Unless you're a total bookworm, summer reading lists are probably not your absolute favorite. The lists are typically filled with a mix of classical literature, novels written in the previous century, and weighty volumes that teachers profess will be entertaining and applicable to your life but never truly are. But hopefully you've experienced the wonderful way in which one can get lost in the world of a book and how reading can be the very best tool for gaining knowledge. Eric Schmidt says, "I still believe that sitting down and reading a book is the very best way to really learn something."
At CMASAS, we want to encourage reading as recreation, as a means of personal growth and a way to gain greater understanding of the world around us. We won't be yet another high school to suggest "To Kill a Mockingbird," don't worry. But instead we want to offer 10 titles that we believe will equip, encourage, enlighten and entertain. Happy summer and happy reading.
1. "Fill In The Space" by Sally Safadi
An interactive book written by a young dreamer, "Fill In The Space" is a fun means of connecting with and challenging your creativity. Blank pages, hilarious illustrations and thought provoking prompts allow you to use the book to express yourself. A description of the book on the author's website says, "Most importantly, it's a book that will teach you that learning and imagining are not quite as different as they might seem."
2. "The Art of Work" by Jeff Goins
Discover how to live a life of true passion and purpose. Goins teaches on how individuals can connect their passions with the needs of the world and begin living for a larger purpose. Personal anecdotes, case studies and thorough research make this book easy to read and apply to life practices.
3. "Icarus Deception" by Seth Godin
Godin challenges readers with the simple question, "How high will you fly?" He explains why it's essential to do life's work with the perspective, discipline and craft of an artist, because "creativity is scare and more valuable than ever."
4. "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" by Jonathan Safran Foer
With humor, witty dialogue, and immense creativity, Foer confronts the traumas of our recent history. After his father dies in the World Trade Center on September 11, nine-year-old Oskar Scheel embarks on a secret mission that takes him through the neighborhoods of New York City and into the vastness or his own emotions.
5. "Rules of the Red Rubber Ball" by Kevin Carroll
In this pocket sized life manual, Carroll tells the story of how he discovered a passion for athletics which helped him escape from a difficult childhood and grow into a life of happiness and excellence. He implores everyone to seek out their passions and provides seven simple "rules" for chasing your dreams.
6. "Rich Dad Poor Dad" by Robert T. Kiyosaki
Widely read by parents, business people and entrepreneurs, this personal finance book is also a great resource for teenagers as it teaches a new, healthy way of thinking about money and explains the difference between working for money and having your money work for you.
7. "The Element" by Ken Robinson
Robinson describes how "the element" is the point at which natural talent meets personal passion. Through the stories of artists, scientists, intellectuals, athletes and many others Robinson explains why finding your element is essential.
8. "The House on Mango Street" by Sandra Cisneros
In a series of short vignettes, Cisneros shares of the story of a young Latina girl growing up in Chicago, how she defies stereotypes, rises above oppression and invents her own life.
9. "Speak" by Laurie Halse Anderson
This novel tells the story of Melinda, a high school girl struggling with the loneliness and inauthenticity of high school. When Melinda is raped at a party she uses art as a method of healing and comes to find her voice and the ability to speak up for herself.
10. "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" by Stephen Chbosky
In this poignant coming of age story, readers fall in love with high school freshman Charlie and participate in his journey of devastating loss, new love, devoted friends, life's pressures and developing one's own identity.