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Summer Reading

Tank: Calvin Klein, thrifted | Cardigan / Shorts: Old Navy | Sandals: Target

I've been a reading machine so far this summer!  I've been trying to read between 40-50 pages a day, and while I have days that aren't as productive, I have also had days in which I've read several hundred pages.  As a result, I've plowed through 8 books in a month!  I'll share a couple of my favorites with you here:

The Almost Moon, by Alice Sebold | This book is about a woman, Helen, who kills her elderly mother, Clair, in the first chapter.  The rest of the book is told in alternating flashbacks about Helen and Clair's relationship and the immediate days after Helen killed her mother.  I thought the book was fascinating, and although hardly any of the characters were likable and the book did not follow the typical reader's desire to have a happy ending, I really enjoyed it.  It was incredibly thought-provoking, which is what I look for in a book.

Nineteen Minutes, by Jodi Picoult | My mother-in-law gave me this book about two years ago after she had finished reading it.  It is hardcover but the slipcover wasn't on it, so I had absolutely no idea what it was about, other than the fact that my mother-in-law thought I would like it.  I went in cold, and was shocked to find out that the book is actually about a school shooting.  Like The Almost Moon, the book mainly takes place in flashbacks leading up to the school shooting and in the subsequent trial afterwards.  It follows several people who are affected by and involved in the shooting and court case, and shows how the characters are woven together.  I loved this book and couldn't get enough of it.  In my school counseling graduate program, we studied school shootings in-depth, and I could tell that the author of this book had done her research - it was all very believable.  This is a topic that absolutely breaks my heart and terrifies me, but one that I really need to be informed about in my work as a high school counselor (especially since there was an attempted mass school shooting in a town less than 15 miles from me this spring).  I enjoy Jodi Picoult's books, and if you're a fan of hers and haven't read this yet, I definitely recommend it.

Blink, by Malcolm Gladwell | As much as I like fiction books, I've been trying to force myself to read some non-fiction as well this summer.  I've heard great things about Malcolm Gladwell's books for years, but had never read one until now.  Blink is all about those snap decisions we make ("thinking without thinking").  It goes through all kinds of studies and situations of snap judgments and decisions and explains the science behind it all.  I found it so interesting - there are some awesome sections about crime, food testing, and facial expressions that I especially loved.  If you're looking for an interesting non-fiction book that can apply to your life, check this one out!

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