Hello, world. I’ve been taking a week to unwind after both the trip and my family affairs, so I’ve been rather quiet on the Brilliant Buckets front. But not to worry; there is an ocean of ramblings in my head that I have to add to the already bulging and bloated interwebs. And more bucket lists! Of course! That’s why we’re all here, right?
So, July is halfway gone and then all we have is August. I hope you’ve been making the most of your summer and the days that seem to stretch on forever. With all the extra sunlight, I always feel like I should be running around and doing so much. More hours means more time for bucket list achievements, right?
But it’s easy to get burnt out. And while I’m all about the seeing and doing new things, life is a journey, not a race. So I highly recommend taking time for the three Bs: to breathe, to bond, and to give yourself some brainfood this summer too.
How so? Well, I caught up with friends all week (see? Bonding!). Tuesday, my friend Spencer and I went for a hike (breathing, enjoying nature, and GETTING COVERED IN ITCHY BUG BITES). I gathered the red jewel-like raspberries that grow in my yard (more breathing/nature appreciation).
Yesterday, I met up with my friends Steph and Alex to go to the Museum of Modern Art and see the Rain Room exhibit (Bonding and brainfood! Double whammy!). Also, I’m just going to add that I appreciate Van Gogh and Monet and art in general a lot more since Europe and going to all the museums and learning about their lives. We went to Serendipity after, which I’ve never been to. So that was a serendipitous thing to cross off the ol’bucket list too.
Another great way to nourish yourself with some brain food this summer is by reading. They’re called beach reads for a reason! I’m always reading, but summertime lends itself to lighter and more whimsical books than winter. Since I love pushing books on people, here’s what I’ve been loving.
- The Giver, Gathering Blue, Messenger, and Son – Lois Lowry
I loved the Giver and Gathering Blue when I read them as a child, but I didn’t know Lois Lowry recently wrote other sequels to the story. Thank goodness she did! If you haven’t read the Giver, do so immediately. The Giver is about a Utopian community where life functions seamlessly and everybody is content. Jonas is chosen to be the Receiver of Memories, and learns just what the community gave up in exchange for their perfect little world.
- The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
You probably read this in high school. I did, and I didn’t really like it until after we finished reading it. But, I just reread this week, and enjoyed it so much more! I didn’t remember Fitzgerald’s witty prose and crystalline construction of all his characters. I’m going to have to read more of his work. It doesn’t hurt that I know picture Gatsby as Leonardo DiCaprio either.
- The Kingkiller Chronicles – Patrick Rothfuss
This is a bit hefty to lug to the beach, so I’m thankful for my Kindle. If you’ve been twiddling your thumbs waiting for George Martin to hint at a Winds of Winter release, check out the Kingkiller Chronicles. It inhabits just as rich a world as A Song of Ice and Fire (aka Game of Thrones) and despite a slow start, crafty Kvothe becomes a best friend you’ve known all your life. Just one that happens to live in a world that’s way cooler. And then you’ll be furious at me since the third book isn’t out for about a million years.
- Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn
This book is a mind melt. It opens on the strained couple Nick and Amy’s anniversary… only Amy has vanished and all signs point to Nick as prime suspect. The book alternates between present day Nick and the diary entries of Amy from when she fell in love with him. The setup creates a juxtaposition of the angry couple’s current problems and the time when their love was fresh and happy and full of promise. Nick is quickly proven to be a very unreliable narrator, and as you race through the pages, you’ll argue with yourself if he’s guilty or innocent of Amy’s disappearance.
- Everyday – David Levithan
What if you woke up everyday in a different body, a different life? You’re still you, but you control someone else for the day, with their own parents, home, job and school drama. When you go to sleep, you begin anew as someone else. This is A’s life. A knows better than to try to hold on to anything in this odd existence. Don’t interfere is the main rule, and it serves well. Until A falls in love with one girl. I just started this today and I’m already half through. I’m highlighting it all over. What a fantastic read.
So get thee to the library! I know you probably haven’t been there since cracking away at your senior thesis, but they let you take books home… for free! It’s an incredible thing.