This academic school year was especially rough. I had trouble balancing time for schoolwork, internships, sleep, social activities (this aspect of my life was probably neglected the most) and personal stuff. Fortunately, I'm now on summer break! So I'm enthusiastic about having more time to finally read the books that I've been meaning to check out for a while. These are five books that I seriously want to read:

1. The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor

A few weeks ago, I wrote about a TED Talk that changed my life. The talk was entitled, "The Happy Secret to Better Work" and in the video, the speaker Shawn Achor delivered an engaging, hilarious and educational story about his research and findings. Achor's book is about adopting a more thankful attitude to encourage productivity. I've only read a few pages so far, and it seems that the beginning is a reiteration of his TED Talk. I look forward to reading the rest of the book to find out more about the "happiness advantage"!

2. House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski

I've waited an exceptionally long time to get my hands on this book! I initially wanted to read this book about four years ago, but my library didn't have it on its shelves. I remember when the bookstore Borders was still open and I had a 40% off coupon that I intended to use with my purchase of this book. Unfortunately, the only copy of the book was misplaced somewhere, and I couldn't buy the book. Luckily, one of my college friends bought a copy and generously lent me it (I forgot to tell him that I'm borrowing it over the summer). Wikipedia describes this book as, "The format and structure of the novel is unconventional, with unusual page layout and style, making it ergodic literature... Some pages contain only a few words or lines of text, arranged in strange ways to mirror the events in the story, often creating both an agoraphobic and a claustrophobic effect."

3. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey

Every summer, I visit my local library and tote home a backpack full of classic novels. This book is one of those novels that I always intend to finish but never do for whatever reason. I think my record is 40 pages in. I need to break that record by reading the entire thing this summer! If you're unfamiliar with the plot, it's about patients in a mental asylum who are mistreated by the people who run the facility. However, when a rebellious convict is sent to the asylum, everything changes.

4. Manufacturing Consent by Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky

After taking my media theory and criticism class, I discovered that I was actually quite fond of the subject. Few other classes were as stimulating as my media criticism course. Unfortunately, since my concentration is in screenwriting, I won't be able to take more classes pertaining to media criticism. Consequently, I intend to explore the topic more by reading books on the subject. Wikipedia summarizes this book as, "an analysis of the news media, arguing that the mass media of the United States 'are effective and powerful ideological institutions that carry out a system-supportive propaganda function by reliance on market forces, internalized assumptions, and self-censorship, and without overt coercion.'"

5. Naked by David Sedaris

I've listened to a few essays from this book on an audio book that one of my high school teachers once lent me. David Sedaris is one of the only writers whose stories can make me laugh out loud (as opposed to merely laughing to myself). Sedaris writes darkly humorous essays about his unusual family and upbringing with a unique perspective. Naked is a collection of hilarious and insightful essays about Sedaris' life.

Lovelies, what books do you look forward to reading?

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