The Books Every Person Should Read In Their Lifetime

The Books Every Person Should Read In Their Lifetime

They do more than simply entertain you, they can change your life.
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Reading is much more than simply a form of entertainment or a way to pass the time, it is a escape from reality. Be it a dark mystery or a happy romance novel, books can take you places. There are some books you will read in your life that will change it forever, and these are just a few.

1. "The Great Gatsby"

My all-time favorite book and an all-time classic. Most are introduced to the heart-wrenching novel in high school English class, but trust me, it's a blessing. The story follows the twisted romance between mysterious aristocrat Jay Gatsby and untrusting Daisy, told by their mutual friend. Don't let the modernized film with Dicaprio fool you to cover up the true underlying story of corruption, betrayal and jealous rage. Just how far will one go for their true love?

2. "Sarah's Key"

When choosing a Holocaust/historical novel most tend to lean towards "The Diary Of Anne Frank," which don't get me wrong, will always be a classic journaled biography, but "Sarah's Key" has a different take on one of history's biggest tragedies. Pieces of a young girl's life 60 years ago is discovered by a reporter of today, and she must follow the clues left behind to tell her story.

3. "Looking For Alaska"

Yes, this is one of the many books written by the ever-popular author John Green (author of every 13-year-old girl's favorite book "The Fault In Our Stars"). But forget the tear-inducing love story everyone is familiar with. "Looking For Alaska," which luckily hasn't been ruined by the film industry just yet, takes a more realistic turn in my opinion on young love mixed with reality. When Miles goes to boarding school he discovers Alaska, a girl like no other he has met before, and life-changing situations that shake his world.

4. "Unbroken"

Biographies these days have become a bit sad.Twenty-year-olds are writing biographies about their lives with no experience (usually just rich), which essentially ends in them basically bragging about their wealth. But this, hands down, is the most incredible true story you will ever read.

It tells the story of Louis Zamperini, a WWII hero who just happened to accomplish a few crazy things in his young life including: setting a record on the 5,000 meter dash at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, surviving a plane crash in the middle of the ocean and clinging to life with two other men on a raft for 47 days, becoming a prisoner war at a Japanese war camp and somehow surviving it all to live a happy 97 years of life. Utterly insane, right? It is a story of resilience, bravery and courage that anyone will be proud of.

5. "Harry Potter" series

I mean, if you haven't read these books (or even watched the movies for goodness sakes), are you living under a rock of oblivion? Harry, Ron and Hermione have become household names around the world. I think the storyline of a young boy who gets the opportunity to live his dream has given young children everywhere hope too. More than that, it gives our minds a place of magic and imagination to go too and that is Hogwarts: School Of Witchcraft and Wizardry. This will always be a magical classic that will be passed down from parent to child for many generations to come.

6. "Pride And Prejudice"

I know, it sounds cliché for a female to recommend this, but I beg of you to look beyond the expected 19th century British society romance novel. In the end, it tells the story of a young woman who judges a man before she really knows him (hence the title my friends.) Elizabeth Bennet has bit more detest for the new man in town Mr. Darcy before learning his true ways. There is no difference between prejudice in love or in life itself. In our society today, I think we could all still stand to learn to accept one another a bit more. Why not do it with a handsome Mr. Darcy? It's a Jane Austen classic that is relevant to society for now and years to come.

7. "The Virgin Suicides"

Though the title can seem a bit daunting and odd, trust me the story has a much deeper meaning. It makes you think a bit more behind each action taken. A strict Catholic family of five daughters seem so perfect on the outside: beautiful looks, well mannered disposition, strong faith and family unity. But underneath lies suffocation, restriction, overreacting and control. A novel of what control can do to people who just need to experience life and learn from their own mistakes ends with a tragic ending (hopefully you figured that out from the title).

8. "Something Borrowed"

We all need that cliché rom-com that has a bit of humor, touch of heartbreak, and a dash of romance. "Something Borrowed" has all those things, and is a feel-good novel that is the beginning to a great series. It follows Rachel, the smart, quiet girl who always followed the rules and her best friend Darcy, outgoing boisterous and is willing to do whatever it takes to get what she wants. But when Darcy gets engaged to Rachel's college crush, he admits that had feelings for her also and they start seeing each other without Darcy's knowledge. Does she stay loyal to her best friend since childhood or follow her heart to be with the love of her life?

Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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Why High School Musicals Should Be As Respected As Sports Programs Are

The arts are important, too.
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When I was in middle school and high school, I felt like I lived for the musicals that my school orchestrated.

For those of you who don't know, a musical is an onstage performance wherein actors take on roles that involve singing, and often dancing, to progress the plot of the story. While it may sound a little bit nerdy to get up in front of an audience to perform in this manner, this is something you cannot knock until you try it.

For some reason, though, many public schools have de-funded arts programs that would allow these musicals to occur, while increasing the funding for sports teams. There are a few things that are being forgotten when sports are valued more than musical programs in high schools.

Much like athletic hobbies, an actor must try-out, or audition, to participate in a musical. Those best suited for each role will be cast, and those who would not fit well are not given a part. While this may sound similar to trying out for say, basketball, it is an apples to oranges comparison.

At a basketball try-out, those who have the most experience doing a lay-up or shooting a foul shot will be more likely to succeed, no questions asked. However, for an audition, it is common to have to learn a piece of choreography upon walking in, and a potential cast member will be required to sing a selected piece with only a few days of preparation.

There are many more variables involved with an audition that makes it that much more nerve-racking.

The cast of a school musical will often rehearse for several months to perfect their roles, with only several nights of performance at the end. Many sports practice for three or four days between each of their respective competitions. While this may seem to make sports more grueling, this is not always the case.

Musicals have very little pay-off for a large amount of effort, while athletic activities have more frequent displays of their efforts.

Athletes are not encouraged to but are allowed to make mistakes. This is simply not allowed for someone in a musical, because certain lines or entrances may be integral to the plot.

Sometimes, because of all the quick changes and the sweat from big dance numbers, the stage makeup just starts to smear. Despite this, an actor must smile through it all. This is the part of musicals that no sport has: introspection.

An actor must think about how he or she would respond in a given situation, be it saddening, maddening, frightening, or delightful. There is no sport that requires the knowledge of human emotion, and there is especially no sport that requires an athlete to mimic such emotion. This type of emotional exercise helps with communications and relationships.

Sports are great, don't get me wrong. I loved playing volleyball, basketball, track, and swimming, but there were no experiences quite like those from a musical. Sports challenge the body with slight amounts of tactic, while musicals require much physical and mental endurance.

The next time you hear someone say that it's “just a musical," just remember that musicals deserve as much respect as sports, since they are just as, if not more demanding.

Cover Image Credit: Cincinnati Arts

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10 Shows To Watch If You're Sick Of 'The Office'

You can only watch it so many times...

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"The Office" is a great show, and is super easy to binge watch over and over again! But if you're like me and you're looking for something new to binge, why not give some of these a try? These comedies (or unintentional comedies) are a great way to branch out and watch something new.

1. "New Girl"

A show about a group of friends living in an apartment in a big city? Sound familiar? But seriously, this show is original and fresh, and Nick Miller is an icon.

2. "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend"

Ya'll have been sleeping on this show. It's a musical comedy about a girl that follows her ex boyfriend across the country. I thought it sounded horrible so I put it off for WAY too long, but then I realized how incredible the cast, music, writing, and just EVERYTHING. It really brings important issues to light, and I can't say too much without spoiling it. Rachel Bloom (the creator of the show) is a woman ahead of her time.

3. "Jane the Virgin"

I know... another CW show. But both are so incredible! Jane The Virgin is a tongue-in-cheek comedy and parody of telenovelas. It has so many twists and turns, but somehow you find yourself laughing with the family.

4. "Brooklyn Nine-Nine"

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Brooklyn Nine-Nine has been in popular news lately since its cancellation by Fox and sequential pickup by NBC. It's an amazing show about cops in, you guessed it, Brooklyn. Created by the amazing Michael Schur, it's a safe bet that if you loved "The Office" you'll also love his series "Brooklyn Nine-Nine".

5. "The Good Place"

Another series created by the talented Micael Schur, it's safe to say you've probably already heard about this fantasy-comedy series. With a wonderful cast and writing that will keep you on your toes, the show is another safe bet.

6. "Fresh Off The Boat"

Seriously, I don't know why more people don't watch this show. "Fresh Off The Boat" focuses on an Asian family living in Orlando in the mid 90s. Randall Parks plays a character who is the polar opposite of his character in "The Interview" (Yeah, remember that horrifying movie?) and Constance Wu is wonderful as always.

7. "Full House"

Why not go back to the basics? If you're looking for a nostalgic comedy, go back all the way to the early days of Full House. If you're a '98-'00 baby like me, you probably grew up watching the Tanner family on Nick at Night. The entire series is available on Hulu, so if all else fails just watch Uncle Jesse and Rebecca fall in love again or Michelle fall off a horse and somehow lose her memory.

8. "Secret Life of the American Teenager"

Okay, this show is not a comedy, but I have never laughed so hard in my life. It's off Netflix but it's still on Hulu, so you can watch this masterpiece there. Watch the terrible acting and nonsense plot twists drive this show into the ground. Somehow everyone in this school dates each other? And also has a baby? You just have to watch. It might be my favorite show of all time.

9. "Scrubs"

Another old show that is worth watching. If you ignore the last season, Scrubs is a worthwhile medical comedy about doctors in both their personal and medical life. JD and Turk's relationship is one to be jealous of, and one hilarious to watch. Emotional at times, this medical drama is superior to any medical drama that's out now.

10. "Superstore"

I was resistant to watch this one at first, because it looked cheesy. But once I started watching I loved it! The show is a workplace comedy, one you're sure to love if you can relate to working in retail. If you liked the Office, you'll like Superstore!

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