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Sunday, July 13, 2014

Midsummer Reading List

“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.” ― C.S. Lewis

Middle school summers were spent in the back of my local library. I spent those summers with Queen Elizabeth in Tudor, England and Colie and her Aunt Mira in North Carolia. I mourned with Kaiulani and found strength with Mary, Queen of Scotts. I devoured the entire Royal Diaries series, the Baby-Sitters Club books and read then reread every Sarah Desson book I found. The librarians and I were on a first name basis. 

Books and I are easy friends - although I have been known to bite off more than I can chew at times (heads up: reading Gone with the Wind in 5th grade is a serious challenge). I don't have book lists that fill up a few pages anymore, but I still like to curl up with a good book and sip some tea. Here's my midsummer reading list!

Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World by Tracy Kidder

I had the privilege of hearing Dr. Paul Farmer speak at UT last year. He discussed his approach to public health and I was glad to hear how much he involved local communities. Mountains Beyond Mountains is a biographical look at the physician and anthropologist (whoop ~liberal arts) who dedicated years to fighting tuberculosis in Hati, Peru, and Russia.

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz

My mentor recommended that I read any book by Junot Díaz. So I started with Oscar Wao, a story about a Dominican boy who loves science fiction and fantasy books and is intrigued by his family's curse. I'm a few chapters in and I am both shocked and humored with each new twist and turn. 

Eva Luna: A Novel by Isabel Allende

I first met Isabel Allende by way of my IB English class. We read House of the Spirits and I (like every other student) fell in love with Allende's magical realism. I am grateful for my time with Allende in high school and decided to extend the relationship through college. Eva Luna is about a young orphan's experience growing up in a politically volatile South America. 

Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story by Ben Carson

Dr. Ben Carson's story is like chicken noodle soup for the pre-med soul. Read if you are ready to be inspired to action or equally inspired to stay in bed and not even try. Dr. Carson persevered through difficult times and eventually became the director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins at 33.

Not pictured

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie 

I am obsessed with Chimamanda Adichie. She's 1) a powerful storyteller 2) shares a name with my grandma and 3) speaks with so much grace. Americanah is story about a Nigerian woman who comes to the US for college. Adichie weaves in commentary about race and heritage and highlights what it means to be African/American.

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