This summer I had the luxury of being able to indulge myself in some personal reading. If you were anything like me before this summer, you could not find the time to look presentable in school (nor the motivation), let alone time to read for pleasure. I often have friends that ask for book recommendations and I figured I might as well make a list for you guys to check out!

For the romantic:
The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks

Nicholas Sparks is back with another love quenching story about two 
different couples whose lives intersect in remarkable ways. Although both 
couples have little in common and are separated by many years and experience,
we are reminded of how far people will go for love. This book came out in August but has
been on the New York Time's best seller list ever since.

For the romantic with a bit of a kick:
Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James
Yeah yeah yeah, I know. If you were anything like me, you figured this
was another book fad like the Twilight series and wanted nothing
to do with this series. But once I heard Charlie Hunnam was going to play
the role of Christian Grey in the upcoming movie, I couldn't resist! :) 
Ana Steele is a clumsy, innocent college graduate who meets rich and powerful
CEO, Christian Grey. She soon finds herself trying to get close to him despite having avoided
relationships for most of her life. Christian has a dark past full of secrets which
has made him avoid love and dating at all costs- that is until he meets Ana.
 Ana soon finds herself in Christian's erotic world and Christian is unable to resist
 innocent Ana. This book is a fast read and extremely intriguing, I finished
the trilogy in a week. The book is full of detailed sex scenes but I assure you, you'll be
hooked after the first one! ;)

For the sentimental with an adventurous side:
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
This book follows a 9 year-old who recently lost his father in the terrorist attacks
on 9/11. He finds a key in a vase that belonged to his father and sets out to find
out who it belongs to in New York City. He encounters multiple people who share their 
exhilarating, touching and sometimes hilarious life changing journeys. This book was made
into a movie with Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock but I have yet to watch it!

For the history buff:
The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
This novel depicts the story of a serial killer masquerading as a charming doctor
who used the 1893 World Fair in Chicago to charm young women into his lair for his 
amusement. Maybe it is because I was born in Chicago and have lived in the city, but
this is one of my all time favorite books. If you're into history and criminology, I highly
recommend this novel!

For the one intrigued by addict stories:
A Million Little Pieces by James Frey
I read this book as soon as Oprah gave her thumbs up and had the author on her show.
Originally sold as a memoir, this book turned out to be more fiction than fact, which is 
why I was hesitant to put it on this list. Either way, it tells an intriguing STORY about an alcoholic 
and crack addict on his 6 week path to recovery in a rehab center.

For the one majoring in business (or trying to kick ass in life):
Think and Grow Rich by Napolean Hill

This 1937 book consists of motivational and personal development and self-help
advice for those eager to get ahead in their career (or life). I am a biology major but
have used all of these life lessons to my advantage to be a leader and take
control of my life. I recommend this book to EVERYONE as it is one of the most sold self-help
books of all time. Forbes magazine constantly mentions this book and entrepreneurs from Donald 
Trump to Bill Gates often refer to its inspirational power to change lives. It is one of my
favorite books of all time. I promise you will feel determination you never knew
you had after reading this great book!

For those a little lost in life and in need of spiritual enlightenment:
The Power of Now by Eckhart Troll

I contribute a lot of my life changing moments to this book. Troll teaches you to take
control of your life by living in the present moment and forgetting about the past and
stop worrying about the future. This book tackles everything from the topic of time
to religion to relationships. Most of my spiritual enlightenment came from this book and
I realized that every new day was the best day of my life. Find the deepest and truest
part of your soul with the help of this truly enlightening book.

For the one intrigued by other cultures:
Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

This historical novel follows the life of a Japanese girl turned Geisha, before during and
after World War II. Written by Arthur Golden, the real story comes first hand from 
one of the most celebrated Geisha's, Nitta Sayuri. This book shows a culture obsessed
with physical appearances; auctioning a girl's virginity to the highest bidder and 
dismissing the idea of love was the culture norm. This heart wrenching recollection
of memories opens your eyes to a world that seems almost unreal, even though it
is actually across the globe (if you live in the US that is).

For the thrilling, mystery lover:
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Published in 2012, this book has been on the New York Best Seller List
for awhile. It tells the story of a couple who just moved from New York to a small
town of Missouri. Upon awaking, Nick finds that his wife is missing on their
five year anniversary. Amy has left a scavenger hunt for Nick to solve as a gift 
of her anniversary gift. Everyone thinks Nick killed his wife and he is eager to
solve Amy's scavenger hunt. This book is full of dark twists and secrets I never
saw coming! If you want a break from sappy love stories, this book is for you.

If you have any book suggestions let me know! Some of these books I read awhile ago or are relatively old but I have loved with every inch of my soul. This list is for those who kept asking me if I had any book recommendations! ;)

Happy reading

Irma xx


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