Here at the Olive Book, we love to read, even if we can only fit it in for 10 minutes a day. We could go on and on about the benefits of reading for fun, but we’ll stick with a few highlights: reading improves your vocabulary and language-processing, introduces you to new ideas, and generates curiosity. Not to mention, the more you practice reading, the better you’ll do on the ACT, which is 75% reading-based!
This month, we wanted to share the books that we’ve been reading for fun and would recommend to a friend (you!). From popular fiction to creative treatises and non-fiction, The Olive Book staff has been reading quite a variety of material recently, and we hope there is something that piques your interest:
Course creator Cristina is reading:
The Most Fun We’ve Ever Had – Claire Lombardo
“A dazzling, multigenerational novel in which the four adult daughters of a Chicago couple–still madly in love after forty years–recklessly ignite old rivalries until a long-buried secret threatens to shatter the lives they’ve built.” from GoodReads.com
Fangirl – Rainbow Rowell
“Cath and Wren are identical twins, and until recently they did absolutely everything together. Now they’re off to university and Wren’s decided she doesn’t want to be one half of a pair any more – she wants to dance, meet boys, go to parties and let loose. It’s not so easy for Cath. She’s horribly shy and has always buried herself in the fan fiction she writes, where she always knows exactly what to say and can write a romance far more intense than anything she’s experienced in real life.
Without Wren Cath is completely on her own and totally outside her comfort zone. And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone. Now Cath has to decide whether she’s ready to open her heart to new people and new experiences, and she’s realizing that there’s more to learn about love than she ever thought possible . . .” from PanMacmillian.com
Animator Amy C. is Reading:
The Cuckoo’s Calling – Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling)
“A gripping, elegant mystery steeped in the atmosphere of London – from the hushed streets of Mayfair to the backstreet pubs of the East End to the bustle of Soho – The Cuckoo’s Calling is a remarkable book. Introducing Cormoran Strike, this is the acclaimed first crime novel from Robert Galbraith.” from Robert-Galbraith.com
CEO Michael is reading:
How We Learn – Benedict Carey
“From an early age, it is drilled into our heads: Restlessness, distraction, and ignorance are the enemies of success. We’re told that learning is all self-discipline, that we must confine ourselves to designated study areas, turn off the music, and maintain a strict ritual if we want to ace that test, memorize that presentation, or nail that piano recital.
But what if almost everything we were told about learning is wrong? And what if there was a way to achieve more with less effort? In How We Learn, award-winning science reporter Benedict Carey sifts through decades of education research and landmark studies to uncover the truth about how our brains absorb and retain information.” from Amazon.com
Course creator Kristi is reading:
The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkien
“Written for J.R.R. Tolkien’s own children, The Hobbit met with instant critical acclaim when it was first published in 1937. Now recognized as a timeless classic, this introduction to the hobbit Bilbo Baggins, the wizard Gandalf, Gollum, and the spectacular world of Middle-earth recounts of the adventures of a reluctant hero, a powerful and dangerous ring, and the cruel dragon Smaug the Magnificent.” from GoodReads.com
The Great Alone – Kristin Hannah
“Ernt Allbright, a former POW, comes home from the Vietnam war a changed and volatile man. When he loses yet another job, he makes an impulsive decision: he will move his family, his wife Cora and their thirteen-year-old daughter Leni, north, to Alaska, where they will live off the grid in America’s last true frontier.
At first, Alaska seems to be the answer to their prayers. But as winter approaches and darkness descends on Alaska, Ernt’s fragile mental state deteriorates and the family begins to fracture. Soon the perils outside pale in comparison to threats from within. In their small cabin, covered in snow, blanketed in eighteen hours of night, Leni and her mother learn the terrible truth: they are on their own. In the wild, there is no one to save them but themselves.” from KristinHannah.com
Animator Ralph is reading:
The Tree – John Fowles
“The Tree is a provocative meditation on the connection between the natural world and human creativity, and a powerful argument against taming the wild. In it, Fowles recounts his own childhood in England and describes how he rebelled against his Edwardian father’s obsession with the “quantifiable yield” of well-pruned fruit trees and came to prize instead the messy, purposeless beauty of nature left to its wildest.” from Amazon.com
Web manager Amy V. is reading:
The Way of Kings – Brandon Sanderson
“It has been centuries since the fall of the ten consecrated orders known as the Knights Radiant, but their Shardblades and Shardplate remain: mystical swords and suits of armor that transform ordinary men into near-invincible warriors. Men trade kingdoms for Shardblades. Wars are fought for them, and won by them. How long will the people endure wars, and will there be anyone to stand up against the relentless fighting?” from BrandonSanderson.com
Marketing manager Megan is reading:
Housekeeping – Marilynne Robinson
“Housekeeping is the story of Ruth and her younger sister, Lucille, who grow up haphazardly, first under the care of their competent grandmother, then of two comically bumbling great-aunts, and finally of Sylvie, their eccentric and remote aunt. The family house is in the small Far West town of Fingerbone set on a glacial lake, the same lake where their grandfather died in a spectacular train wreck, and their mother drove off a cliff to her death. It is a town “chastened by an outsized landscape and extravagant weather, and chastened again by an awareness that the whole of human history had occurred elsewhere.” Ruth and Lucille’s struggle toward adulthood beautifully illuminates the price of loss and survival, and the dangerous and deep undertow of transience.” via GoodReads.com
Have you read any of the books below? What are you currently reading? Let us know in the comments below or on one of our social media sites! (Linked below)