Summer is nearly upon us. Que the bikinis, the late-night sunsets and the general relaxation of an entire generation. Though most people enjoy getting out in the sun, particularly in sunny Colorado, some of us like to take it easy and read a good book on the couch, in a hammock, or in the back of a truck. Following I've listed some of my personal favorites, from classics to new discoveries, there's a little something for everyone.
The Catcher in the Rye
It's a classic for a reason.
J.D. Salinger's classic The Catcher in The Rye is a tale of independence, coming of age, and heartache mixed together in one young man's journey. I personally loved this book because Salinger has an uncanny knack for pegging adolescent hubris and pessimism. We read the story of Holden Caulfield and, though we may balk at his immature view on the world, we realize that we were there once too. Perhaps some of us still are. I think we find a vital reflection of our younger selves in classics like Rye and we remember to hold our youth just a bit softer. They need our understanding as much as our guidance. Life is complicated, at best.
The Queen of the Tearling
For you fantasy lovers out there!
If you want to get as far away from real life as possible, a world like the Tearling might be the one for you. In this trilogy of books, we follow Kelsea, a spirited (if not stubborn) young queen in her quest to protect her kingdom. Though the story is heavy with fantasy tropes, it also has an incredibly complex and interesting narrative. We learn lessons along the way, possibly the most poignant being the acceptance of one's true self: good and bad. I found the Tearling's world to be both dark and irrevocably fascinating. I believe it's currently undergoing conversion to film so if you like the book, watch out for it to come out in theaters!
The God-Shaped Brain
For you spiritual physiologists!
This was one of my favorite non-fiction reads. It combines the complex field of neuroscience with Biblical concepts, two items which don't seem to mingle well. I was surprised to see just how vital our understanding of God is in our lives. The physiology of our brains is largely impacted by our relationship (or lack thereof) with a Savior and Jennings does a magnificent job of not only making a point but keeping the finer points of neuroscience interesting. If you want a book that could literally change your brain, this might be the one for you!
Pride and Prejudice
Don't roll your eyes, you knew it was coming.
Probably one of the most famous books in the world, Pride and Prejudice has stood the test of time as a witty, nuanced look at love. Bonus: it's set in Victorian England, what could be better! Headed by a feisty and likable heroine, Pride and Prejudice has been a treasure since its first publishing in 1813. In it, we can see that the complexities of love are not marred by the passing of time, but intensified. If you can keep up with Austen's musical and nearly always poetic writing style, then you will learn a great deal about the finer things in life. If you're up for a timeless romance, check this one out!
Crazy Rich Asians
It. Looks. Awesome.
I'll admit that I acted a bit backwards on this one. I was browsing Amazon Prime one day and happened to see the movie of the same name. On a whim I decided to watch it. In short, it was great. I really did love it. I'm looking forward to reading the book as I greatly enjoyed the movie. You can see where I'm starting my reading list for the summer! Happy reading everyone!