The Ultimate Summer Reading List

'Tis the season for poolside reading! If you're an avid reader, you're probably always looking for recommendations. I recently asked two book lovers to suggest some of their current faves. Here's what they came up with:

Tiffany Meadows, an elementary school educator, has a strong passion for reading. Her suggestions are: 

1) Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card: Though I am not a fan of Sci-fi, this is one of my favorite reads EVER - it's just a great story. If you've seen the movie, the book is (of course) even better! 

2) I recently read The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom: It is a novel written about plantation life circa 1800. When a white indentured servant girl is introduced to the daily work of the house staff at Tall Oaks, she is sick and scared, and not much use. As she grows up on the plantation, her place in the family in unsure, and questioned by many. Apparently this story has also been made into a movie, but I have not yet seen it. 

3) Read Comfort and Joy, by Kristin Hannah: She's a wonderful author for easy reading and heartfelt stories. The story centers around the life of Joy, a recently divorced woman, and her spontaneous decision to leave everything she knows for a fresh start. It's the perfect beach read! 

4) The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot (recently made into a TV movie) is another good choice. This book is fascinating due to the fact that it is based on a real person's unknowing participation in cancer research (that is still going on today), and how her family found out about the use of their loved one. 

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5) Check out One Plus One by Jojo Mayes: The mix of interesting characters makes it a great read. The way the characters come together unexpectedly, in addition to some surprise plot twists made this book much better than I originally expected! 

Dr. Rachel Miller is the Executive Director for The Arts and Science Center for East Arkansas. She also teaches writing and literature classes. Dr. Miller recommends the following reads:

1) Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walters: This is a story about one encounter that is told over multiple generations, revolving around the famous film Cleopatra. It's an easy read, and a wonderful love story that includes both deception and humor.

2) It's What I Do by Lynsey Addario: Addario, a combat photographer, wrote this non-fiction work about her experience combining the adrenaline filled lifestyle of combat photography with being a wife and mother. The book contains lots of photos, so Miller suggests getting the actual book vs. an e-reader version. 

3) Oryx and Crake: Part of a trilogy by Margaret Atwood, this is smart Sci-fi. If you're interested in genetics and environmental science fiction, you will find this to be a quirky and engaging read. 

4) Home Going by Yaa Gyasi: The story originates in Africa with the slave trade. It follows two sisters born to a tribe leader and how their lives deviated. The book can be very intense at times and was beautifully written.

5) Rise of the Rocket Girls by Nathalia Holt: This true story precedes Hidden Figures. It reveals how women were the early computers (and the backbone) of the NASA program. 

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  1. Great read!!! Great list Dayvee!!!

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