books read summer

10 Books You Should Make Sure To Add To Your Summer Reading List

These interesting reads would be perfect to take on during the summer.

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Now that it's finally summer, the stress of homework and other school activities goes away. With the extra free time that comes with these next couple months, why not take the time to catch up on some good books? Since it can be hard to find the perfect book to read, I've composed a list of 10 that I think would be ideal to read during the summer months. Enjoy and happy reading!

1. "The Light We Lost" by Jill Santopolo

The Light We Losthttps://www.amazon.com/Light-We-Lost-Jill-Santopol...

This book is about a young couple who meet at Columbia University, and whose lives continuously intertwine despite choosing to live completely different lifestyles. It's an incredible story and an emotional rollercoaster, so make sure to have tissues ready!

2. "You Are a Badass" by Jen Sincero

You are a Badasshttps://www.amazon.com/You-Are-Badass-Doubting-Gre...

I'm typically a bit wary about self-help style books, but this one is incredible! Author Jen Sincero provides advice and personal stories in order to encourage readers to accomplish the lives they've always dreamed of living. Definitely read this if you're looking for some motivation!

3. "Capital Gaines" by Chip Gaines


Capital Gaineshttps://www.amazon.com/Capital-Gaines-Things-Learn...

Another great motivational book for summer is "Fixer Upper" personality Chip Gaines' personal account about taking initiative, keeping a positive outlook, and always having faith despite the unknown. His life tales and stories are always good if you need a laugh, and this would be a great read if you're a "Fixer Upper" fan.

4. "Turtles All the Way Down" by John Green

Turtles all the Way Down https://www.amazon.com/Turtles-All-Down-John-Green...

John Green's latest novel tells the story of Aza, a high-schooler solving a mystery with her best friend while also struggling with a severe anxiety disorder. Struggling with anxiety himself, John Green provides an honest and insightful account and makes this book an interesting read for anyone looking for an exciting story.

5. "Love and Gelato" by Jenna Evans Welch

Love and Gelatohttps://www.amazon.com/Love-Gelato-Teens-Top-Award...

This tale about teenager Lina's quest to discover Italy and learn more about her family has had huge success, and the book definitely meets the hype. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves romance, travel, or mysteries!

6. "Love and Luck" by Jenna Evans Welch

Love and Luck https://www.amazon.com/Love-Luck-Jenna-Evans-Welch...=pd_lpo_sbs_14_img_0?_encoding=UTF8&psc;=1&refRID;=0ZS6XWV3JTY3VD9R065R

This novel by the same author of "Love and Gelato" is another travel-filled adventure, this time telling the story of Addie and her journey through Ireland. The book is full of family, road trips, and self-discovery!

7. "We'll Always Have Paris" by Jennifer Coburn

We'll Always Have Paris https://www.amazon.com/Well-Always-Have-Paris-Daug...

This memoir is also full of travel as author Jennifer Coburn describes how her fear of dying young led to a whirlwind trip through Europe with her daughter. It's a touching and heartwarming story and is perfect for anyone who's interested in travel and family, and the impact they have on our lives.

8. "Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore" by Robin Sloan

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore https://www.amazon.com/Mr-Penumbras-24-Hour-Bookst...

I've yet to read this mystery about a secret bookstore, but Robert Sloan's novel has been incredibly successful, and has a bright yellow color that immediately caught my eye!

9. "Where'd You Go, Bernadette?" by Maria Semple

Where'd You Go, Bernadette? https://www.amazon.com/Whered-You-Go-Bernadette-No...

This bestselling novel by Maria Semple is quirky, funny, and perfect for anyone who loves a good mystery. Cate Blanchett plans to star in a movie about teenager Bee detailing the story of her mother's mysterious disappearance.

10. "Talking As Fast As I Can" by Lauren Graham

In this personal account, actress Lauren Graham tells the story of her rise to fame, and of course, her iconic role as Lorelei Gilmore on the hit TV show "Gilmore Girls." Her hilarious narration and quirky tales make this book a winner, and great for any "Gilmore Girls" fan!

Cover Image Credit:

Bridget Sjoberg

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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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