Take Five: Choose your must-have summer reads

Everyone enjoys a good book. Here’s a variety of this summer’s favorites:


For a new perspective:

My Vanishing Country A Memoir by Bakari Sellers. Unless you grew up in a rural, black, working-class town in the deep south, you need this book as a window into what has become a forgotten and neglected part of our country. Penned by a lawyer who became the youngest African American elected official in the country at age 22 and has served as an analyst for CNN, it’s an American success story wrapped in the struggles of the rural south. It’s no wonder that My Vanishing Country has become a New York Times Bestseller and a #1 New Release on Amazon.com.


For the kids:

The World Needs More Purple People by Kristen Bell & Benjamin Hart. Full disclosure, this writer has had a thing for Kristen Bell ever since binge-watching The Good Place and all of her Funny or Die videos. It seems she can do no wrong as evidenced by all of the rave reviews parents are giving her children’s book. At a time when media and politics are dividing us, this colorful and nicely-illustrated book brings a much-needed focus on the value of becoming an open-minded, inquisitive person who is kind to others. What a concept!


For the love of a good novel:

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett. According to all sources, if you want a sure-fire, page-turner piece of fiction, this is your book for the summer. The story centers on twin sisters from a small, southern black community who run away at age 16 and go on to live two completely different lives. Written by a New York Times-bestselling author, The Vanishing Half is described by Entertainment Weekly as “A story of absolute, universal timelessness …For any era, it’s an accomplished, affecting novel. For this moment, it’s piercing, subtly wending its way toward questions about who we are and who we want to be….”


For laughs:

It’s Garry Shandling’s Book by Judd Apatow. You know Apatow as a writer and producer of top comedies such as Bridesmaids, Girls, The 40 Year-Old Virgin and so on. But did you know that Garry Shandling is the man who gave him his big break as a joke writer? In fact, Gary went on to become Apatow’s mentor and close friend. To create this book, Apatow pulled from journal entries, photographs, and essays for a genuinely funny and sometimes painful look into Gary’s personal and professional life.


For your success:

Upstream: The Quest to Solve Problems Before They Happen by Dan Health. How often have you felt like your life is more about putting out fires and dealing with emergencies than fixing the root of your problems. More than 300 interviews were conducted for this Wall Street Journal Bestseller which highlights how changing our focus “upstream” prevents problems for people, businesses and societies.

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