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25 Items To Add To Your Summer Must-Read Book List

25 Items To Add To Your Summer Must-Read Book List

Summer’s around the corner and we’re all too busy fussing about where to go and what to pack, all we need now is the very necessary summer must-read. Think of this list as a display window of an online bookshop; you could indulge in some not-so-guilty pleasure contemporary fiction, pick up a classic that you never have the time for in your day-to-day or even a self-help book that can possibly make your summer a life changing experience. Here are 25 books to help you make the best of your time (and of course, help you take the perfect Instagram picture with your book and smoothie by the pool to make all your friends jealous)

Summer Must-Read for the Contemporary Lovers

1. Every Day by David Levithan

    The thing about this story is it keeps you questioning. It’s the thoughtful and captivating journey of A, who has an indeterminate gender, family and even an indeterminate name, as he finds himself waking up in a new body in a new life each and every day. Soon enough, things change when A meets Rhiannon and so arises the question: can you be loved by a single person, if you’re a different person every day. This book goes beyond romance and makes us long for a true human connection.

    2. One Day by David Nicholls

      On the theme of days, this book is about Emma and Dexter who meet for the first time on the night of their graduation. It’s a realistic love story making it a whole lot less of a cliché than most. It captures the effect of time on people and relationships; the strains and the struggles and the longing and the nostalgia. It’s told through snapshots of both their lives on one day over the course of twenty years and with this one, there seems to be no middle ground as it’s a conundrum in itself.

      3. Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

        This is the story of Bee, the 15-year-old daughter of Bernadette Fox, a notorious, fearlessly opinionated and revolutionary architect. It begins when Bernadette disappears and Bee – through emails and secret correspondence – begins her search for her. This book is original, satirical, sharp and ultimately about self-discovery and acceptance.

        4. Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

          This book unlike many is charming. It takes place in 1999 just before the turn of the millennium and is Lincoln O’Neill, the new “internet security officer” who comes across the hilarious emails between Beth Fermont and Jennifer Scribner-Snyder discussing all the details of their personal lives. Despite the job description stating he should probably be turning those emails in, he can’t help but be captivated and keep reading, until he realises he might be falling for Beth. It’s light and sweet, definitely lifts spirits for the summer.

          5. The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides

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            This haunting and tender story of the brief lives of the Lisbon sisters is all about the enigmatic and the magical. Twenty years later, they remain in the minds of the boys who worshipped them and the book is them recalling their shared memories of the slow and unexpected disintegration of the family next door. The suburban vibes and the warm hues that are so well described make reading this book an experience you can’t miss out on.

            Summer Must-Read for the Classicists 

            6. 1984 by George Orwell

              Written in 1948, 1984 is essentially Orwell’s prophecy of the future. It presents a chilling dystopia that is so powerful and convincing from start to finish because it captivates the imagination and has withstood the test of time making it timeless. Orwell’s complex depiction of the future requires multiple readings to take it all in but you could definitely appreciate the genius on the first time.

              7. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig

                This book is an examination of how we live and a guide on how to live better. It’s a story of love, fear, growth, discovery and acceptance and brings up all of life’s fundamental questions making it very exhilarating but both touching and sublime. If you’d like a challenge filled with speculations and confusions, this could be the one for you.

                8. One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey

                  Dream-like modern classic about Randle Patrick McMurphy who walks into the world of a mental hospital and takes over, attempting to challenge the “dictatorship of Nurse Ratched”. This novel revolves around defiance and the struggle between two relentless opponents and will give you hope that maybe, just maybe, there’s a possibility to rise above  the machine and The Man and find your humanity again.

                  9. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

                    F. Scott’s aim was to write “something new — something extraordinary and beautiful and simple and intricately patterned” and so he did. This book is an encapsulation of the Jazz Age with Jay Gatsby – a self-made, self-invented millionaire – leading it all and embodying all of America’s obsessions of the time: money, ambition, greed and the promise of new beginnings. It’s the American Dream in action along with all its contradictions and obstinate hope.

                    10. The Color Purple by Alice Walker

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                      This story in a nutshell is about Celie, a poor African-American girl living in Georgia who overcomes poverty, sexual oppression, racial oppression and separation from family to become a strong woman. It’s told through diary entries which makes it very personal and despite the portrayal of the abuse that could be a little overwhelming, it almost brings a reality check and could be a very introspective experience.

                      Summer Must-Read for the Travellers 

                      11. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

                        Many worry being seen with this book will make people think it’s a book about the relentless rants of a neurotic 34 year-old-woman, but it’s beyond that. It’s a memoir about Elizabeth’s enlightenment and self-discovery as she travels to examine three different aspects of her nature: pleasure in Italy, devotion in India and balance between enjoyment and divine transcendence in Bali. This journey to seek answers and a sense of serenity encourages us to do the same and go on a journey that will help us find some sense of happiness and balance.

                        12. Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer

                          This book commands you to live deliberately, have no fear and live with no compromise. It’s about the riveting story of Chris McCandless, a young man who left his family, friends and abandoned most of his possessions to go to Alaska. The essence of the novel is that it makes you want to live more, to truly understand the meaning of Reality.

                          13. Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed

                            This is the story of a one thousand and one hundred mile solo hike that broke down a young woman shaken by catastrophe and built her back up again. And it has it all: tragedy, drugs, lust, infidelity, nature, humour and adventure keeping you interested. Some might say that this book is what “Eat, Pray, Love” aimed to be.

                            14. The Lost Continent by Bill Bryson

                              This book is a classic of travel literature and is hilarious with a touch of heartache. Bill Bryson discovers a continent that was doubly lost; once to itself as it was blighted by greed, pollution and television and once again to him because he had become a stranger in his own land as he had left Des Moines as soon as he was old enough. It’s very poignant but I have to warn you, it could make you call your travel agent.

                              15. On The Road by Jack Kerouac

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                                On The Road is about Jack’s years of travelling in the North American continent with his friend Neal Cassady. They roam the country on a quest for self-discovery and experience and Kerouac’s patriotism and compassion combine to make this inspirational piece of freedom and longing. Just like The Lost Continent, this could make you feel the urge to research hippie culture, quite your job and just drive.

                                Non-Fictionists 

                                16. Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us by Michael Moss

                                  This is the story of the rise of the processed food industry and its link to the emerging obesity epidemic and most importantly the ways in which we can fight back. Every year, the average American eats 33 pounds of cheese, 70 pounds of sugar, 8,500 milligrams of salt a day and the total economic cost of this health crisis is approaching $300 billion a year. This book is an eye-opener and has a very empowering narrative.

                                  17. The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry by Jon Ronson

                                    We’ve all taken one of those online tests titled “Are you a PSYCHOPATH?”, well know you can know for sure. They say that one out of every hundred people is a psychopath and this bestselling novel is an exploration of the world of those who have no empathy, who are manipulative, deceitful, charming, seductive and delusional. How can this be any more appealing?

                                    18. Young Money: Inside the Hidden World of Wall Street’s Post-Crash Recruits by Kevin Roose

                                      Every year, thousands of eager college graduates are hired by the world’s financial giants, where they’re taught he secrets of making ridiculous amounts of money in addition to a guide on how to dress, talk, date and drink. This book is an insight into the world of Kevin Roose and all his young bankers that are exposed to the workload, the bonuses and the drugs that are the essence of Wall Street life.

                                      19. I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai

                                        This is the book that can make you believe in the power of one person’s voice to inspire change. Malala’s tale is remarkable as it’s about family, culture and – the trigger of her peaceful protest – her entitlement to an education. This will remind you how much we take for granted and will allow you to see life through a very different perspective whilst keeping you informed of the world around you.

                                        20. Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer

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                                          Eating Animals explores the many stories we use to justify our eating habits and marked by Foer’s profound moral ferocity, this book can truly make you question the things he’s investigating: “Why do we eat animals? And would we eat them if we knew how they got on our dinner plates?” This book can challenge people’s beliefs when it comes to their eating habits and in that discomfort, you could find a very interesting experience.

                                          Self Help Books 

                                          21. Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

                                            Kahneman will engage you in a lively conversation about how we think and how we can tap into the benefits of slow thinking. Many practical insights into the mechanics of decision-making are shared along with techniques to guard us against the mental glitches that often get us in a pickle. Essentially, this book will change the way you think about thinking! Who wouldnt want that.

                                            22. Adulting: How to Become a Grown-up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps by Kelly Williams Brown

                                              Many would wish this book had been around when they had graduated for college and had someone buy it for them and say “Here. This will help.” Rather than it being viewed as the ultimate guide to being a grown-up, it’s there for reference. Taking your time when reading it over summer would make it a very fun read while giving you a list of your own life hacks on the go.

                                              23. Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon

                                                This book is considered the manifesto for the digital age. It’s a guide that will put you directly in touch with your artistic side with its graphic look. It’s a quick and funny how-to that points out that no work is ever completely original and that the obsession with being original will only smother your creativity. It’s a good message to keep in mind before endeavouring any art projects and could get you fuelled up for your own summer art project.

                                                24. The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

                                                  The Power of Habit shows that harnessing this new science of understanding how habits work will be the key to exercising regularly, losing weight, being more productive and being more successful, ultimately transforming our businesses, our communities and our lives. This strikes as very tempting because it presents a whole new understanding of human nature and its potential and is great to read before starting a brand new year again filled with changes. Who said December was the only month for resolutions.

                                                  25. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain

                                                    Quiet is for all you readers out there who undermine the value of introverts, you’re missing out on lots, my friends. This is very passionately argued, impressively researched and filled with personal anecdotes that – collectively – can permanently change how we see introverts and how they see themselves as it can help you confront things about yourself that you always kind of knew but glossed over with more appeasing explanations.

                                                    Featured photo credit: Reading via wallpapersus.com

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                                                    Last Updated on October 30, 2018

                                                    How To Be Successful In Life? 13 Tips From The Most Successful People

                                                    How To Be Successful In Life? 13 Tips From The Most Successful People

                                                    What is success to you? How to be successful in life?

                                                    To some, when they think of success, they imagine wealth; others want power; some just want to make a positive impact on the world.

                                                    All of these are perfectly valid, indeed success is a concept that means different things to different people. Though no matter what success is to you, it almost certainly isn’t something will come easily.

                                                    There are countless guides and books to being successful, however, as success is personal and unique to each individual. The advice contained in these books can often not be relevant. Therefore following the advice of a single individual can often be unhelpful.

                                                    With this in mind, considering the advice of a great many people, people whose ideas of success were different both to each other, and quite possibly, to you can be a good alternative.

                                                    What follows is a list of thirteen of the best pieces of advice from some of the most successful people who have ever lived. If you want to learn how to be successful, these 13 tips are essential:

                                                    1.Think big.

                                                      From Michelangelo Buonarroti, Great Renaissance Artist:

                                                      “The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.”

                                                      There are few artists as influential as Michaelangelo. Today centuries after his death, his work still inspires and connects to people. His work is world famous, just think of his statue of David, or the Mural in the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican.

                                                      Imagine then, if he decided not to work as an artist.

                                                      Being a successful artist has always been extremely difficult, imagine if he decided to give up this ambition in favour of something easier?

                                                      Oftentimes, people often decided to put their dreams aside for something more “realistic”. To give up their dream for something easier. This quote teaches us the danger of such a point of view.
                                                      Instead be ambitious.

                                                      2.Find what you love to do and do it.

                                                        From Oprah Winfrey, Media Mogul:

                                                        “You know you are on the road to success if you would do your job and not be paid for it.”

                                                        This is a good quote to remember and think about when you’re at work.

                                                        Imagine being as successful as possible in your current job. Ultimately you’ll probably find yourself working extremely hard and this it will take up much of your time.

                                                        If it’s a job you hate, then being successful at it might only mean filling your life with something you hate to do. What’s the sense in this?

                                                        Instead, why not focus on doing something you love? When you’ve found what you’re passionate about, you get the motivation to keep you moving. Success at this means the fulfilment of your dreams.

                                                        Not sure what your passion is yet? You should learn about this Motivation Engine first.

                                                        Even if you’re not successful, you still filled your time with something you love to do. Many successful musicians spent years of their lives doing unpaid performances, the only reason they kept playing was because they loved to perform.

                                                        3. Learn how to balance life.

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                                                          From Phil Knight, CEO of Nike Inc.:

                                                          “There is an immutable conflict at work in life and in business, a constant battle between peace and chaos. Neither can be mastered, but both can be influenced. How you go about that is the key to success.”

                                                          All too often, people think that to be successful, they need to make the object of their success their life.

                                                          If a person thinks their job will lead them to success, then they may spend countless hours per day, and well into the evening working hard.

                                                          However this comes at the cost of rest, your health and having an enjoyable life. Ultimately they may burn out and cease to be successful at their job anyway.

                                                          If success comes from having a strong social life and a good group of friends, their job may suffer; meaning that they may lose their job, and then be unable to afford going out with friends.

                                                          In these ways, success, as Phil Knight says above, is helped by balance. Think of it as a balance between rest and work, or work and play.

                                                          To achieve that balance, this Ultimate Guide to Prioritizing Your Work And Life can help you.

                                                          4. Do not be afraid of failure.

                                                            From Henry Ford, Founder of Ford Motors:

                                                            “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”

                                                            There is a story, it’s unconfirmed whether it actually happened, yet the message within is none the less true:

                                                            Thomas Edison inventing the lightbulb was the result of several hundred failed attempts. In an interview, he was asked “How do you feel after all of your failed attempts?”

                                                            His response was great, “I didn’t fail, I learned hundreds of ways not to invent the lightbulb”

                                                            He saw each “failure” as a lesson. From that lesson he learned what won’t work, and also might work instead.

                                                            Each failed attempt, each rejection, were key steps on his path to success. It is easy to feel like you should give up after a failure. But perhaps in that failure is a lesson.

                                                            Pay attention to your failures, study them. Perhaps then you’ll learn how to succeed.

                                                            5. Have an unwavering resolution to succeed.

                                                              From Colonel Sanders, Founder of KFC:

                                                              “I made a resolve then that I was going to amount to something if I could. And no hours, nor amount of labor, nor amount of money would deter me from giving the best that there was in me. And I have done that ever since, and I win by it. I know.”

                                                              This, in many ways relates to the above quote about learning from your failures.

                                                              It’s the easiest thing in the world to give up from a failure. The only way to push on is if you have the true burning desire to succeed, to not be moved or dissuaded from your goals.

                                                              If you are not truly dedicated towards success, then each failure will hurt more, each set back will slow you down.

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                                                              Success is hard; without the unwavering desire to succeed, this difficulty may seem insurmountable. With the desire, it is merely an obstacle to go through.

                                                              6. Be a person of action.

                                                                From Leonardo da Vinci, Renaissance Genius:

                                                                “It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.”

                                                                Though it was said hundreds of years ago, it works just as much today as it ever had. It applies to literally any successful person.

                                                                Think about it, picture someone like William Shakespeare:

                                                                When we think of the time he lived in, we think of the time in a way shaped by him. When we think of Renissance era Italy, we think of Michaelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci.

                                                                Or think about the present day:

                                                                Bill Gates or Steve Jobs. Our current way of life would simply be incomparably different if they didn’t accomplish what they did.

                                                                You’re probably reading this article on a device by a company that they either founded or companies influenced by them.

                                                                All these figures were proactive, they saw ways to do things differently and did them. If they let the world shape them, then they’d simply fit into the background. Instead they shaped the world.

                                                                Applying this to you?

                                                                Don’t be afraid of going outside the norm. If you can think of a better way to do something, do it that way. If you fail, try again.

                                                                7. Avoid conflicts.

                                                                  From Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of America: “

                                                                  The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.”

                                                                  The best leaders and some of the most influential people (and Theodore Roosevelt is one of the best leaders and one of the most influential people to have lived) were not those who caused commotions, who fought with people or disregarded people; but were people who were friendly to those around them.

                                                                  People liked them. They wanted them to do well.

                                                                  This is key to good leadership.

                                                                  It’s logical. If someone likes you, they want to help you; if you give them a suggestion, they’ll gladly follow through with it.

                                                                  But if someone doesn’t like you, they may either refuse to help or actively get in your way.

                                                                  What’s more, it’s always a good idea to cultivate good relationships. You can never tell who will prove to become someone who’ll be able to help you in a big way, or even be a good and supportive friend.

                                                                  As such, help people and they may help you; and be good to people, and they my be good to you.

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                                                                  8. Don’t be afraid of introducing new ideas.

                                                                    From Mark Twain, Famed Author:

                                                                    “A person with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds.”

                                                                    It is an unfortunate truth that those with the boldest ideas are often disregarded.

                                                                    Most of us are taught from an early age to think and do things similarly to everyone else. This can be great to fill an existing role. But to truly do things differently (and all successful people did things differently), you need to think differently.

                                                                    If you have a new idea, don’t throw it away because it’s new and different; instead, celebrate it. Your strange new idea might one day be the one that leads you to success.

                                                                    9. Believe in your capacity to succeed.

                                                                      From Walter Disney, Founder of Walt Disney Company:

                                                                      “If you can dream it, you can do it.”

                                                                      Success has to be something you can imagine yourself achieving.

                                                                      It is possible that you will come across those who doubt you and your ability to succeed. You must not become one of these people because the moment you cease believing and dreaming is the moment these dreams fall away.

                                                                      Keep dreaming!

                                                                      10. Always maintain a positive mental attitude.

                                                                        From Thomas Jefferson, 3rd President of America:

                                                                        “Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.”

                                                                        Like the above quote says, you need to trust in your ability to succeed. This is the only way to cultivate the right mindset.

                                                                        Replace negative thoughts with the positive ones. You need to approach problems, not as obstacles stopping you, but merely tasks that need to be completed for you to keep going.

                                                                        If you stay positive and think like this, setbacks won’t affect you so much, people’s doubts won’t impact you and even the biggest obstacles will seem like minor problems.

                                                                        However with the wrong mindset of doubt, you’ll be much easier to stop.

                                                                        11. Don’t let discouragement stop you from pressing on.

                                                                          From Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of America:

                                                                          “Let no feeling of discouragement prey upon you, and in the end you are sure to succeed.”

                                                                          It is an unfortunate fact of human nature — all of us in some way, doubt ourselves. This can be made far worse if others doubt us too.

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                                                                          When surrounded by doubts, giving up can actually seem like a good idea.

                                                                          Don’t pay attention to the doubts. If you are discouraged, ignore it.

                                                                          If this discouragement moves into your mind and you begin to doubt yourself. It is important to ignore this too.

                                                                          Take a look at these 5 Ways to Stop Self Doubt in its Tracks.

                                                                          12. Be willing to work hard.

                                                                            From JC Penny, Founder of JC Penney Inc.:

                                                                            “Unless you are willing to drench yourself in your work beyond the capacity of the average man, you are just not cut out for positions at the top.”

                                                                            You might have heard the quote that “success is 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration” or you may have heard about the 10,000 hours idea.

                                                                            Whichever way you frame it, they say one thing:

                                                                            True success comes from work.

                                                                            You’ll never become successful if you don’t work towards your goal in life and keep working towards it.

                                                                            Check out this article and you’ll understand Why Hard Work Beats Talent.

                                                                            13. Be brave enough to follow your intuition.

                                                                              From Steve Jobs, Co-founder of Apple Inc.:

                                                                              “Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

                                                                              In ancient Greece, there was a group of Oracles who lived in Delphi. Everyone who needed advice or to know their future visited them, from the poorest of society to kings. Above the doorway of the temple were the words “know thyself”.

                                                                              If you strongly believe and desire something, the chances are that you already have an idea how to get there. If not, you may naturally know what things will help you and what things will slow you down.

                                                                              It’s like how your body can detect danger even when things seem safe.

                                                                              Ultimately then, you need to trust your own instincts.

                                                                              Final thoughts

                                                                              What you might have noticed is that many of the above lessons are similar — most are about developing the right state of mind. This clearly suggests that the key to achieving success, in whatever you wish, comes down to the way you approach it mentally.

                                                                              Moreover, no matter what stage of life you’re at now, you can still make a difference and pursue success. You can make resetting your life possible when you do this:

                                                                              How to Start Over and Reboot Your Life When It Seems Too Late

                                                                              More Recommended Lifehack Experts in Success

                                                                              • Mandie Holgate — Successful life coach in the UK, helping businesses and individuals achieve greatness
                                                                              • David Carpenter — Lifelong entrepreneur and business owner helping others to realize the American Dream of business ownership
                                                                              • Ray Zinn — An inventor, entrepreneur, bestselling author and the longest serving CEO in Silicon Valley

                                                                              Featured photo credit: Ryan Wong via unsplash.com

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