Category: Non-Fiction

9 Tips to Help Balance Summer Vacation and Reading

Summer is in full bloom and most of us will be taking some class of vacation, whether it’s going away or just taking a little time off work for a staycation and some R&R.  So whether you’re looking into reading more books or trying to find a new escape from reality, here’s how you can balance both of them this summer.

 

 

1. Set goals for the Summer

 

Related image

Image via tenor

 

Making a short and reasonable list of the things you would like to do for the season will help you keep things in perspective and on track. Your list can be whatever you want it to be, but it has to be something that you can actually accomplish. For example, “read a book a day” or “visit all of Europe” might be a bit overly ambitious, unless you have Hermione’s time-turner! The items on your list should be things you’ll find enjoyable and that won’t stress you out; try ‘finish a book every week’ or ‘visit at least one place you’ve always wanted to see’.

 

 

2. Include A Good Group Of People In Your Plans

 

Related image

Image via Giphy

 

This is not to say that you should exclude anyone, but especially if you are spending a great deal of time with these people, the people you take along with you on your summer vacation should be folks you won’t want to strangle if things become heated. If you’re planning something simple and short, like going to a nearby boardwalk or a movie then “the more the merrier”, but for long trips it’s definitely best to keep your invites to your closest friends or your family. But most importantly, if you’re looking to have some quality time reading, then it’s good to have people around who understand and respect that.

 

 

3. Keep a book on hand at all times

 

Related image

Unless you’re a magician, don’t try this at home | Image via giphy

 

Bring a book with you wherever you go. There will always be some downtime to read, waiting in ridiculously long lines at the airport or when conversations run dry during the long drive. Even if it feels like it may be dead weight, you’ll be happy you brought it with you just in case. Especially if you’re not used to reading often, having the book on hand is a good reminder to starting turning those pages!

 

 

4. Share your book

 

Image result for sharing book gif

Reading. Pass it on! | Image via TED-Ed

 

If you’re with people you love and feel comfortable around, chances are they share your interests to some extent. They may even ask about the book you’re reading. Talk about it. Maybe even loan it to them when you’re finished. Who knows—maybe one of your summer goals could be to start a summer book club on the beach! Why not?

 

 

5. Take advantage of the sun

 

Related image

Image via Giphy

 

There’s nothing like soaking up the sun while soaking up some quality literature. Set yourself up for a tan in your backyard when you have time. If the neighbors are being noisy, plug in your headphones and play some music that doesn’t distract you from reading. Better yet, play an audio book while you bake in the sun. Just don’t forget the sun screen! This is great for those of us who really don’t have a lot of time or money to go away on vacation.

 

 

6. Find New and Comfortable Reading Nooks

 

Image result for a dazzling place i never knew gif

You probably won’t be coming across any magic flying carpets, but you’d be surprised what you can find out in the world | Image via Rebloggy

 

For reading in general it’s important to find a comfortable space in which to settle down. Finding a comfy nook while on vacation can prove to be a challenge, especially on family vacations, but have faith. Bring one of your most comfortable pillows, your favorite reading socks, and whatever else you can to recreate the best reading space for you. It might even be good to look for a space where you wouldn’t normally think of. If the hotel you’re staying at has a quiet lobby or a peaceful garden, try that. If you are looking outside your hotel room or in general plan on wandering a bit, keep an eye out on your surroundings rather than your book.

This idea can also work if you’re taking a “stay-cation”. Try going out to your local library for reading and taking part in summer events. A local park or boardwalk could be relaxing as well.

 

7. Take a shift watching everyone’s belongings

 

Image result for sitting waiting gif

Don’t worry. They’ll be back soon. | Image via Giphy

 

While it may not sound thrilling, at some point everyone’s belongings are going to need to be watched whether you’re at the beach or an amusement park. Now don’t be the one to sit around and do nothing while babysitting the bags. You deserve to enjoy the fun too, but when you’re feeling tired and don’t mind being alone for a little while, go ahead and take one for the team. You’ll have your book to keep you company until the group comes back and someone else takes the shift.

 

 

 

8. Read A Little At A Time

 

Related image

Image via giphy

 

Typically when you’re away or out and about, you’re moving around almost non-stop, but make sure to make the most of any downtime, however brief! Many of us will be tempted to go through the full chapter, and some of us can multitask walking and reading, but if you are hustling through your vacation read only a few pages of your book at a time. When you’re done, put the book away and enjoy what you can.

 

 

9. Use your book as a getaway from your getaway

 

Related image

The vacation is falling apart? Bye Felicia! | Image via giphy

 

Let’s face it, no vacation goes without its mishaps. Many times it can feel like dealing with the planning and the people can feel like more work, even after you’ve chosen your closest people. When you feel you need a vacation from your vacation, take some time alone and use that time to read and escape in your own way.

 

 

Featured Image via Twitter

Bookstr’s Three to Read This Week 7/11/19

The 4th of July celebrations have concluded, you finally have time for yourself, and you can now resume your hobbies and introvert needs (celebrating independence was the whole point of the holiday after all, wasn’t it?). You can finally return to that book that’s been collecting dust over the vacation. Or, you can start something new, and we have plenty of suggestions.

Check out Bookstr’s Three to Read, the three books we’ve picked for you to read this week!

OUR HOT PICK

GODS OF JADE AND SHADOW

 

 

Synopsis:

The Mayan god of death sends a young woman on a harrowing, life-changing journey in this dark, one-of-a-kind fairy tale inspired by Mexican folklore.

“Simultaneously heartbreaking and heart-mending, Gods of Jade and Shadow is a wondrous and magical tale about choosing our own path.”—Kevin Hearne, New York Times bestselling author of The Iron Druid Chronicles

The Jazz Age is in full swing, but Casiopea Tun is too busy cleaning the floors of her wealthy grandfather’s house to listen to any fast tunes. Nevertheless, she dreams of a life far from her dusty small town in southern Mexico. A life she can call her own.

Yet this new life seems as distant as the stars, until the day she finds a curious wooden box in her grandfather’s room. She opens it—and accidentally frees the spirit of the Mayan god of death, who requests her help in recovering his throne from his treacherous brother. Failure will mean Casiopea’s demise, but success could make her dreams come true.

In the company of the strangely alluring god and armed with her wits, Casiopea begins an adventure that will take her on a cross-country odyssey from the jungles of Yucatán to the bright lights of Mexico City—and deep into the darkness of the Mayan underworld.

 

Why?

Silvia Moreno-Garcia, critically-acclaimed author of Signal to Noise, returns with her latest novel that successfully interweaves fantastical elements with Mexican folklore and mythology, while also taking a nostalgia trip to the Jazz Age of the 1920s. Moreno-Garcia’s epic can be considered a modern retelling of Cinderella, but with an even more expansive and imaginative setting. The newest iteration of the classic fairy tale is immersive with its cultural embellishments and is one to look forward to when it reaches shelves on July 23rd.

 

 

OUR BEACH READ

TEEN TITANS: RAVEN

 

 

Synopsis:

When a tragic accident takes the life of 17-year-old Raven Roth’s foster mom–and Raven’s memory–she moves to New Orleans to recover and finish her senior year of high school.

Starting over isn’t easy. Raven remembers everyday stuff like how to solve math equations and make pasta, but she can’t remember her favorite song or who she was before the accident. And when impossible things start happening, Raven begins to think it might even be better not to know who she was before.

But as she grows closer to her new friends, her foster sister, Max, and Tommy Torres, a guy who accepts her for who she is now, Raven has to decide if she’s ready to face what’s buried in the past… and the darkness building inside her.

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Kami Garcia and first-time graphic novel artist Gabriel Picolo comes this riveting tale of finding the strength to face who you are and learning to trust others–and yourself.

 

Why?

#1 New York Times bestselling author Kami Garcia and artist Gabriel Picolo deliver an emotional and exciting new tale with fan favorite Teen Titan, Raven. The Teen Titans have experienced a pop culture resurgence in recent years, after making an impression on young audiences everywhere back in 2003 with the beloved animated series, and now with the hit Titans TV show on DC Comics’ streaming service. Here, Raven takes center stage. Garcia’s and Picolo’s graphic novel expands upon Raven’s comic book origins and coming-of-age trials, in which she finds trust and love while also combating the adversities of her dark past. Take this read with you for your next ride to the beach for a larger than life adventure.

 

 

OUR DARK HORSE

ALPHA GIRLS

 

 

Synopsis:

An unforgettable story of four women who, through grit and ingenuity, became stars in the cutthroat, high-stakes, male dominated world of venture capital in Silicon Valley, and helped build some of the foremost companies of our time.

In Alpha Girls, award-winning journalist Julian Guthrie takes readers behind the closed doors of venture capital, an industry that transforms economies and shapes how we live. We follow the lives and careers of four women who were largely written out of history – until now.

Magdalena Yesil, who arrived in America from Turkey with $43 to her name, would go on to receive her electrical engineering degree from Stanford, found some of the first companies to commercialize internet access, and help Marc Benioff build Salesforce. Mary Jane Elmore went from the corn fields of Indiana to Stanford and on to the storied venture capital firm IVP – where she was one of the first women in the U.S. to make partner – only to be pulled back from the glass ceiling by expectations at home. Theresia Gouw, an overachieving first-generation Asian American from a working-class town, dominated the foosball tables at Brown (she would later reluctantly let Sergey Brin win to help Accel Partners court Google), before she helped land and build companies including Facebook, Trulia, Imperva, and ForeScout. Sonja Hoel, a Southerner who became the first woman investing partner at white-glove Menlo Ventures, invested in McAfee, Hotmail, Acme Packet, and F5 Networks. As her star was still rising at Menlo, a personal crisis would turn her into an activist overnight, inspiring her to found an all-women’s investment group and a national nonprofit for girls.

These women, juggling work and family, shaped the tech landscape we know today while overcoming unequal pay, actual punches, betrayals, and the sexist attitudes prevalent in Silicon Valley and in male-dominated industries everywhere. Despite the setbacks, they would rise again to rewrite the rules for an industry they love. In Alpha Girls, Guthrie reveals their untold stories.

 

Why?

Silicon Valley is currently home to the most influential, innovative, and contemporary minds of our time. In today’s age of the inventor and entrepreneur, it is important to know that anyone can succeed, regardless of circumstance or background. Acclaimed journalist Julian Guthrie highlights the stories of four brilliant tech juggernauts whose names are not Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, or Elon Musk, and who have shaped the technology landscape in spite of insurmountable odds with their companies. This collection of previously untold stories about these pioneering women is described as Hidden Figures meets The Social Network, and is even being made into an upcoming TV series!

 

 

 

All In-text Images Via Amazon.
Featured Image Via PhotoCollage

Historic African American Newspaper ‘The Chicago Defender’ Will End Print Run

The Chicago Defender, the historic African American newspaper founded in 1905, will cease print publication, with the last print issue releasing on Wednesday. The decision has been announced to the local media in Chicago, but readers have not been alerted on social media, or on the company’s website. The newspaper will move entirely to digital publications.

 

 

“This is a difficult decision, but I think it’s the right decision,” Hiram Jackson, CEO of Defender parent company Real Times Media, told the Chicago Tribune. “The Defender is about providing information to the African-American community. The numbers are evident that the best way to do that is through doubling down on our digital platform.” Jackson also told the Tribune that the Defender publishes around 16,000 copies per week, but reaches 475,000 monthly visitors online.

The Chicago Defender has chronicled over a century of history, from Martin Luther King Jr. to Langston Hughes. The paper was founded in 1905 by Robert S. Abbott in the south side of Chicago. By the beginning of the World War I, two-thirds of its readership came from outside of Chicago, as it spread across the South.

 

Image Via Kentake Page

 

“We understand that to some of our loyal readers, this rite of passage is a painful one” Jackson said. “However, we are committed to preserving the legacy of the Chicago Defender and are excited to be making this bold step to ensure its vitality for the next 100 years.”

 

 

Featured Image Via Twitter

‘Gone Girl’ Author Sickened Over Lawyer’s Comparison to Missing Woman Case

Jennifer Dulos was last seen May 24th shortly after dropping her kids off at school. The prime suspect in the case is her estranged husband, Fotis Dulos, and his new girlfriend, Michelle Troconis. Both were arrested June 2 for tampering with evidence and hindering the prosecution. Both are out on bond, but these aren’t the strangest events in the missing person’s case.

Jennifer Dulos, missing Connecticut Mom

image via new york daily news

Dulos’ lawyer has come up with what he calls the “Gone Girl” theory: Jennifer Dulos planted evidence and ran off in an attempt to fake her own death and framing her husband. Gillian Flynn, author of the New York Times Bestseller, is not having it.

In Flynn’s book, Gone Girl, the wife stages the scene of a violent crime in her shared home with her husband and disappears. The story is told through the eyes of her husband, who comes home to find her gone, and her old diary entries. Both are unreliable narrators, taking the story from a mystery that immediately implicates the husband to a story on how the wife planned on faking her own death. By comparing Jennifer Dulos’ case to Flynn’s book, they are belittling the very real issue of domestic violence, a threat that doesn’t disappear when a relationship ends.

'Gone Girl' movie and book cover side by side

image via screencrush

Norm Pattis, Fotis Dulos’ attorney, brought up Jennifer’s 500-page novel, which she wrote over seventeen years ago, in conjunction with Flynn’s work saying “We don’t know what had become of Jennifer, but the ‘Gone Girl’ hypothesis is very much on our mind.”

Flynn also responded to these comparisons with NBC News, saying:

I’ve seen in recent coverage that Jennifer’s husband and his defense attorney have put forward a so-called ‘Gone Girl theory’ to explain Jennifer’s disappearance. It absolutely sickens me that a work of fiction written by me would be used by Fotis Dulos’s lawyer as a defense, and a hypothetical, sensationalized motive behind Jennifer’s very real and very tragic disappearance.

Gone Girl, which is also a major motion picture, is sensational because of the storytelling elements Flynn uses to capture the emotions of the reader and shock them with the ending. The truth of the matter is that it is far more likely Fotis Dulos is behind his wife’s disappearance due to trends in violence among men and women than it is that Jennifer Dulos is faking her own death.

Carrie Luft, a representative of Jennifer’s friends and family, also responded to Pattis’ outlandish comparison stating, “Jennifer is not here to protect her children, and these false and irresponsible allegations hurt the children now and into the future.”

featured image via world times news

5 of the Best Memoirs of the Past 5 Years

Memoirs are all about the personal. They allow writers an outlet to put their perspective — feelings and opinions and all — on the page. And readers are given the chance to personally connect with someone they relate to — or don’t relate to. Here are some of the best memoirs of recent years.

 

1. Heavy: An American Memoir  by Kiese Laymon, 2018

Via Amazon

 

Laymon’s Heavy is about many things. If it had to be placed in a nutshell, it would be: a black man confronts his childhood and coming of age by directly writing to his mother. Written in the second person, Laymon’s relationship with his mother — who raised him on her own — is at the core. But it is also about Laymon’s struggle with race, weight, early sexual abuse and gambling. It covers an expanse of weighty topics that are hard to read, but Laymon’s writing is not. It is poignant, striking and confident — it is impossible to look away from. 

 

2. Sex Object by Jessica Valenti, 2016

 

Via Wikipedia

 

Valenti has written five books on feminist theory, the first of which was published in 2008. But, in Sex Object, she turns the spotlight onto herself and writes about her own personal experiences as woman in society. The chapters chronicle street harassment, treatment from sexual partners and even Valenti’s very personal abortion story. Many of her experiences are easily recognizable by other women, a fact that Valenti is keenly aware of in her writing. She writes sharply and critically, but thoughtfully and carefully. She pushes away the absurdity of this treatment, but pulls the reader in. 

 

3. Boy Erased: A Memoir by Garrand Conley, 2016

 

Boy Erased

 

When Conley’s parents found out he was gay, they sent him to conversion therapy, a program called Love in Action. Grown up in Arkansas in a fundamentalist family meant Conley was already struggling to reconcile his faith with his sexuality. He wrote Boy Erased about his experiences at Love in Action and confronting his family about his faith and identity. Conley’s strong grasp on the trauma he experienced translates to a captivating account written in beautiful prose. It also gives an insider’s look into all angles of conversion therapy: the individuals sent there, the families who force it and the overarching damage it ultimately results in. Boy Erased was adapted into a film in 2018, with Joel Edgerton directing and Lucas Hedges playing Conley. 

 

4. The Misadventures of an Awkward Black Girl by Issa Rae, 2016

 

Via Amazon

 

For a much more lighthearted memoir, look no further than Rae’s 2016 collection of personal essays. The Insecure creator and star writes a charming and compelling tell-all of her awkward coming of age. Rae narrates her experience as an introvert and a black girl and how the two made for a not so great combination. Rae’s voice is witty and wry, while her experiences are relatable and laugh out loud funny. All in all, Rae’s self-awareness and combined charisma make for an un-put-down-able reading experience. 

 

5. Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl by Carrie Brownstein 

 

Via Amazon

Whether you know Brownstein from Portlandia or as the front woman of rock band Sleater Kinney, she wrote an entire memoir if you want to know her better. Her memoir, named after one of her lyrics, tracks her life centered around music. It chronicles her childhood and tumultuous family life to her eventual life as a woman in the rock music industry. Brownstein writes sharply and with purpose. Brownstein has a clear idea of her own identity and writes poignantly to show readers how she sees herself. Whether you had a perception of Brownstein prior to reading or not, you will have no choice by to see Brownstein — and her world — the way she herself does. 

 

Featured Images Via Amazon