Timeless Summer-Time Tales

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Well it’s August… already, summer is hot beautiful and on it’s last leg. I put together a list of classic literature, all are perfect picks for summer days. I know which one I’m going to start on next!
What will you chose?

No one can capture a warm summer afternoon like Steinbeck

East of Eden
by John Steinbeck
A work in which Steinbeck created his most mesmerizing characters and explored his most enduring themes: the mystery of identity, the inexplicability of love, and the murderous consequences of love’s absence. Adapted for the 1955 film directed by Elia Kazan introducing James Dean. East of Eden has remained vitally present in American culture for over half a century.
This book is a perfect read for a long summer camp-out
Rated 4.7 amazon.com

The Merchant of Venice
by William Shakespeare

After his ships and money are lost at sea, Antonio, a prominent Venetian merchant, cannot repay a loan to Shylock, the Jewish moneylender. Antonio must rely on an unexpected source, Shakespeare’s first great heroine, to save his skin, quite literally, in this tale of love, law, mercy, and revenge. Shylock, originally conceived as a bloodthirsty villain, has been later understood to be a far more sympathetic character, who challenges cultural stereotypes while reminding audiences to look beyond the barrier of ethnocentricity.
Rated 4.4 on amazon.com

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
by Mark Twain
A much loved and classic work of American literature. It is the story of Tom, a rambunctious young lad who lives with his Aunt Polly. Tom is a boy who doesn’t much like going to school and throughout the book does everything he can to get out of it. Near the beginning of the novel Tom exhibits his keen wit by convincing some boys to paint his Aunt Polly’s fence that he has been punished with having to do for skipping school.
Rated 4.3 on amazon.com
AND…
Huckleberry Finn

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“The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” is considered by many to be the greatest of all American novels. This sequel to Twain’s “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,” is a first person narrative told by its title character. The novel picks up where “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” leaves off. Huck Finn who is now wealthy with the discovery of treasure at the end of “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” finds himself in great danger from his abusive drunkard father who wishes to cash in on Huck’s fortune.
Rated 4.3 on amazon.com

hibiscus

Book Bean: Heavenly Huckleberry Hibiscus
In a saucepan bring 4-5 cups of water to a boil. Add 1/2 cup of dried hibiscus flowers, turn off the heat and steep for for 30 minutes. Strain, add sweetener of choice (I prefer agave) and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. When ready to serve: Fill glasses with ice. Fill half of the glass with iced tea. Add Huckleberries. Top with lemonade. Serve chilled.

chocolatChocolat: A Novel
by Joanne Harris
New York Times bestselling novel Chocolat entranced readers with its mix of hedonism, whimsy, and, of course, chocolate. In tiny Lansquenet, where nothing much has changed in a hundred years, beautiful newcomer Vianne Rocher and her exquisite chocolate shop arrive and instantly begin to play havoc. Each box of luscious bonbons comes with a free gift: Her uncanny perception of its buyer’s private discontents and a clever, caring cure for them.
Rated 4.3 on amazon.com
or go for the whole trilogy:
The Girl With No Shadow
and
Peaches for Monsieur le Curé

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The Great Gatsby
by Fitzgerald
First published in 1925, this quintessential novel of the Jazz Age has been acclaimed by generations of readers. The story of the mysteriously wealthy Jay Gatsby and his love for the beautiful Daisy Buchanan, of lavish parties on Long Island at a time when The New York Times noted “gin was the national drink and sex the national obsession,” it is an exquisitely crafted tale of America in the 1920s.
Rated 4.2 on amazon.com

5166-iXOB-LThe Secret Life of Bees

by Sue Monk Kidd
Taken in by an eccentric trio of black beekeeping sister, Lily is introduced to their
mesmerizing world of bees and honey, and the Black Madonna. Set in South Carolina in 1964, This is a remarkable novel about divine female power, a story that women will share and pass on to their daughters for years to come.

Rated 4.6 on amazon.com

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Book Bean: Bee’s Knees Tea
A Prohibition Era cocktail made with Gin, fresh lemon juice, andhoney. It is served shaken and chilled, often with a lemon twist. Replace Gin with Green tea (or just add) and you have a nice refreshing drink for a warm evening.

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The Alchemist
by Paulo Coelho

A fable about un-dauntingly following one’s dream, listening to one’s heart, and reading life’s omens features dialogue between a boy and an unnamed being. inspired a devoted following around the world. This story, dazzling in its simplicity and wisdom, is about an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago who travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of treasure buried in the Pyramids.Rated 4.9 on amazon.com

Atonement: A Novel
by Ian McEwan
atonementA symphonic novel of love and war, childhood and class, guilt and forgiveness provides all the satisfaction of a brilliant narrative and the provocation we have come to expect from this master of English prose. In each of his novels McEwan has brilliantly drawn his reader into the intimate lives and situations of his characters. But never before has he worked with so large a canvas: In Atonement he takes the reader from a manor house in England in 1935 to the retreat from Dunkirk in 1941; from the London’s World War II military hospitals to a reunion of the Tallis clan in 1999.
Rated 3.9 on amazon.com

Mosquitoland
by David Arnold

I am a collection of oddities, a circus of neurons and electrons: my heart is the ringmaster, my soul is the trapeze artist, and the world is my audience. It sounds strange because it is, and it is, because I am strange.
Told in an unforgettable, kaleidoscopic voice, Mosquitoland is a modern American odyssey, as hilarious as it is heartbreaking.

Rated 4.3 on amazon.com

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Love in the Time of Cholera
by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

In their youth, Florentino Ariza and Fermina Daza fall passionately in love. When Fermina eventually chooses to marry a wealthy, well-born doctor, Florentino is devastated, but he is a romantic. As he rises in his business career he whiles away the years in 622 affairs–yet he reserves his heart for Fermina.

Rated 4.0 on amazon.com

Book Bean: Iced Horchata Latte
ice-2571490_960_720.jpgHeat water, sugar, and cinnamon in a saucepan over medium heat. Simmer until sugar is dissolved, whisking occasionally, about 5 minutes. Allow mixture to cool for 10 minutes. Pour ice into a large pitcher and fill with ice, pour in 4-6 0z of brewed coffee or 2-4 espresso shots, add in rice milk. Stir sugar water into rice milk.

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To Kill a Mockingbird
by Harper Lee
A Pulitzer Prize-winning masterwork of honor and injustice in the deep South—and the heroism of one man in the face of blind and violent hatred
One of the best-loved stories of all time, it has been translated into more than forty languages, sold more than forty million copies worldwide, served as the basis for an enormously popular motion picture, and was voted one of the best novels of the twentieth century by librarians across the country
Rated 4.7 on amazon.com

What are your summer time classic recommendations?

 

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Top 5 Fiction Favorites

I love so many books that it is hard to narrow them to a list of just 5 favorites.
So, I decided I would choose based on the  following code:
Books I find myself reading again and again, great story telling, quality literature, and emotional connection.

So without further adieu, my top 5 fiction favorites (as I see it today.)

(Click  pictures or titles for more info.)
“The Gargoyle” Andrew Davidson
This book I hold in such high regard purely by my own taste, and based on how the book spoke to me individually. It is a beautiful and haunting story yet it holds an ethereal quality. I’m sure the skill of writing and story telling could be debatable among people. However, when it comes to top books and/or favorites it is what resonates with our soul that sets a book apart.
The Gargoyle Rated: 4.3 on amazon.com
Book Bean: I’d say this book is best read curled up with a velvety drink. e.g. A dark roast latte or cherry cocoa!


“The Chronicles of Narnia” C.S. Lewis
It is such an incredibly well written story. It is clever, amusing, and wonderfully ageless. This series leaves nothing to be desired. C.S. Lewis is brilliant. He makes you feel like you are reading the story of an old beloved friend. It is a witty and imaginative classic that I will love and share forever.
The Chronicles of Narnia Rated: 4.7 on amazon.com
Book Bean: Tea time for sure! These books scream window seat with a cup of chamomile.


“The Hobbit”
  J.R.R. Tolkien

This is also an extremely well written story. I don’t think Tolkien was quite as clever or ageless with it, but he has his own brilliance in creative story telling. The amount of depth and detail Tolkien pours into his characters and story is stunning. It is truly an epic tale that envelopes you and holds you tightly through the journey.
The Hobbit Rated: 4.7 on amazon.com
Book Bean: This handsome book pairs nicely with a citrusy blend, maybe an orange spiced mocha mmm….

Even if you did not like either of the last two books, no one could deny their quality and that’s saying something!

“Pride and Prejudice”
Jane Austin
It is written with such a timeless essence. It is elegant and fresh, and it has roots that will never go out of style. I don’t have many words for it because it is such a simplistic book, it’s story is not complicated or intricate, and it is wonderful.
Pride and Prejudice Rated: 4.6 on amazon.com
Book Bean: Tea again, this time green tea or a chai latte.

 

 

Last but not least and for a different spin is

love youforever2“Love You Forever” Robert N. Munsch.
This children’s book is beautiful and warm and leaves you floating. I don’t know what else to say about it specifically other than “read it and see.” When you finish this book you’ll squeeze it to your chest with glistening eyes.
Love You Forever Rated: 4.5 on amazon.com
Book Bean: This lovely gem goes well with a simple brewed house coffee.
So there they are, you can probably tell I like a good saga. I’ll have to do a top ten because it was really hard to not mention more!

Fun Facts: According to Vladimir Nabokov, Shakespeare’s The Tempest was science fiction.

Click here to check out highly rated works of Fiction

I would like to get this one myself 🙂