about Jay Gatsby's dysfunctional romance, narrated by witness Nick. The story is not only a classic but features all sorts of beach and summer themes, making it a perfect summer read for this year.

'The Things They Carried' 

Written by veteran Tim O'Brien, 'The Things They Carried' is full of semi-autobiographical vignettes about the Vietnam war. While they are separate, they are also connected by the mutual strife the soldiers face. The story that gives the book its title is often taught in classes because of its impeccable technique and it still holds up to this day. Sometimes funny, sometimes horrifying, sometimes heart-wrenching, 'The Things They Carried' is the perfect book to bolster your reading list this summer.

Admittedly, the list may be a bit biased as it is compromised of 13 of some of my favorite books ever put to print. Many of these are becoming films in the near future with star studded casts (guess where Daisy Ridley and Tom Holland are on this list!), or have already graced the screen, be it small and in your living room, or the big screen in your movie theater. Let them all grace your mind this summer!

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The Horrible Tale of Medusa

Medusa is known as a monster, but what led a beautiful and faithful servant girl to turn into a snake monster?
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One of the most popular beings from Greek mythology is not even a god or a monster; she is actually a cursed woman who is a victim to a horrendous crime. Her name meant "guardian" and "protectress." Her tale shows the cruelty of the Greek gods and how mankind is nothing but items to the gods. Medusa is known as a woman with snakes for hair and a gaze that turns men into stone. But who knows the truth behind this woman? This is her story.

Medusa was a priestess to the goddess Athena, the virgin goddess of wisdom and battle. One requirement to be a priestess for Athena is that the young woman must be a virgin and give her life to the goddess. One day, Poseidon, the god of the Sea and rival to Athena, saw Medusa and decided to humiliate Athena by raping the priestess on the steps of Athena's temple. Poseidon vanished after he was done and left Medusa vulnerable and weak.

Medusa prayed to Athena for guidance and forgiveness. After all, in those days, the gods claimed their mates as their partner forever, and Medusa was now Poseidon's wife. Athena looked down in anger and cursed Medusa for betraying her. Medusa was sent to a faraway island and was cursed so that no man would want her. She was given chicken legs, giant metal wings, cracked skin, madness, and her signature snake hair and stone eyes. Medusa was now a monster woman.

Medusa was banished from civilization to an island by herself. She was alone and only saw men chase her, trying to kill her. She looked at them in fear and saw them turn to stone in front of them. She was scared of her powers and angry at the gods for cursing her. She took her revenge on the men that were sent to kill her. Anybody who took one step on her island were marked now for death at the hands of the Gorgon Medusa.

Years later and many men later, Perseus came to the island with a shield from Athena, flying shoes from Hermes and a sword and crown from Zeus. He outsmarted Medusa and cut off her head to take back with him to save his mother from marrying a jerk. From Medusa's body came a winged horse, Pegasus, and a golden warrior named Chrysaor. Many years later, Perseus presented the head of Medusa to Athena, who took the severed head and turned it into an ultimate shield with a metal head of Medusa terrifying many enemies with a single look.

Medusa was a loyal woman who spent her youth training to become a priestess to a goddess she worshiped and believed was the strongest of all the Olympians. Athena also liked Medusa because Medusa was a beautiful woman who chose the goddess instead of any man. However, the immortal feud between Athena and Poseidon affects much more than just those two; it splits Olympus and ruins many lives.

Their feud has 3 main spikes: the representative of Athens, the events with Odysseus, and the claiming of Medusa. Medusa, after being raped, was cursed for betraying her goddess. Medusa's destiny was a harsh one she had no control over. However, she does spend all her life with Athena, as she protects her goddess against many foes. So, in a twisted series of events, Medusa fulfills her role of protecting Athena. However, it also led to snakes hating mankind for worshiping the Olympians. This is one story that shows the cruelty of the Greek Gods.

Cover Image Credit: Movie Fanatic

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11 Of The Most Influential Books Ever, According To My Friends

I asked my friends for one book that changed their lives. Here are their responses.

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With it finally being summer, I decided to compile a reading list that tops all other reading lists. This is no ordinary list of books. I asked some of my dearest friends and most important people in my life for one book that changed their lives and why. I'm no expert but behold, the most powerful list of books on the face of the planet.

Disclaimer: participants in this survey were put on the spot and these are their raw, unedited, some serious, and some funny responses.

1. "The Summer I Turned Pretty" trilogy by Jenny Han

the summer i turned pretty trilogy

"'The Summer I Turned Pretty' trilogy made me realize that my perception of myself does not necessarily match the perception of others who know me or meet me. The books helped me understand that not only is my opinion of myself extremely important but that I need to be kind to everyone I meet because I can't possibly know what is going on in their lives."

2. "I'll Give You The Sun" by Jandy Nelson

i'll give you the sun

"It genuinely changed my life, not in some big impactful way, but I think about it almost every day and have read it probably five or six times. Plus, it's 300-400 pages, so not a light read. It's about twins, boy and girl, told from each perspective, once when they're 12-years-old from the boy and 16-years-old from the girl. The boy is super into art and the girl used to be popular, but then became the quirky girl that loves ghosts. I'm super passionate about art and spirits have always been cool to me so the topics are perfect. It's just about their life in the rocky beaches of Northern California and it's just soooo cool. The writing is beautiful and I can easily depict all of it. It just fits my vibe as a person and I can read it a million times and never get bored because the plot is so good and the writing is just WOW!"

"I also have a strong personal connection to the sun, so the name really sticks out to me and makes me so genuinely happy. I'm so in love with this book that I want to name my children after it, want twins because of it, and may even get a tattoo because of it. I'm considering ordering a second copy of it to write and draw in because I cannot taint the original one I read. This book is like a bible to me and I love it more than anything and recommend it 100000%."

"It also gave me a strong connection to family, nature, art, dead relatives/ghosts, and myself. Like, wow, thank you, Jandy for changing my life."

3. "The Screwtape Letters" by C.S. Lewis

the screwtape letters

"In high school, I read 'The Screwtape Letters' for an assignment, but ended up reading the book again in college. It altered the way I thought and perceived things and from a completely opposite point of view. It made me realize or think about how the things I was doing could possibly not even be my choice, but whatever I was influenced by."

4. "Where the Red Fern Grows" by Wilson Rawls

where the red fern grows

"I read 'Where the Red Fern Grows' in 6th grade and I finished it within a week. I had always been a big reader in elementary school, but it was mostly for the ever-cool AR points. This book was the first one that ever made me feel something. So much that I cried in the middle of class."

5. "After" by Anna Todd

after

"'After' is the best book because it taught me true love, blah, blah, blah. It taught me to be myself, and that it's okay to be who you really are. Wait 'til you find the right person, and they'll absolutely love everything about you."

6. The Bible

the bible

"It keeps me focused."

"Well, no matter the situation, God is always the answer. Everything happens for a reason and God has a plan for every step you take."

7. "The Reapers are the Angels" by Alden Bell

the reapers are the angels

"It showed me that relationships are complex and shape our entire life, relationships with other people, and ourselves."

8. "Wuthering Heights" by Emily Brontë

wuthering heights

"'Wuthering Heights' because it's very dark and twisted, and the characters are evil but you can't help but root for true love despite how despicable the characters are."

9. "A Series of Unfortunate Events" by Lemony Snicket and "The Outsiders" by S.E. Hinton

a series of unfortunate events

"Read them my 7th-grade year. First 'real' books I ever read. Reading them brought me to the realization I don't need a screen to experience a story. 'A Series of Unfortunate Events' brought me to an imaginary world through pages for the first time. 'The Outsiders' made me feel real emotion and ties to a world that could have been real. Those books sparked my love for reading and still remain ingrained in my memory, and I'm sure they always will."

10. "Allegiant" by Veronica Roth

allegiant

"The only book that ever made me cry was 'Allegiant.' I don't know, when Tris died and just Four's reaction afterward. It was really just a shock, like, I did NOT expect her to die because most books usually don't kill their main character, especially young adult books like that."

11. "My Dog Skip" by Willie Morris

Skip: June 5, 1997-September 24, 2014

Grant Pride

"'My Dog Skip' because I had a Jack Russell terrier named Skip too, and it felt too real reading it as a kid."

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