4 Books Perfect For Reading And Relaxing With Over Spring Break

4 Books Perfect For Reading And Relaxing With Over Spring Break

Whether you're in a car, on a plane, or at the beach, a book is the perfect way to disappear from reality and into a world far away from your own.

For some, Spring Break is a time to get as drunk as possible and spend the day in the warm sun dressed in a swimsuit with the chaos of friends. But for others, it's about relaxing and taking a break from the stress of school and work. I personally am just excited to spend some quality time with my friends on an east coast road trip. With hours in the car, I plan on getting some reading done in the books that have been sitting on my shelf for too long collecting dust. Whether you will be sitting on a plane, in a car, with your butt in the sand, or relaxing on the couch, I really recommend reading these books that I finished this year and that I love. Although there are only four books, these are really for anyone and I promise you, they are worth reading.

1. "Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness" by Susannah Cahalan

I can honestly say this is my favorite book that I've read in a long time. Although it's been out for a few years and actually has a movie (which looks really bad if you've read the book), this autobiography was absolutely phenomenal. Based on a true story, Susannah worked as a journalist for The New York Post, living the high life in Hell's Kitchen when everything took a turn for the worst. She recollects her memories as she fell into madness and filled in the pieces of her momentary lapse of life through her Dad's journal and stories told by her family and boyfriend. Not many people can say they survived being actually crazy, but she can, and does it beautifully. Although autobiographies aren't always the most interesting, this one reads like a fiction novel... it's that unbelievable. I read this book in a matter of two days, because I seriously couldn't put it down and I can't imagine how you wouldn't be the same way, too.

2. "The Alchemist" by Paolo Coehlo

Ah, a classic. "The Alchemist" tells the tale of a young man who wants to learn the trade of alchemy, or turning metal into gold from a famous alchemist, but learns more than the tool of the trade in the process. It's a beautiful, easy read for anyone who is interested in a little wisdom during their momentary break from reality.

3. "The Burning Girl: A Novel" by Claire Messud

This is a novel for any girl who has been through the evolving of a relationship with a friend over years. The tale is of Julia and Cassie who have been friends since nursery school and grew up side by side. When middle school struck, their paths began to diverge and the friendship became turbulent as Cassie took a turn for the worst. Although it may sound cheesy, this book is not a YA novel, and it offers way more than a he said, she said storyline. It's a story that any young adult female or mature woman can relate to as everyone has that one friendship growing up that you expected to last forever, but didn't turn out the way you expected it to.

4. "Pillow Thoughts" by Courtney Peppernell

This poetry book adheres to the many emotions of a person and divides the poems into such: if you are dreaming of someone, if you are in love, if you are heartbroken, if you are lonely, if you are sad, if you are missing someone, if you need encouragement, if you are soul-searching, if you need a reason to stay, and these are for you. Although written by a girl for the girl she loves, this poetry book does not limit who these poems can be about when pertaining to your life. It's unique, beautiful, and special for just about everyone if you let it.

Cover Image Credit: Larissa Hamblin

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9 Reasons Crocs Are The Only Shoes You Need

Crocs have holes so your swag can breathe.

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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From One Nerd To Another

My contemplation of the complexities between different forms of art.


Aside from reading Guy Harrison's guide to eliminating scientific ignorance called, "At Least Know This: Essential Science to Enhance Your Life" and, "The Breakthrough: Immunotherapy and the Race to Cure Cancer" by Charles Graeber, an informative and emotional historical account explaining the potential use of our own immune systems to cure cancer, I read articles and worked on my own writing in order to keep learning while enjoying my winter break back in December. I also took a trip to the Guggenheim Museum.

I wish I was artistic. Generally, I walk through museums in awe of what artists can do. The colors and dainty details simultaneously inspire me and remind me of what little talent I posses holding a paintbrush. Walking through the Guggenheim was no exception. Most of the pieces are done by Hilma af Klint, a 20th-century Swedish artist expressing her beliefs and curiosity about the universe through her abstract painting. I was mostly at the exhibit to appease my mom (a K - 8th-grade art teacher), but as we continued to look at each piece and read their descriptions, I slowly began to appreciate them and their underlying meanings.

I like writing that integrates symbols, double meanings, and metaphors into its message because I think that the best works of art are the ones that have to be sought after. If the writer simply tells you exactly what they were thinking and how their words should be interpreted, there's no room for imagination. An unpopular opinion in high school was that reading "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne was fun. Well, I thought it was. At the beginning of the book, there's a scene where Hawthorne describes a wild rosebush that sits just outside of the community prison. As you read, you are free to decide whether it's an image of morality, the last taste of freedom and natural beauty for criminals walking toward their doom, or a symbol of the relationship between the Puritans with their prison-like expectations and Hester, the main character, who blossoms into herself throughout the novel. Whichever one you think it is doesn't matter, the point is that the rosebush can symbolize whatever you want it to. It's the same with paintings - they can be interpreted however you want them to be.

As we walked through the building, its spiral design leading us further and further upwards, we were able to catch glimpses of af Klint's life through the strokes of her brush. My favorite of her collections was one titled, "Evolution." As a science nerd myself, the idea that the story of our existence was being incorporated into art intrigued me. One piece represented the eras of geological time through her use of spirals and snails colored abstractly. She clued you into the story she was telling by using different colors and tones to represent different periods. It felt like reading "The Scarlet Letter" and my biology textbook at the same time. Maybe that sounds like the worst thing ever, but to me it was heaven. Art isn't just art and science isn't just science. Aspects of different studies coexist and join together to form something amazing that will speak to even the most untalented patron walking through the museum halls.

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