Summer is officially here and while not everyone may be able to travel to an idyllic paradise or vacation in a far off land, there’s plenty of room for escape in a good, captivating read.
Below you’ll find ATG’s suggested summer reading list, ranging from all things contemporary to ancient. Happy summer – and happy reading!
ALL THINGS CURRENT
The Girl On The Train (2015)
Mystery and thriller lovers are sure to enjoy Paula Hawkin’s debut New York Times bestselling novel, The Girl on the Train. Rachel, an alcoholic who seemingly ruined her relationship with a man she loved, becomes captivated by a couple she observes from afar during her commute to and from London each day. When she learns that the woman, Megan, has gone missing, Rachel willingly involves herself in the investigation, which is made all the more convoluted by her unreliable memory and repeated episodes of drunken incoherence. A true psychological thriller and page-turner, it leaves you guessing until the very end. Read more
You might not necessarily think of Kid Rock – the rap-rocker-turned-country-star – as entirely relevant in today’s music landscape. His latest album, however, proved to be a pleasant surprise and is a reminder that sometimes artists develop their most influential work later in life.
Released in February of this year, Billboard music critic Richard Bienstock wrote, “First Kiss is hardly [Kid Rock’s] most adventurous project, but it is perhaps his most easy going, tuneful one. The production is crisp and clean, the guitars are sparkling, the vibe is rollicking but relaxed…he sounds better here than he has in a long time.” Read more
“Men wanted for hazardous journey, small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful, honor and recognition in case of success.”
The above advertisement – largely recognized as one of the most famous in history – was placed in London newspapers in the early 20th century by Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton (1874-1922), the famed polar explorer who led one of the most remarkable expeditions of all time: the 1914 journey to Antarctica that left him and his crew living on floating ice for months on end after the sinking of their ship, Endurance.
As the daughter of one of Shackleton’s biggest fans, I became familiar with the written account of Endurance at a young age – a story that brilliantly captures man’s yearning for adventure (not to mention his will to survive) and serves as a testimony to the pivotal influence of strong leadership in the face of insurmountable odds.
Sharing his own yearning for adventure – or at the very least, yearning for adventure stories – my father has passed along to me many other riveting reads throughout the years, such as Alive by Piers Paul Read and The Long Walk by Slavomir Rawicz (synopses below). Read more
Strawberry season is here and what better way to cool off than with some chilled strawberry soup and delicious strawberry shortcake?
“A symbol of the delights of summer,” strawberries or “fragaria” are rich in vitamin C and potassium. They are also a source of folic acid, vitamin B5 and magnesium and are thought to have tonic, diuretic, remineralizing, and astringent properties. Read more
“If Life Gives You Lemons, Make Limoncello”
That is what the Mastroianni brothers (pictured below) did in 2008 when they opened their Salem, New Hampshire-based “Fabrizia Spirits”, which has become one of the finest Limoncello distillers in the country.
Nick and Phil Mastroianni are second-generation Italian-Americans who grew up outside of Boston. Well acquainted with the inferior quality of Limoncello that was served in Boston’s North End, they became inspired to make their own after a “life-changing visit to the family’s home village in southern Italy.”
According to the brothers, Limoncello should have a “fresh lemon floral note” and a slight subtle burn. You should taste the alcohol but it shouldn’t be “rocket-fuel.” The inconsistent quality that they have experienced in other limoncellos is the result of the use of artificial flavors and colors that “corrupt the ‘sacred-mix’ of the traditional recipe.”
Below you’ll find recipes for limoncello, lemon pie and lemon blueberry bread. We hope you enjoy! Read more
“We are out of balance,” declares David Brooks, the widely recognized New York Times columnist, in his new book The Road to Character:
“The mental space that was once occupied by moral struggle has gradually become occupied by the struggle to achieve. Morality has been displaced by utility. Adam II [our internal, morally concerned nature] has been displaced by Adam I [our external, career-oriented nature].”
In an eye opening, beautifully written exploration into the development of a strong inner character, David Brooks shows how far we have strayed from the “crooked-timber” school of thought that deliberatively recognized human limitations and fallibility and encouraged the cultivation of virtues such as humility, selflessness, generosity and self-sacrifice. Read more
I knew I was going to enjoy Dana Perino’s book after coming across an article she published entitled: “Advice for Millennials: What I learned From My Quarter-Life Crisis (Yes, I had one).”
Discovering that the former Press Secretary for President George W. Bush had once been “racked with anxiety, filled with fear, and totally confused about what I was going to do with my life,” was more than enough to convince me to begin reading her book, And The Good News Is…: Lessons and Advice From the Bright Side.
Funny and moving, insightful and informative, balanced and practical, it is well worth the read, particularly for millennials who may be in the midst of their own “quarter-life crisis,” just as Ms. Perino describes experiencing in her early career. Read more