One of my favorite parts of summer is the idea I have in my head every year that I’m going to do a lot of sitting outside and reading. Unfortunately, that happens far less than I would like, but I’ve still managed to cross three books off of my “to read” list so far this summer.
1. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling & Jack Thorne & John Tiffany
If you’re a Potter-head like me, I’m sure you’ve already read or heard of this book/play. Going into it, I didn’t realize the book wasn’t actually a novelization of the play but the play itself. I hadn’t read a story in play form since college, so it took some getting used to.
The story brings back many familiar names and places that J.K. Rowling introduced to us, but some of the magic (pun intended) is missing. The plot revolves around Harry and Ginny’s son as he tries to make a name for himself other than just “Harry Potter’s son”. I don’t want to spoil any parts of the story, but the plot seemed too easy, too familiar. In the height of Harry Potter mania, I read a lot of fan fiction, and this seemed like a story I would have read then, not one that came from the mind of the brilliant J.K. Rowling. All that being said, most fans are going to read the book, and I can’t suggest that they don’t. As Harry Potter fans, we ache for any new information, and this book gives us some of that.
2. The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
I’ve been meaning to read the Happiness Project for a while, as I’ve gained an interest in mindfulness and the power of habits and positive thinking. I really enjoyed following Gretchen Rubin’s journey to become a happier person. One of my big takeaways from the book is that being more mindful of your happiness is a big first step to actually being happier. If you focus on the good things in your life, instead of the bad ones, and live in the moment of joy, you’re bound to live a happier life.
I’ve taken a few of the tools Gretchen used in her own happiness journey and have applied them to my own life. I’ve been tracking my goals and keeping a gratitude listing in my bullet journal (have you heard of them? I’m obsessed). I’ve also been trying to make time for things that I enjoy and not to get caught up in the constant FOMO that seems to envelop our generation. My friends may look like their having fun on Snapchat but that doesn’t mean I’m not having just as much fun with my Fixer Upper marathon. If you’re interested in the concept of happiness, this book is a great introduction to some of the science behind happiness and includes some practical applications to try and create your own happiness project.
3. Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close
Girls in White Dresses is a quick read that I found to be very relatable as a woman in my mid-twenties who is trying to figure it all out. The book follows a group of friends from college as they try and navigate their love lives, careers, friendships, and finances while living in the big city. It’s a good look at a group of friends who don’t lose their bond with each other as they progress through stages of life at different rates. Based on my experiences, that is a more realistic look at this stage of life than the token single friend who gets left behind. If you are into books with a clear intro, climax, and resolution, this may not be the book for you but if you enjoy reading about characters you can relate to I’d definitely check it out.
Have you guys read anything good lately? I’m currently working my way through The Girls, and I have Me Before You on my nightstand as an ‘up next’ book.