The best thing in life

I wanted to read 20 books before it was time to go back to school. I didn’t think that was a particularly ridiculous or unattainable goal, but I definitely didn’t make it. Including the current book I am reading, I’ve (nearly) finished 10 books since I came home from school.

That’s still a lot of reading, but I really wanted to read more. It gets hard to keep with a book during the school year since I feel like I’m constantly on the move. It’s senior year, though-my final year to get things right, and I am insistent on making time to read. I don’t want to lose my favorite hobby to being busy.

If you’re looking for a book (or 10!) to read, I actually recommend all of the books I’ve read this summer; it just depends what genre you are interested in. Here’s the list…I hope you take the time to read something off of it- or, I hope this inspires you to read more.

1. The Devil Wears Prada, Lauren Weisberger

I’ve started and stopped reading this book in the past because of not having the time to finish, so this was first on my list to tackle. It was published over 10 years ago, and you’d have no idea, minus the slightly dated pop culture references. Otherwise, the story still holds its own in 2014. Most likely considered to be in the genre of ‘chick lit’ (among some of my other reads this summer), this story pulls out all the stops. You will definitely laugh out loud, potentially cry, and feel a lot of hatred for a boss you don’t even know (but feel like you do). No matter who you are, you can probably relate to the main character, Andrea; she is just starting out as a recent college graduate trying to get a job and establish herself (she was also an English major!) and is going through some hard times balancing the demands of an entry-level job and friends/family/etc. The movie-with Anne Hathaway as the main character-leaves out a lot of really good parts of the book, so don’t think you know the whole story if you watch it.

2. Revenge Wears Prada: The Devil Returns, Lauren Weisberger

I have a really hard time reading a book and not checking out its sequel if there is one. I have to know if there’s more, whether or not it’s worth knowing. When this book started out, I wasn’t thrilled, but once I got deeper into it, I was really happy I followed up with it. This book just came out in 2013, and the main character has done a lot of growing up in the time between novels. I know that both of these books received mixed reviews, but I do think they are enjoyable; however, I don’t recommend reading them if you’re in the mood for a really fast-paced thriller. These are not going to satisfy that need. But otherwise, if you’d like a nice book to get into, check these two out.

3. The Intern’s Handbook, Shane Kuhn

After coming off of my previous two books, this book was fantastic. I found it in two-week rental section of my library-generally where brand new books are. I didn’t even need two weeks; this book was so good that I couldn’t put it down and was done in just a few days. Published in April, this thriller is all about an “intern” on his final assignment. These interns are really assassins and spend their days taking down corrupt executives. This book combined my love of internships with my love for a good thriller and really strung me along the entire journey. It’s one of those with a fantastic ending and surprises throughout. If you’ve ever been an intern, or if you haven’t and would like a look into the complete opposite world of an intern, this book is for you. This was easily one of my favorite reads this summer.

4. Love Story, Erich Segal

My mom recommended this book to me one day at the library. Since I read ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ last year, she picked this book up and handed it to me, saying it was her generation’s version of John Green’s storyline. Of course, I was immediately interested, checking it out and finishing it within the same day. Just recently, the book showed up on a list of the top summer reads of the last however many decades, so it was really popular in its prime. It might make you cry, it and it could certainly be categorized as chick lit, but it was good, simplistic, and old. (Apparently made into a movie…no word on its quality)

5. Oliver’s Story, Erich Segal

Once again, I saw the sequel to a book on the shelf right next to it, so I had to grab it. This one wasn’t as easy to get into as ‘Love Story’, and when I told my mom that, she reminded me that she only recommended the first book to me. Eventually, the story engrossed me, but I was still sad from the first book and it was affecting my enjoyment of this book. I don’t think that would happen to everyone, though. I do recommend the first book more, especially (obviously) if you’re only going to read one of these two. But, if you want the story to continue after you’ve finished ‘Love Story’, definitely pick this up. (Also apparently made into a movie?)

6. Devil in the White City, Erik Larson

I feel like there is a lot of hype around this book, which was a big part of the reason I had to read it for myself. I’m really into historical fiction (this book is not) and thriller/stories about murderer (sick of me, I know, but this book is about that). At any rate, a true story about the World’s Fair and a murderer preying off Chicago tourists was really interesting to me, and I think this story would captivate anyone. I first learned about H.H. Holmes on the Ghost Tour back in October, so reading this book really brought me full circle. A long read, but worth it. I recommend this if you like learning about Chicago, too.

7. Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn

This book is and has been pretty popular right now. I even noticed my library was having repeated book discussions about the book…yet I had to use the interlibrary loan system to check out the book (from another library…) Anyways, this book was phenomenal. I was constantly wondering what would happen next, and at one point, everything I thought I knew about the book and its characters was thrown out the window. I love that. It might even be safe to say this is one of my new favorite books. This book is for anyone-absolutely anyone. There’s no way you couldn’t like it or be caught up in it. Guess I could inform you a little bit-on the day of a couple’s 5 year wedding anniversary, the wife goes missing and everyone is looking at the husband as the culprit. He, too, is in search of her while trying to keep his name clear. I’m so excited for the movie! A statement you’ll almost NEVER hear from an English major………………………….

8. All We Know of Heaven, Jacquelyn Mitchard

Ok, this book was downright sad. If you need to cry, which I guess I must’ve felt the need to do when I was picking out this book, then you, too, should grab a copy. When two best friends are in a horrible car accident, the family and friends of the small town are left to mourn the death of one girl and pray for the brutally injured other girl. Only, it turns out to be a case of mistaken identity……… This is a really great book and isn’t too long, either. Don’t read it if sad stories aren’t for you, though! You’ve been warned.

9. One Day, David Nicholls

Apparently this became a movie, too? Why don’t I know these things? Anyway, this book (as the cover states) is about 20 years, 2 people, and 1 day. Basically, two people met one day just before college graduation and only become slightly romantically involved. They meet again year after year, but their lives are changing and they seldom keep in touch. The end of the book will completely shock you, and the duration of the story will make you question the main characters again and again. This is probably considered a romantic novel.

10. My Sister’s Keeper, Jodi Picoult

I realize I’m about 500 years late to this game. I realize this one is a movie-I’m not entirely clueless, and I’m not finished with the book, either…don’t tell me the ending! I always thought the storyline of this book was sick, but something made me want to finally read it. I am actually very interested in it and am truly enjoying it. A great thing about this book is each chapter is coming from the point of view of a different character; this is a great way to get to know everyone in the text, and you can decide to like a character all on your own. So far, I really recommend this, but like I said, I’m not done, so my opinions on this one could really change depending on what Picoult does to me in the next 100 pages. We’ll see…I’m a little nervous.

So there you have it. There’s the 10 books that got me back into the swing of things these past few months. I really hope you find the time to put down your electronic device and open a real, paper book and enjoy yourself. Now that’s living.

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