Media Review

Your Midsummer reading list

At The Sexy Politico, we spend a lot of our time writing things for you to read. We’ve decided to shake it up a bit and instead tell you what some of us have been reading lately (and thus think you should read too because of their general awesomeness).

So, without further ado, here is a list of books, novels, the backs of cereal boxes, blogs, and anything else readable that we think you should #besexy and check out for the lovely month of August!

Isaac Veysey-White, Staff Writer

The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancey

I’ve only started this book, but even eighty pages in I am hooked. The novel focuses on Cassiopeia (Cassie, as she prefers to be called), who is fighting to survive in a world dominated by the destruction brought on by an alien invasion. The first four waves have obliterated 97% of the population, including her father and mother, and she is left to survive in a world where for some unexplained reason, even other humans cannot be trusted. The motives of these aliens are still unclear, but it’s been suggested that they’re bent on human extermination so that they can inherit the Earth. Definitely would recommend it.

The Belgariad by David and Leigh Eddings

This is not a book but a book series written by David and Leigh Eddings, both of whom passed on a few summers ago. The novels focus on Garion, a young boy who realizes he has a much larger role to play in the fate of his world, for he comes to learn that he is Belgarion, the foretold Child of Light. The novels have a follow-up series, The Mallorean, and a number of follow-up books, including Belgarath the Sorcerer and Polgara the Sorceress. They have long been my favorite novels since childhood. They are adult fantasy, but they are quick, easy, and fun reads.

Jacqueline Yap, Publisher

Game Change by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin
This book was suggested to me by some friends at the bar, and it was so worth it. I haven’t finished it yet, but I love the writer’s style. It’s very first person, similar to the way I write my articles, and I feel as though I am there listening to the conversations. Game Change tells the story of the 2008 Presidential election from the point of view of the people there. This book includes direct quotes and anecdotes from people on the campaign trail. This is a great book to read now that it’s election season, and you may be curious about what is on the mind of all the crazy candidates.

Grace’s Guide: The Art of Pretending to be a Grown-Up by Grace Helbig
I am an avid watcher of YouTube. Living in China, it’s been difficult for me to keep up with TV, but I can keep up with YouTube thanks to my good friend, the VPN. So when Grace Helbig announced on her YouTube channel, It’s Grace, that she was releasing a book, I knew it would be great–and I wasn’t disappointed. Her book is the advice you wish your best friend/older sister would give you. It covers a wide range of topics and, while giving good advice, is also a hilarious read.

Ke$hav Prasad, Staff Writer

The Laws of Thought by George Boole is a foundational text on a mathematical approach to logic. Boole can be best remembered through the boolean unit, either a zero or one, which constitutes the entire discipline of computer science. Written in the mid-1800s, The Laws of Thought is by no means an unprecedented investigation of logic but is nevertheless unique in its exhaustive and systematic organization of a fundamental human faculty. Some parts of the book are dense or symbol-heavy. Still, with an elementary knowledge of algebra I and a positive attitude, a light skim through its contents offers a fascinating window into one of the most influential fields of thought in the modern computer age. Find it for free on Project Gutenberg!

Self Knowledgea translation and commentary by Swami Nikhilananda, is a series of philosophical treatises by ancient Indian Sanskrit scholar and theologian Sankaracharya. Nikhilananda’s opening commentary offers a lucid, concise, and easily accessible introduction to Orthodox Hinduism, as well as its many variations. Hinduism can be an intimidating religion to learn about because it encompasses an enormous body of written texts that have since inspired convoluted, often-contradictory interpretations by various social groups across Indian history. This is not an account of Hindu mythology or culture at large but rather a focused explanation of the religion’s core philosophical premise, practical and spiritual goals, and a brief account of how Hinduism has inflected Indian culture across time.

Saarah Ghazi, Staff Writer

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

I love to read. I have been reading books voraciously since I was about five years old and had to deal with the life-changing event of a sibling (and the consequent perpetual busyness of my usual source of entertainment, my mother). I read books, comics, novels, blogs, cereal boxes, articles, and, occasionally, the news. So when I say that The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is one of the best books I have ever read, I hope you will understand the importance of what I mean! The book is set in post-World War II London and the Island of Guernsey and is told entirely in correspondence (mainly letters and a few telegrams) between an author, Juliet, her friends, and the inhabitants of the Island of Guernsey who formed a society known as The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society in order to distract themselves from the Nazi occupation of their home. Although dealing with sensitive and heartbreaking parts of history, Shaffer and Barrows turn this novel into something sad, hilarious, insightful, thought-provoking, and delightful. It also delves deep into human life, its strength, and its perseverance even when unthinkable things happen. I hope you enjoy this novel as much as I did.

The Edge Chronicles: Beyond the Deepwoods by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell

I am going to be a teensy bit sneaky and tell you about one of my favorite childhood series, The Edge Chronicles, by talking about the first novel in the series. The Edge Chronicles consists of three sets of trilogies and a final novel to conclude all three trilogies. The first novel revolves around the humanoid character Twig, who lives in the Deepwoods. Twig, although humanoid, has been raised all his life by wood trolls, and the novel is the beginning of a journey to see where he came from originally. The series follows characters as they explore the alternate universe of the Edge, where floating rocks become academic cities, where wood trolls raise humans, where tiny goblins eat only pink honey, and where pirates rule the skies. These novels also have another unique quality in that they include fantastic illustrations by Riddell, which bring all the characters to life in ink and paper. These novels may appear to be for adolescents or children, but I think that they are even more enjoyable as I reread them as an adult.

SB Swae, Executive Editor

Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human, by British primatologist Richard Wrangham

Advances the idea that humans are “the cooking apes, the creatures of the flame.” While the title might seem like Dr. Wrangham waxes poetic throughout, it is, in fact, a clearly-written essay of science. He argues for the theory that Darwin missed: the cooking hypothesis. While cooking allows us to do all sorts of #soigne things to food, the heart of the matter is this: “cooking increases the amount of energy our bodies obtain from food.” Our species’ ability to wield flame is something that fundamentally sets us apart from all other organisms. What is most extraordinary about this rather intuitive claim is that it is a new one. A stimulating read that will leave you feeling hungry and satisfied at the same time.

Language Is a Complex Adaptive System: Position Paper (PDF) by the Five Graces Group

This work asks the question, “what makes us human?” The capacity to map forms to meanings is prolific in the animal kingdom. But humans have taken this simple “this means that” system and grown it into something enormously complex and chaotic. This landmark position paper, written in 2009 by some of the best and brightest linguists alive today, challenges the iron grip that Noam Chomsky’s theory of Universal Grammar has had on language science since the 1950s. Accessible even to those who do not have a linguistic or strong academic background, this position paper also makes intuitive, straightforward claims. But these are also novel ideas. The paper, written by a group of conference attendees “stuck” at the Inn of Five Graces, has launched a veritable revolution in the study of human language. It is an exciting time to be a young language scientist as Chomsky’s monolith begins to crack.

Zeycan Rochelle, Staff Writer

The Bible feeds me with life and inspiration daily. It teaches me to open my heart and to be patient and to love all like Christ has, to give without expecting, and not judge. It has taught me to reflect deeper within myself and to change the things inside that hinder my growth as a person. I enjoy the stories of hearing how others have been delivered, especially in the most impossible-seeming situations. I love hearing miracles and learning that truly where you are today isn’t where you have to be tomorrow. I love the wisdom Proverbs and Psalms give, and I love that it feels like a flower grows in my heart after meditating on the Word continuously. So much power lies in the Bible; it makes sense why it’s the most stolen book in the world.

Lately, I’ve also been reading about Twin Flames, the greater version of a Soul Mate. I’m fascinated by how deep and passionate a bond can be. I’m intrigued by love,–I find it to be the strongest there is, but to know there’s a bond stronger than the ordinary love that most experience blows my mind. It’s interesting to read about the experiences others have with the Twin Flame Union and how similar it is with synchronicities–it’s mind-blowing. It’s truly beautiful to know that another human being can make you feel something you cannot explain, but you two are one, and everything in the universe works together to show you just how meant to be it is.

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