5 Books to Read to Challenge Your Worldview

Top 5 Books To Read To Challenge Your Worldview

Ever wanted a story that wasn't boy meets girl or filled with cheesy one-liners? This list is for you.

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My parents inspired my love of reading when I was little by giving me the collector's edition of Jane Austen's seven novels and since that moment, I've spent my life surrounded by books. Although traveling to foreign countries gives me exposure to an intriguing and differing way of life, the worlds I have found in books has transformed my worldview more than I ever have with stamps on my passport. In light of this fact, I'm always looking for books about people with drastically different lives than me. Without further ado, here are what I believe to be the top 5 must reads for expanding your worldview.

1. "Americanah" by Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche

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Adiche astounded the world with her eloquent TED talk "We Should All Be Feminists." Americanah was her first novel and chronicles the life of Ifemelu, a young Nigerian woman who travels to America for college, is no different. Centered around topics of love, loss, culture, she realizes her "blackness" for the first time in America. With beautiful language and endless poise, Adichie weaves a story of romance and confronting your identity in a multicultural world.

2. "All the Light We Cannot See" by Anthony Doerr

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With chapters almost like a collection of short stories, Doerr subtly weaves a narrative of a chance encounter between a young blind Parisian girl and a drafted German boy during the occupation of France during World War II. Told from alternating perspectives, their loss, and strength to continue through hardship will inspire you.

3. "Small Great Things" by Jodi Picoult

"Small Great Things" by Jodi Picoult centers around an African American nurse who is held responsible after a newborn baby dies. The case that follows in the courtroom is full of suspense. This is one story that I could not put down; it sheds light on institutional racism and the power of confronting one's own beliefs.

4. "The Kite Runner" by Khaled Hosseini

"The Kite Runner" is the ultimate tale of redemption and unconditional love. It also centers around ethnic majority and minority struggle. Humans since the beginning of time have sought to find minute ways to justify the oppression of minority groups, and Afghanistan in the 1980s is no different.

5. "The Hate U Give" by Angie Thomas

Of the five of these novels, I read "The Hate U Give"" the most recently because of its imminent adaptation to the big screen. The title is based on Tupac's lyrics acronym for "THUG LIFE" and it centers around Starr, an African American girl living in a poverty-stricken neighborhood. She watches her best friend shot by police after being pulled over. The story centers around police brutality and has an honest and enlightening take on race relations that is infinitely important in modern America.

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9 Reasons Crocs Are The Only Shoes You Need

Crocs have holes so your swag can breathe.
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Do you have fond childhood objects that make you nostalgic just thinking about your favorite Barbie or sequenced purse? Well for me, its my navy Crocs. Those shoes put me through elementary school. I eventually wore them out so much that I had to say goodbye. I tried Airwalks and sandals, but nothing compared. Then on my senior trip in New York City, a four story Crocs store gleamed at me from across the street and I bought another pair of Navy Blue Crocs. The rest is history. I wear them every morning to the lake for practice and then throughout the day to help air out my soaking feet. I love my Crocs so much, that I was in shock when it became apparent to me that people don't feel the same. Here are nine reasons why you should just throw out all of your other shoes and settle on Crocs.

1. They are waterproof.

These bad boys can take on the wettest of water. Nobody is sure what they are made of, though. The debate is still out there on foam vs. rubber. You can wear these bad boys any place water may or may not be: to the lake for practice or to the club where all the thirsty boys are. But honestly who cares because they're buoyant and water proof. Raise the roof.


2. Your most reliable support system

There is a reason nurses and swimming instructors alike swear by Crocs. Comfort. Croc's clogs will make you feel like your are walking on a cloud of Laffy Taffy. They are wide enough that your toes are not squished, and the rubbery material forms perfectly around your foot. Added bonus: The holes let in a nice breeze while riding around on your Razor Scooter.

3. Insane durability

Have you ever been so angry you could throw a Croc 'cause same? Have you ever had a Croc bitten while wrestling a great white shark? Me too. Have you ever had your entire foot rolled like a fruit roll up but had your Crocs still intact? Also me. All I know is that Seal Team 6 may or may not have worn these shoes to find and kill Osama Bin Laden. Just sayin'.


4. Bling, bling, bling

Jibbitz, am I right?! These are basically they're own money in the industry of comfortable footwear. From Spongebob to Christmas to your favorite fossil, Jibbitz has it all. There's nothing more swag-tastic than pimped out crocs. Lady. Killer.

5. So many options

From the classic clog to fashionable sneakers, Crocs offer so many options that are just too good to pass up on. They have fur lined boots, wedges, sandals, loafers, Maryjane's, glow in the dark, Minion themed, and best of all, CAMO! Where did your feet go?!

6. Affordable

Crocs: $30

Feeling like a boss: Priceless

7. Two words: Adventure Straps

Because you know that when you move the strap from casual mode chillin' in the front to behind the heal, it's like using a shell on Mario Cart.

8. Crocs cares

Okay, but for real, Crocs is a great company because they have donated over 3 million pairs of crocs to people in need around the world. Move over Toms, the Croc is in the house.

9. Stylish AF

The boys will be coming for you like Steve Irwin.

Who cares what the haters say, right? Wear with pride, and go forth in style.

Cover Image Credit: Chicago Tribune

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Exclusive Interview: Isa Marina

The singer opened up to Odyssey about True Colors, inspirations and more.

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Isa Marina is a dynamic female artist and singer-songwriter from New York who is not afraid to covers important issues in her music. This includes self-confidence, romance and life experiences in general. By combining Latin and R&B; styles, Marina has created an ideally unique sound to accompany her delicate, yet powerful, vocals. In an exclusive interview with CelebMix, the singer opened up about her recently released EP, inspirations and more.

What can you tell us about your new EP, True Colors, and your experience recording it?

The experience was a true testament of our team's determination. The songs were recorded between Pittsburgh and LA, so matching up people's schedules, traveling, experimenting with new sounds and writers, yet making sure we kept the same vibe throughout while working in different studios, was not easy. But I think that in turn, it plays a major role in what makes the EP so special. Also, being forward thinking critics of our own work and really narrowing down on our best tracks throughout the process. We went through a lot of songs before we settled on the strong, final four that made it to the EP.

What inspired this EP?

Just really coming into my own as a person and embracing my upbringing; my culture. I really wanted to solidify my niche sound, and most importantly get some things off my chest. I was going through the beginning stages of finally releasing an expired situation-ship; I wanted to be direct and feel free. All the songs on the EP gave me that.



Do you have any inspirations in the music industry currently?

I love so many artists right now: Nipsey Hussle (God rest his soul), 2Pac, Rihanna, Beyoncé, Karol G, Natti Natasha, Etta Bond, Kehlani, A$AP Rocky. They inspire me for so many different reasons. But the core bond is that they all worked super hard to achieve their dreams and maintain their careers; their music is a diary of their lives. I relate to that experience on so many levels.

For people who recently discovered your music, what do you want them to know?

I want them to feel inspired and hopeful. I hope my music can bring those feelings to them.



What would you consider a highlight of your career thus far?

It would have to be performing on MTV's TRL; I cannot wait to go back to promo my own original music!

If you could open for any artist or band this summer on tour, who would it be and why?

That's a tough question! But it would have to be…Anne-Marie. I've always loved her music. Her music is fun and vivacious, but very truthful (great storytelling). I think it would vibe well with the sound I bring to the table.

What can fans look forward to in the near or distant future? Music videos, tour, etc.

Expect a tour very soon!

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