Summer Book Reading Suggestions, Part 1

John Hartness

Ahhhh, summertime. The birds are singing, the children are playing, and the families are vacationing. Don't forget the sunscreen, the bathing suit, the sandals, the big floppy hat, and most importantly � the book.

One of the great joys of summer is relaxing on a beach with some sand between your toes and a great book to take you away from it all, or swinging in a hammock with a cool breeze running through your hair as you enjoy the thrills, chills, and romance of your favorite character. Well, we've got a great list of summer reads for you, with a couple of our favorite health-minded books in there, too, because it's important to stay fit even on vacation!

Healthy Aging by Dr. Andrew Weil

If you're going to read about getting healthy, being healthy, and staying healthy, you should probably listen to a doctor. For millions of people all over the world, Andrew Weil is that doctor. With a common-sense style and positive presentation, Weil's Healthy Aging is a great way to approach the onset of all those little aches and pains that start to kick in right after high school, it seems.

In Healthy Aging, Weil attacks the challenges of aging from all angles � diet, exercise, stress management, and attitude. Weil gives lessons on how to eat by the anti-inflammatory diet, helps us understand the truth and myth behind many �miracle cures� on the market, guides us through the science of aging, and teaches us how to record our experiences to share with others. His affable style and down-to-earth honesty have earned Dr. Andrew Weil the position of America's most-loved family doctor.

New Health Rules by Dr. Frank Lipman & Danielle Claro

Dr. Frank Lipman and his style of functional medicine are turning healthcare on its ear, and his book New Health Rules is at the forefront of that. Lipman and coauthor Danielle Claro have written a book that is so easy to understand and follow that anyone can understand and adopt pieces of their plan to a healthier life.

New Health Rules provides tips for healthier living � over 100 of them! They range from how �good� bacteria aids in digestion to why getting some sun every day is important. With tips on how to get a good night's sleep, which products to never, ever bring into your kitchen, which foods prevent Alzheimer's, and much, much more, Lipman's beautifully illustrated book of tips, foods and exercise will have you feeling better just in time to settle in with a good book on vacation!

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee

And once we get to that vacation and we're ready to curl up with a good book? Let's start off with the most anticipated release of the year by far. Ever since it was announced that Harper Lee was publishing a new book, the questions have been flying. Is it a sequel to the American classic To Kill a Mockingbird? Will it be any good? Where has it been all these years? Why publish it now?

Go Set a Watchman tells the story of an adult Jean Louise �Scout� Finch returning to Alabama on a family trip from New York to visit the aging Atticus Finch. In the turbulent time of the civil rights movement, Scout learns some unsettling things about her father and her family in this bittersweet, often funny, often poignant story about family and coming of age in the mid-century South. Scout relives memories of her childhood as she learns who her father is as an adult, and who she is by extension. A worthy companion to Lee's classic novel, only time will tell where Go Set a Watchman fits in the library of literary classics.

Let Me Explain You by Annie Liontas

At the other end of family stories comes Let Me Explain You, the debut novel from Annie Liontas, a powerful look inside one Greek American family and its patriarch. Stavros Mavrakis is a first-generation Greek American and owner of the Gala Diner, and he has ten days to live. As he prepares for his last days, he sends a wrenching email to his ex-wife and three daughters, all grown, detailing exactly how he thinks they should be living their lives. They all dismiss the letter to varying degrees, but when Stavros goes missing, they come together to deal with his disappearance and possible death.

Let Me Explain You is a breakthrough novel from a stunning new voice in American literature, a story about family, about what it means to be a father, a daughter, a sister, an immigrant, an American. Alternating between heart-breaking and laugh-inducing, this book is perfect for those quiet sunset hours where it's just you and the water, and maybe a nice cool glass of refreshment. 

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