Reading in Summer

Here are some of my recommendations for English reading.

Picture Book name Author Category Review Price (in US dollars)

Tuesday with Morrie

 Mitch Albom

Fiction (Teacher-student relationship) This is a true story about the love between a spiritual mentor and his pupil. Morrie Schwartz is a one of a kind professor, whom the author describes as looking like a cross between a biblical prophet and Christmas elf. And finally we are privy to intimate moments of Morrie's final days as he lies dying from a terminal illness. Even on his deathbed, this twinkling-eyed mensch manages to teach us all about living robustly and fully. $15.37

The Little Prince
Antoine De Saint-Exupery  
Fiction (Philosphy) The Little Prince describes his journey from planet to planet, each tiny world populated by a single adult. The author pokes similar fun at a businessman, a geographer, and a lamplighter, all of whom signify some futile aspect of adult existence. Yet his tale is ultimately a tender one--a heartfelt exposition of sadness and solitude.  You need to think over the stories.  You may have different inspirations when you read at different times of your life.


Who Moved My Cheese? Spencer Johnson, Kenneth H. Blanchard Self-improvement Change can be a blessing or a curse, depending on your perspective. The message of Who Moved My Cheese? is that all can come to see it as a blessing, if they understand the nature of cheese and the role it plays in their lives. The point of the story is that we have to be alert to changes in the cheese, and be prepared to go running off in search of new sources of cheese when the cheese we have runs out. $7.98
Chicken Soup for the Teenage Jack Canfield (Editor), et al Self-improvement/spiritual growth This latest offering in the best-selling Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul series explores a host of challenges faced by today's teens. Within its pages teens will find portraits of life's complexities expressed from the viewpoint of their peers. Teen contributors share their thoughts and feelings on difficult issues, ranging from poor self-image to thoughts of suicide, from family discord to coping with the loss, from peer pressure to school violence. $10.36
Sophie's World Jostein Gaarder Fiction (Philosophy) Wanting to understand the most fundamental questions of the universe isn't the province of ivory-tower intellectuals alone, as this book's enormous popularity has demonstrated. A young girl, Sophie, becomes embroiled in a discussion of philosophy with a faceless correspondent. At the same time, she must unravel a mystery involving another young girl, Hilde, by using everything she's learning. The truth is far more complicated than she could ever have imagined. $7.99
Complete Idiot's Guide to Geography Thomas E., Jr. Sherer, Arthur Frommer Geography This book is excellent if you want to get an overview of every part of the world. The author begins by dispelling the myth that geography entails memorizing a lot of place names; perhaps a myth that I had formally believed. I was excited as every new chapter launched me into a different region of the world. The author gives facts about the physical features of the area, its people including: history, languages, numbers, religions, problems, and successes as well as lots of interesting tidbits on the side. Of course, keeping with the genre of all Idiot's books, he also keeps it light hearted and funny. He is forced to be very brief on his discussions, and I can imagine someone could get offended on how little he covers their particular place of interest.  $11.87
Animal Farm George Orwell Fiction (History) Animal Farm is a nearly perfect piece of writing, both an engaging story and an allegory that actually works. When the downtrodden beasts of Manor Farm oust their drunken human master and take over management of the land, all are awash in collectivist zeal. Everyone willingly works overtime, productivity soars, and for one brief, glorious season, every belly is full. The animals' Seven Commandment credo is painted in big white letters on the barn. All animals are equal. No animal shall drink alcohol, wear clothes, sleep in a bed, or kill a fellow four-footed creature. Those that go upon four legs or wings are friends and the two-legged are, by definition, the enemy. Too soon, however, the pigs, who have styled themselves leaders by virtue of their intelligence, succumb to the temptations of privilege and power. This book is a must to history-learners. $21.00
  How to win friends and influence people Dale Carnegie Self-improvement To improve your social skills and relationship with other people. $9.14
A Child Called "It" Dave Pelzer, David J. Pelzer Fiction David J. Pelzer's mother, Catherine Roerva, was, he writes in this ghastly, fascinating memoir, a devoted den mother to the Cub Scouts in her care, and somewhat nurturant to her children--but not to David, whom she referred to as "an It." This book is a brief, horrifying account of the bizarre tortures she inflicted on him, told from the point of view of the author as a young boy being starved, stabbed, smashed face-first into mirrors, forced to eat the contents of his sibling's diapers and a spoonful of ammonia, and burned over a gas stove by a maniacal, alcoholic mom. Sometimes she claimed he had violated some rule--no walking on the grass at school!--but mostly it was pure sadism. Inexplicably, his father didn't protect him; only an alert schoolteacher saved David. One wants to learn more about his ordeal and its aftermath, and now he's written a sequel, The Lost Boy, detailing his life in the foster-care system. $12.88
The Lost Boy Dave Pelzer, David J Pelzer Fiction "The Lost Boy" is the harrowing but ultimately uplifting true story of a boy's journey through the foster-care system in search of a family to love. This is Dave Pelzer's long-awaited sequel to "A Child Called "It". The Lost Boy" is Pelzer's story--a moving sequel and inspirational read for all. $8.76