5 Tips For Students During COVID-19

Need tips for students during COVID-19? Check out this month’s handy college and university survival guide to learn how to face the school year during a pandemic.

As 2020 has roared on, college students are now preparing to go back for the fall semester. It will no doubt be the most unique fall semester to take place on college campuses in a long time.

The ongoing global pandemic has changed all of our lives and forced everyone to adapt. Returning college and university students must do the same if they are to get the most out of their education.

College is often said to be the most fun part of a young person’s life. You don’t want to miss out on some of the best times of your life as a result of COVID-19. You also don’t want to miss out on some truly positive experiences because you were worried about COVID-19 either.

man in white and black crew neck t-shirt

If you take the proper precautions and adopt a beneficial mindset, however, you can still make this coming semester an enjoyable and productive time.

Below we take a look at 5 tips that will help you not only survive the semester but to make the absolute most of it you can.

Hand Sanitizer & Masks As School Supplies

The supplies you pack for class in the COVID-19 era are going to be a bit different from the supplies you packed previously. Hand sanitizer is now just as important to college students as their notepads and pens.

Bring it with you wherever you go and use it after touching surfaces or sharing items with other students.

blue and white boat on brown wooden dock

Wear a mask inside whenever you are unable to socially distance. For college students this coming semester, that means wearing your mask to class and keeping it on.

There will be those that find this inconvenient and even difficult to do.

But the more you wear a mask, the more natural it feels. And it is one of, if not the most important thing you can do to help stop the spread.

Remember, wearing a mask and using hand sanitizer isn’t just about protecting you. It’s about protecting those around you and slowing the spread of the virus.

Keep Informed

It has never been more important to stay up to date with what health experts are saying.

We are only about 5 months deep into this pandemic, and the information that we’re being told changes frequently. Therefore, keeping as up-to-date as possible is going to help keep you stay safe.

black and silver laptop computer tips for students during COVID-19

Remember that health experts have the knowledge that you do not. And this is the case no matter how much “Googling” you’ve been doing on the subject.

Knowledge your local health experts may have that you don’t include incidents of community transmission, where the virus has been spreading in your area, and what behaviors are considered risky or unnecessary in your location.

Always make sure the person you are listening to is a credentialed health expert and that other experts agree with what they are saying.

When in doubt, the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions has produced this handout to help determine reliable sources.

Find cheap, affordable books and more at TextBookNova.com

Avoid Parties and Large Gatherings

Part of the fun of college has always been the big parties, socializing and meeting of new people.

Unfortunately, this is going to be much harder, and less safe, in the COVID-19 era, where social distancing is still going to be just as important as ever.

Keep in mind that, in general, a person is too close to you if you would touch fingers if you both stretched out your arms. You are going to have to make new friends while always maintaining that distance around new people.

Try to stop the spread of false information tips for students during COVID-19

With Zoom, Snapchat, and all the different ways we have to communicate with each other nowadays, the new connections you form with people are going to have to be online, at least for now.

There will be a time in the future when we don’t have to socially distance anymore. But in the meantime, we must continue to do our part to prevent the spread of this potentially deadly virus.

Lead A Healthy and Active Lifestyle

The healthier you are, the less you have to worry personally about COVID-19.

If you feel as though you aren’t as healthy and active as you could be, now is a great time to change that.

While it will likely be years still before all the facts are known, it does appear obesity and vitamin D deficiency are linked to poorer outcomes with the virus.

Fortunately, both of these conditions are reversible. In fact, Vitamin D deficiency is linked with obesity, so solving one will likely help in solving the other.

man running near sea during daytime tips for students during COVID-19

Getting outside and enjoying nature will help with a Vitamin D deficiency, and being active while outdoors will help reduce obesity. An active and healthy lifestyle will help you feel better and put you at less risk of developing complications if you do catch the virus.

Relax and Enjoy

This is likely far easier said than done but the best thing you can do is try and relax and just enjoy the semester.

Life will always throw challenges your way and while they might not always be as extreme as a global pandemic, you will eventually need to learn to be happy while dealing with obstacles.

Students heading back to campus right now are likely feeling as though they have been robbed of some fun times.

flat lay photography of blue backpack beside book and silver MacBook

This is only true if you think of it that way, however. This is a difficult time for everyone but thinking about the pandemic in the right way can help.

Try thinking of this time as an opportunity for you to show the world your best self. Be as selfless as you can, help others who aren’t doing well, get yourself in great shape, and truly be the best version of yourself you can.

No large college party feels as good as high self-esteem does.

COVID-19 Student Survival Guide

By following the tips we’ve outlined above, there is no reason for you to find this semester stressful or scary. Do what you can, worry only about what is in your control, and adopt the best mindset you can to make the most out of a truly unique semester.

5 Best Self-Development Books To Read This Month

Need some help finding motivation, ambition, or a more positive outlook on life? Check out our list of the 5 best self-development books to add to your reading list this year.

I think it’s safe to say that we all get down on ourselves from time to time.

Whether it’s due to the weather getting colder; troubles in our family lives; or simply because things just don’t seem to be going right in any way shape or form, we could all use a boost of confidence and inspiration from time to time.

With that said, I’d thought it might be a great idea to create this month’s book round-up on the best self-help, motivational, or inspirational authors and books.

Dream Big text

While none of these books are going to do any of the work involved in your own self-improvement, their authors are world-famous for knowing how to inspire people, how to communicate properly, and simply how to live happier, more wholesome lives, with better relationships.

Dale Carnegie – How To Win Friends And Influence People

I’ve personally read this book multiple times, so I might be biased in saying it, but How To Win Friends And Influence People is an absolute must-read for anyone looking to improve their intrapersonal relations and learn to be a more effective speaker.

How to Win Friends and Influence People: Carnegie, Dale ...

This book has been around for well-on 100 years and today, it continues to inspire and improve the lives of millions of people around the world.

In the book, Carnegie discusses the many common communication flaws found in the way that most of us communicate with one another. He then addresses them by imposing powerful, yet extremely simple, principles that we can implement into our lives.

Paulo Coelho – The Alchemist

As an eccentric wanderer for most of his life, Paulo Coelho didn’t sit down to write his first book, The Alchemist until he was nearly 40 years old.

In fact, it took him years of not knowing what he was meant to do with his life to find the courage to author his novel. But eventually, a pilgrimage in Spain led him to the realization that he’d always wanted to write a book. And that’s exactly what he set out to do.

After its initially released, the book completely flopped.

But, determined to market and sell it himself, Coelho went door to door, trying to persuade people to read his story.

The Alchemist' Overview

Eventually, he stumbled upon a publisher who was really to take a chance on him, and today’s Paulo Coelho’s first book, The Alchemist is known as one of the most fundamental books there is about finding yourself and your true purpose in life.

Although it’s a completely fictional story, the book follows its main character, Santiago, as he leads his way through his own journey to find his Personal Legend.

The Power of Positive Thinking by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale

To date, the Power of Positive Thinking has helped countless people achieve happiness by fostering a positive mindset.

This bestseller by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale is filled with practical advice and techniques aimed at helping the reader lead a life of fulfillment. Since its publication in 1952, it has helped show a person needs only the right mindset to achieve both success and happiness.

The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent... - Depop

Throughout its pages, Peale expresses an unequivocal belief in the human spirit’s ability to overcome adversity.

The lessons in this book help one to control their “inner voice” that plays an important role in determining our moods and overall disposition. The more one is able to control their “inner voice” the more they are able to bring about the results they want and the life they desire.

You will learn how to be energized, how to follow-through on your ambitions, and most importantly, how to believe in yourself.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People caused a big stir upon its publication in 1989. It helped people see they are actually in far more control of their lives than it seems.

Even better, author Stephen R. Covey was able to show simple and effective techniques that anyone can use to put their lives back on the right track.

Covey’s lessons are based on timeless and universal principles that stay static even as the world around us changes.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People - Best self-development Books

The book presents seven habits and fundamental principles adhered to by the world’s most successful and entrepreneurial people. When put into practice, these habits help foster happiness and a more balanced life.

This book won’t automatically transport you to a life of wealth and success but it will teach lessons on communication and personal development that can take you there.

The lessons learned here must be practiced every day, however, or else success will not be achieved. Happiness, success, and well-being are all habits we must form after all and failure is the habit we must break.

Awaken the Giant Within by Tony Robbins

Tony Robbins is a master at helping people reach their peak performance.

His work has helped countless individuals learn the importance of self-mastery and taking control of their own lives. When Awaken the Giant Within was published in 1991, it was so successful that it launched its author to superstardom.

In fact, many consider Tony Robbins to be the most well-known and revered life coach on the planet. He has been sought out by celebrities, world leaders, and the world’s most successful people for his teachings.

Book notes: Awaken the Giant Within by Tony Robbins – Best self-development Books

The lessons in Awaken the Giant Within can help anyone learn to take pleasure from actions that will benefit them and pain from those that will not.

This conditioning then provides the foundation needed to go out and achieve the life you want by doing the things you need to in order to foster it.

They apply to finance, physical health, and emotional well-being. Your ideal life is there for you to have and this book provides the step-by-step techniques necessary to achieve it.

Best Self-Development Books To Read 2020

Whether you’ve simply been feeling a bit low lately, or you’ve felt stuck in a rut for some time, there’s no doubt in my mind that the words in these books can help set you straight.

The one thing all of these books have in common is that they’re specifically designed to help you improve your own personal well-being, which in turn, will help improve your interpersonal relations, as well as your overal outlook on life.

So what are you waiting for?

Pick up one of these awesome inspirational books from your local book store or check out www.textbooknova.com to browse cheap, affordable books today.

5 Best Story Writers From Throughout History

Have you ever wondered who the best story writers of all time truly are? Below, we’ll go over 5 of the most well-known, influential writers of all starting.

Since the dawn of time, men and women have been passing stories on to each other. At first, this was only done orally, passing stories from one generation to another while sitting around camp fires.

However, in 1440 along came the invention of the printing press. With it, authors were now able to create stories, have them printed, and then distributed with ease.

But there is a prevalence of news and social media in today’s modern culture. Therefore, people aren’t often as interested in a good story as they once were.

So with that in mind, I would be a good idea to review some of the best, most prolific story writers from all throughout history.

Below, we’ll dive into our top 5 best story writers of all time, starting with Aesop. Who was writing as far back as about 600 years before Jesus Christ.

framed eyeglasses on top open book best story writers

Aesop

There is, unfortunately, much uncertainty surrounding Aesop. But most believe he was a born in Greece sometime between 560 B.C. and 620 B.C.

However, even today, Aesop’s collection of stories and fables are known as true works of literary art.

Aesop is best known for fables his such as “The Tortoise and the Hare”, and “The Goose Who Laid the Golden Eggs”. These stories use powerful imaginary and ordinary animals placed in bizarre situations.

Which, in the end, always reveals an invaluable truth or moral lesson.

The Lion and The Statue - Fables of Aesop best story writers

Although Aesop’s fables are mainly targeted at children, they are no doubt an excellent addition to any book lover’s reading list.

Check out The Classic Treasury Of Aesop Fables

The Brother’s Grimm

Also known as Children’s And Household Tales, Grimm’s Fairy Tales was first published in December 1812.

Written by brothers Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm, Grimm’s Fairy Tales was originally a collection of about 86 short fairy tale stories.

However, by the time the 7th edition of the collection was published, Grimm’s Fairy Tales contained a total of 210 uniquely written fairy tales.

narrow pathway near tress best story writers

You’ve most certainly heard some of the Grimm brothers’ tales, such as Hansel And Gretel or Rapunzel. But with several hundred unique stories in the collection, there are sure to be many more stories, which will easily captivate your attention.

So, for the best look at the brothers Grimm’s stories, make sure to check out the full collection of stories in Grimm’s Fairy Tales.

Edgar Allan Poe

Known for his macabre short stories, Edgar Allan Poe is often noted as one of the most influential, evocative writers in American history.

He’s mainly known for his dark, twisted stories.

However, Poe was a truly prolific writer, critic, poet, and editor. And he has written dozens of well-known short stories in many different genres of literature.

red book on white textile

Poe has a unique writing style that’s somewhat elaborate and hard to read for younger readers.

However, his use of the English language combined with his own personal flair is what truly make reading his short stories worth all the work.

For one of the best looks into Poe’s diverse writing styles and genres, make sure to check out the complete collection of Poe stories and poems.

Find author cheap and affordable text books and novels at Text Book Nova.

James Joyce

As of the more modern short story author on today’s list, James Joyce’s works were published at the onset of the 20th century.

However, his collection of short stories, known as Dubliners is the masterpiece that really skyrocketed his career into stardom.

First published over a hundred years ago in 1914, Dubliners is a collection of short stories. Each story is aimed at depicting the life of Middle class Irish citizens living in Dublin at the beginning of the century.

Most of the stories in the collection focus on their main characters having a epiphany. Joyce described this as a life-changing realization or illumination about one’s self.

The first few stories are narrated by younger protagonists. But as the stories continue, they progressively deal with the lives of gradually older characters.

First editions of James Joyce's 'Dubliners' now classed as antiques

Among his other masterpieces, Joyce is also known for the epic novel titled Ulysses. What’s unique about Ulysses is that it mirrors the happenings and story line of Homer’s The Odyssey.

Stephen King

Who doesn’t love a good horror story?

Back in 1973, Stephen King sold his first novel, Carrie. This first book became so successful King has become one of the most famous and prolific of the 20th century.

In fact, Carrie, as well as dozens of other King stories, such as Pet Semetary, It, have been made into Hollywood films. Which have achieved the same level of success, if not more, than the novels.

More recently, however, King has recently a new collections of stories, titled If It Bleeds. Which is a must-have collection for any true Stephen King or horror fans.

Stephen King's New Book If It Bleeds to Debut a Week Early | Tor.com

If It Bleeds is a collection of 4 short stories, which are all guaranteed to have your heart beating out of your chest by the time you’re done reading them.

5 Best Story Writers From Throughout History

Some of the story collections we’ve discussed today are fairy tales or fables mainly targeted at children. However, their authors are no doubt extremely influential writers, whose masterpieces have endured through of years.

That’s why, if you’ve truly a book lover, word nerd, reader, writer, short story enthusiast, or poet, you’ve come to right place. And absolutely must add these 5 authors and collections to your reading list this summer.

Bart’s Books in Ojai

By Sophia Rasura

Editor’s Note: This article is the winning submission to the Textbook Nova 2020 Scholarship.

My favorite place to find new books is one of the most fascinating places filled with light and wonder that has always inspired discovery. When I am not in New York studying psychology, I am at home in Ojai, California with my younger sister, parents, two goldens, and a picket fence. Nestled between two side streets off the main avenue in our town of under 10,000 people is Bart’s Books, what I think of as my heart in this valley. Founded in 1964, it is almost entirely outdoors with books lining the inside by author last name and genre: my favorite being an undivided section nestled into the vines and wall of the history of hypnosis. It feels like yesterday that I was seventeen and there on a 70 degree day, reading Lost Horizon by James Hilton and its allusions to Ojai. The staff there consists of a twenty-year old hippie girl who reads in the back room and two Danish brothers in their mid-40s who seem to have the whole store memorized and take me on adventures & scavenger hunts for just-in first copies from Isabel Allende or Borges. When a book I’m looking for isn’t there, those two scour the whole world-wide internet to find a copy and give it to me, severely discounted, because I’ve been a bookworm in those forrest green walls since middle school. 

Bart’s has this open courtyard area amidst the masses of fiction authors categorized by last name letter with these black iron chairs and tables that somehow repel heat in a way that just seems ominous. I could sit there for hours reading books and roaming around the shaded areas and sections. My favorite memory is going in their small art book room, where they sort the art books chronologically by movement. The dusty smell of an old library archival section fills the tiny room and I become immersed in the moment. With a soft pencil stroke, I imagine the Dutch brothers & hippie woman receiving book donations and trades and writing the little number at the top of the inside page with a little line, over and over again in a kind of meditative way. The saggy plant next to the door in somehow has survived since I was a freshman in high school; I personally created a whole narrative that it had a depressive episode because it was so close to the gallery of art books but could never go inside. My first love, my best friend who emanated an artistic aura, bought me my first colossal book: aptly named Love. It was simply a collection of black and white photos of intimacy & touch. I read The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls in a small school desk from the 60s in a patch of shade during my eighth grade summer, one I remember incredibly clearly because of my obsession with memoirs at the time. I kept a Five Star brand red college-ruled, spiral-bound notebook of every single day that summer, every little event that I thought would change my life (from a CPR training at junior lifeguard camp or an inspiring takeaway and insight on symbolism) with a mechanical pencil. When I interviewed for an advanced English course over the summer before the beginning of high school, I still think about how much I felt like a snow cone on that 100-degree day, as my fears melted so quickly, meeting with my future teacher at Bart’s Books by the Ojai pottery and discussing Jeanette’s life and my perspective on sexual assault and her development. I recollect that memory now and it makes me so grateful to have that space where so much learning has been fostered over the years. 

During this quarantine and heavy isolation from social interaction, Bart’s Books as a space is closed to the public and there is no sitting inside, trading in books for new ones, fascinating chats where I discover books and authors I have never heard of. The Instagram stories are always blossoming with hope: the bookshelves that line the walls outside Bart’s are utilized with the honor system and everyone is being truthful and paying in quarters, local artists are selling totes and donating the money to Bart’s, the hippie woman will post stacks of books (from sex and love guides to Kant’s works) and offer drop-off or contactless pick up. Although the physical entity of the space is temporarily gone, the ideology of Bart’s and its values live on and continue to influence my life and literacy, which is, to say this completely lax, so cool!!! In a time where my own education feels detached and all work needs a giant push of motivation from deep in my brain, my love of reading for fun remains constant due to the enthusiasm and joy I feel at Bart’s and with the people who make it special to me. The excitement I felt when I drive up next to that red door and see one of my favorite book-recommenders walking up to my passenger seat with the just-arrived copy of Aphrodite by Isabel Allende felt similar to the feeling of just sipping a lavender lemonade on a summer afternoon reading it inside. As we do the ceremonial glove-to-glove, mask-wearing hand-off of the books, I get a boost of eagerness: I can’t wait to sit down and immerse myself into this! I capitalize off that feeling and apply it to my education: “I can’t wait to read Professor Johnston’s choice of paper on memory transformation & the senses!” 

Learning at Sarah Lawrence gives me many of the same emotions as I get when I am sitting at Bart’s Books. The unique pedagogy of the school requires seminars of less than 16 students, meeting with professors once bi-weekly to work on an individual project adjacent to the class (usually around 20 pages on your topic of choice) for two credits. As an avid reader and literature-lover, the opportunity to take a tiny class in a topic like Neuroscientific Perspectives on Mindfulness or Language and Capitalism (both real, both courses I have taken) gives me the uncommon potential that most students dream of: to read a whole bunch of articles, books, and information on a specific topic you love inside a larger topic you love. To illustrate this, I did my conference project on trauma held in the body during my fall mindfulness psychology course. I read a book by James van der Kolk, The Body Keeps the Score, that was both incredibly interesting to me in a literature-for-fun context, but a reading that I could analyze and receive credit for. There is a sparkle in my eye of pure possibility that Sarah Lawrence nurtures. I am able to pursue my passions and have conversations with the experts, my professors, which in turn recommend more and more books to read. Before Sarah Lawrence, I found out that what makes me feel most like myself is discussing literature with others and gaining insight about the world through reading. Without the encouragement of the booksellers at Bart’s, the personalized recommendations by professors and friends, I would not appreciate the world the way I am accustomed to now. 

In my biased eyes, books are the best present. After a brunch with my faculty advisor Elizabeth Johnston and our advisory group, we sat in her mid-century modern living room amidst her gigantic selection of books of all genres. I felt the same warmth radiating from the walls, the same curiosity that I feel at Bart’s. Interested to learn more, my first question was: “Do you see a person and know a book to recommend to them?” Her answer? “Yes, sometimes I get to know someone, even a little bit, and know a great book for them!” One aspiration I have for completing my college degree is to be able to reach this same level of knowledge of books and their benefits and affect on the reader. My most recent experience with this occured right before I left New York, sitting in the Artichoke Pizza restaurant in Chelsea with my friend Erica. We both are dedicated bookworms, carrying around books in our bags at all times like Rory from Gilmore Girls. As we wait for our margherita pizza to arrive and discuss maintaining healthy relationships and fundamentals of caring in light of COVID-19, she reads a passage of Bell Hooks’ All About Love to me. Hooks outlines what constitutes love and what separates it from dependency and caring, a concept I have always understood but never verbalized. When I am at Bart’s Books, my heart fills with that same intimacy from receiving a book hand-selected from a loved one with me in mind. By receiving this scholarship, I will have the resources to continue to learn through literature and grow this passion.

Visuals!

3 Tips On Preparing For College Or University

Preparing for college or university this fall? With the start of the school year just around the corner, it’s important to make the most of your remaining time off. And start getting your life in order for first semester.

There’s no doubting the fact that summer break does a lot of good for students, physically, mentally, and spiritually.

But that doesn’t mean that all school responsibilities should be thrown to the wind. You should never wait until the day before your first class to start getting your life ready school.

Therefore, I thought it would be a good idea to focus today’s blog post on preparing for the upcoming school year.

Whether you’re a freshman, sophomore, or senior, you can easily benefit from getting things in order in advance. Then, when your first day of class rolls around, you’ll already be prepared to seize the day to its fullest potential!

Gather Your School Supplies Early

Before you actually begin attending your classes, you probably won’t actually know everything you’ll need for first the course. However, gathering a few essential supplies before school starts is a great step towards making sure you’re ready for your first day

Think about it!

You’re in school.

So things like notepads, pens, pencils, binders, graph paper are things that you can almost never have too much of. And you’re almost guaranteed to need them on your first few days of school.

assorted pen and colored papers in organizer case

Therefore, it’s a good idea to sit down a few week before school starts and write a list of all the basic school supplies you think you might need.

Depending on the type of courses you’re taking, you might also need a few extra tools too. So, especially if you’re studying math or science, don’t forget to add tools calculators geometry sets to your list.

Do A Bit Of Research

Obvious, you shouldn’t spend your summer hitting the books and studying every day. In fact, your summer break should be used for giving yourself a bit of time to relax and temporarily forget about your course load.

However, with the school year just around the corner, it’s never a bad idea to do a bit of research. Read up on some of the topics that you’ll soon be learning about in school.

For instance, maybe you’re taking a course is English literature.

In this case, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to brush up on a few classic authors from throughout history. Maybe read a couple plays by Shakespeare or anything else you’re sure to touch on in class.

person reading book sitting with cross legs preparing for college

Taking a course in physics?

Why not pick up a copy of Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History Of Time, which gives a broad overview of universal physics, written in an easy-to-understand tone.

Of course, you don’t have to bored yourself and spend your entire summer break studying for your course. After all, that’s what your classes are far.

But the point is that if you know you’re going to be learning about something in class. It’s not a bad idea to spend a bit of time learning about it in advance.

Then, when you do touch on these subjects in your classes, you’ll already be pre-acquainted with the topic matter. And more than ready to challenge any quizzes or tests that might get thrown your way.

Review Old Notes And Coursework

Especially if you’re a sophomore or senior, it’s always a good idea to review your old school notes from the previous year or any text books that you might still have.

It’s truly astounding how many things we forget over the course of a single year.

So if you’re hoping to maintain good grades throughout the year, and obtain a solid understanding of whatever it is you’re studying, it’s crucial to regularly review the things you’ve learned in the past.

person flipping book preparing for college

Even if you’re only leaving high school, and heading into college as a freshman, it’s still a good idea to review some of your previous year’s coursework and reading material.

Again, just to help you brush up on some of your knowledge.

In the end, the more you know and understand about your studies, the more likely you’ll be to succeed and maintain a good GPA.

Make The Most Of Your Time

As I mentioned, I’m not suggesting that you spend your entire summer break studying and getting ready for next semester. But the fact is that being prepared can go a long way in helping you have an enjoyable, successful year of school.

So, make sure to enjoy your summer, but don’t waste it or let it slip you by.

Remember, it’s always important to make the most of your time.

So have fun with your time away from school.

But don’t forget to plan ahead, pick up a few essential school supplies in advance, brush up on your studying and review your old notes, and you’ll be well on your way to started your first semester of the year on the right foot.

Top 6 Best Books To Read This Summer 2020

Are you wondering what books you should add to your reading list for this summer? Make sure to check out these Best Books To Read This Summer 2020.

books on brown wooden shelf

As a student, summer break can be a ton of fun.

But for some students, the summer can be long, and it can be hard to find ways to stay productive.

So with that in mind, I’ve put together the following blog post on the best books to add to your reading list this summer 2020.

Not only are these books from some of the best, up-and-coming authors of the year. But by reading them, you’ll be able to use your summer vacation in a way that’s meaningful and productive.

Florida Man By Tom Cooper

Tom Cooper, the author of The Marauders is back at it again with his new, dark thriller, Florida Man.

Florida Man: A Novel: Cooper, Tom: 9780593133316: Amazon.com: Books

Set in the 1980s, Florida Man follows an aging beachgoer. As he untangles a mind-boggling plot that involves underwater artifacts, deadly assassins, and even a couple of sea monsters.

If you’re into darker-themed thriller novels, then Florida Man is definitely worth checking out this summer.

All Adults Here By Emma Straub

As the follow-up to her bestselling novel, Modern Lovers, All Adults Here is about the problems that we all face in life. And the ways that we can go about becoming the people we’ve always been meant to be.

All Adults Here review: Emma Straub's new novel is breezy fun - Vox

The novel follows 68-year old, Astrid Strick, and her three adult children through their issues. It’s about all the problems they face that prevent them from becoming the people they’re meant to be.

According to Emma Straub’s All Adults Here, the solutions aren’t always as farfetched as you might think.

How Much Of These Hills Is Gold By C Pam Zhang

According to critics, this novel is one of the absolute best literary debuts of 2020.

The author, C Pam Zhang, spins a tale of immigration so vivid, raw, and bold, that it’s guaranteed to stay with readers for years to come.

The story follows two newly orphaned children, Lucy and Sam, as their father slowly dies.

How Much of These Hills Is Gold by C Pam Zhang best books to read this summer 2020

With their mother absent from their lives, Lucy and Sam desperately seek to bury their father. But in order to do so, they must cross through a foreign land where they end up encountering all sorts of terror.

As they make their journey, both children are put under intense mental and physical strain. They also wind up encountering a sense of racism they’d never experienced before.

For anyone who’s ever felt out of place in the world, How Much Of These Hills Is Gold is a must-read for summer 2020.

Deacon King Kong By James McBride

Known for his National Book Award-winning novel, The Good Lord Bird, James McBride is back at it again. And with his new work, Deacon King Kong, he certainly does not disappoint.

Set in 1969, the book starts out with a shooting committed by a miserable preacher in South Brooklyn. It then follows somewhat of a free-wheeling, bittersweet, yet comical story of the City of New York lost in its own turmoil.

Review: 'Deacon King Kong,' By James McBride : NPR best books to read this summer 2020

Coming at a time when most people around the world are unsure if it’s safe to venture outside, Deacon King Kong is like a wry, witty, and poignant look at New York during an eerily similar era.

Full of moral clarity and plenty of sharp humor, this novel is another must-read for summer 2020.

If It Bleeds By Stephen King

Whether you’re a Stephen King fan or not, If It Bleeds is definitely one of the best books to have on your reading list this summer.

Composed of 4 short novellas, each with its own characters, settings, and moods, If It Bleeds is yet another awe-inspiring work from the world-famous author, Stephen King.

If It Bleeds by Stephen King best books to read this summer 2020

And as per usual, King made sure to weave a connective trail of breadcrumbs throughout his stories. This includes the character of Holly Gibney, the paranormal investigator from the HBO series, The Outsider.

So if you’re up for a few good horror shorts, make sure to add If It Bleeds to your list.

Pizza Girl By Jean Kyoung Frazier

As Jean Kyoung Frazier’s literary debut, Pizza Girl has been described as a subversive and darkly funny look into suburban Los Angeles. A place where well-kempt front yards and white picket fences disguise new and radical forms of love.

Pizza Girl follows an eighteen-year-old delivery girl, who’s pregnant and grieving the loss of her father. As the story unfolds, the novel’s protagonist becomes obsessed with one of her customers. This catch is that the customer is a middle-aged mother who routinely orders a pickle pizza for her precocious son.

Pizza Girl by Jean Kyoung Frazier best books to read this summer 2020

For a semi-dark story about love in strange places, make sure to check out Pizza Girl this summer. At the very least, you might end up with a craving to try a pickle-topped pizza.

Top Books To Read Summer 2020

If summertime boredom is getting you down, why not check out some of the books we’ve talked about today to fill your time in a fun, and productive way.

From tales of personal growth and overcoming one’s challenges to dark thrillers and the Wild West, these 6 awesome novels are sure to keep you entertained in a productive way during the hotter months of the year.

How To Have A Productive Summer As A College Student

Getting ready for summer break? Wondering how to have a productive summer? Check out this month’s featured blog posts on some of the best, most productive summer tips for students.

After a full year of classes, assignments, essays, study groups, and exams, it’s finally time for your much-needed summer vacation.

But what’s the most productive way to spend your summer? Working? Traveling? Relaxing?

Whatever your plans are, summer vacation is the ideal opportunity for students to break away from academia. And to start exploring some of the activities that they wouldn’t normally have the time for during the school year.

So with that in mind, I’ve put together the following post on the 6 most productive ways to spend your summer 2020 away from school.

hammock hanged on tree

Learn A New Skill

One major part of studying in college or university is learning new skills that you’ll be able to use in your future career. So why not try to get ahead of the game by learning a new skill or two over the course of your summer vacation!

Maybe you’re studying computer programming or computer sciences. In which case, learning new skills like coding or website design would be an excellent idea.

This is because they’re relevant to what you’re studying, even though the may not be directly related.

Either way, the point is to look for new skills that are either interesting to you, or that are relevant to your field. And then, you can get a head start on your classmates by learning an extra skill or two.

Get An Internship Or Job In Your Field

There’s literally no better way to apply the knowledge you’ve learned over the course of the school year than by getting an internship or a part-time job for the summer.

Even if it’s only an unpaid internship, working in a relevant field is an excellent way to learn more about how businesses in your industry work, as well as gaining a bit of much-needed experience to add to your resume.

man in gray sweatshirt sitting on chair in front of iMac How To Have A Productive Summer

Plus, at the same time, you’ll also be building invaluable connections with local businesses and individuals, all while determining whether or not a career in your field is going to be right for you.

Start A New Hobby

Summer vacation is an amazing opportunity for exploring your interests and pursuing your own personal creativity.

Obviously, your schedule is no longer being tied down by classes or study time. Therefore, you’ll have plenty of extra time to take lessons and learn a new hobby, or simply indulge in a hobby that you rarely have time for during the school year.

Take a painting class, learn how to draw, pick up an instrument; the possibilities are virtually endless.

But the point is to use your summer vacation productively.

So instead of staring at social media all summer long, take the time to learn something new!

pile of assorted-title books How To Have A Productive Summer

Read Books

If you’re in school, then I’m sure you’ve already done plenty of reading these past semesters.

But still, your summer vacation is the perfect time to pick up and read books that aren’t related to your schooling.

For instance, let’s say you’re studying physics, but have a secret love of reading classical fiction novels. In this case, summer is the perfect time to put away your boring physics textbooks and pick up something by Dickens or Thoreau to help you make the most of the warmer days of the year.

Volunteer

There’s practically no better way to use your time than by making a positive impact on your community.

So why not try volunteering with a local charity to help you apply your newfound skills in a meaningful, hands-on way?

Especially when it comes to research programs, there are bound to be many volunteer positions available in your community.

How To Have A Productive Summer person standing wearing red shirt

And volunteering doesn’t always have to be boring.

In fact, there are almost always organizations that need help with festivals and events, which can give your volunteer experience a whole new, exciting edge.

Explore Your City

This one is especially important for students who are studying abroad or that aren’t living in their hometowns; get out there and explore the city that you live in!

Try to imagine yourself as a tourist on vacation in your town. Think about the main attractions that you’d want to see or the history that you’d like to learn about.

You might even consider joining a local walking tour to help you learn more about your city.

In turn, you’ll be able to gain a new perspective on your local culture that you may have underappreciated before.

Woman on an inflatable float in the ocean pointing with a finger at Posidi How To Have A Productive Summer

Making The Most Of Your Summer Vacation 2020

Of course, the activities I’ve mentioned above only represent a few different ways that you can use to make the most of your summer vacation. In fact, there are literally hundreds of things you can start doing for a fun, productive summer.

The point is that it’s important to do something productive, rather than sitting inside all summer, starting at your phone or being on social media.

So get out there, join a volunteer program, take a course, or pick up that book you’ve been wanting to read!

Just make sure that you’re not wasting your time.

In the end, summer vacation goes by fast.

Therefore, it’s important to make the most out of every single day, and use your time in any productive way you can think of.

Top 5 Upcoming Authors To Check Out This Month

Looking for something new to sate your literary taste buds this month? Then, make sure to check the following list of our top 5 upcoming authors for 2020

Shakespeare, Poe, Dickens… These are all names of famous authors that virtually anybody who likes to read knows about. That’s because when you pick up anything written by them, you can be sure that you’re reading a masterpiece that’s been read by thousands of people before you.

But what about today’s modern authors? The ones who are single-handedly shaping the future of the literary world?

An Introduction to Tennessee Literature in 7 Writers

These works might not be world-renown or deemed as literary masterpieces. But that doesn’t mean they won’t be in 50 or 100 years from now. In fact, many authors don’t gain worldwide notoriety until well-after their deaths (unfortunately).

So with that in mind, I’ve put together the following list of the top 5 best up-and-coming authors to check out in 2020.

Paul Mendez – Author of Rainbow Milk

As the number one up-and-coming author on our list, Paul Mendez’s debut novel, Rainbow Milk, is about the true hardships of life, the ups and downs of it, and all other aspects of growth and self-discovery.

Although fictional, Mendez’s novel is based on his real-life experiences.

ARC Book Review: Rainbow Milk by Paul Mendez – jthbooks

According to him, “There were times when to write something directly autobiographical would have simply been to bleed my heart out on to the page. There are things that happened to me in it, but the details are far different.”

Just like the story’s protagonist, Mendez grew up in Black Country, an area of the West Midlands in England.

After being raised as a Jehovah’s Witness, and then being “disfellowshipped” at a young age, Mendez, as well as the story’s hero become sex workers. This leads them through the trials and tribulations of growing up.

Rainbow Milk is being published by Dialogue Books. Currently, Mendez lives in Hampstead, England, and is studying towards his MA in black British writing.

Deepa Anappara – Author of Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line 

Born and raised in India, Anappara has worked for more than 12 years as a journalist, reporting on the impacts of poverty and religious violence against children’s education in the country.

In 2008, she moved to the U.K. where she began studying creative writing at the University of East Anglia. And it was right about then that she started working on her debut novel, Djinn Patrol On the Purple Line.

Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line: A Novel: Anappara, Deepa ...

Since then, the book has become a literary sensation and has been sold in 20 international territories. It’s even received praise and recognition from some of the world’s most notable literary figures, such as Ian McEwan and Anne Enright.

The story focuses on the life of a young boy who wants to be a detective. In the book, the young protagonist tries to figure out why children keep disappearing from his neighborhood.

It explores coming-of-age, the impact of horrific tragedies on small communities around the world, and the intimate bonds that help people survive through the most difficult times.

Abi Daré – Author of The Girl With The Louding Voice

Born in Lagos, Nigeria, Daré originally planned on studying french at the local university. But when that never worked out, she turned to blogging as a creative outlet. Eventually, her blog became so popular that she realized she has a knack for fictional writing.

Daré’s debut novel, The Girl With The Louding Voice started out as a thesis for the Master’s Degree but has since ended up winning the Bath novel award for new and emerging authors.

Inside the Book: Abi Daré (THE GIRL WITH THE LOUDING VOICE) - YouTube

The book follows the life of 14-year old Adunni, a young girl who yearns for her education. But instead, Adunni is sold into a brutal marriage, which she goes on to escape, only to become a domestic servant, haunted by her predecessor’s disappearance.

Today, The Girl With The Louding Voice has been chosen for BBC Radio 2’s Book Club, and Daré hopes that it will shine a light on the real-life exploitation of young women in Africa.

Elaine Feeney – Author of As You Were

Elaine Feeney is an Irish poet, who has recently written her debut novel, As You Were.

The story occurs over the course of a single week in a chaotic hospital ward setting. Although the story is rich in tragedy, Feeney also imbued it with plenty of comedy as well.

The inspiration for the story came from Feeney’s real-life experience in hospitals. This was after experiencing complications during the birth of her second son.

Elaine Feeney and Lisa McInerney - Cúirt International Festival of ...

To date, Feeney has published three collections of poetry and has written many novels that never saw the light of day. According to Feeny, “There was anxiety around writing a novel that I didn’t feel around writing poetry, weirdly.”

But irregardless of her trepidation, As You Were is definitely worth checking out!

Beth Morrey – Author of Saving Missy 

Morrey studied English at Cambridge. Then, she left her education behind to become a comedy writer. But instead, she found a career in factual television, working for a production company.

However, during maternity leave, Morrey decided that she wanted to embrace her life-long dream to write a novel. And the result was Saving Missy.

but books are better: Book Review: SAVING MISSY by Beth Morrey

According to Morrey, “I wanted to write a book about hope that would make people cry in a happy way.”

It’s a book about loneliness, community, unexpected friendships, and to date, her debut novel has sold in 16 international territories

Why Read Upcoming Authors

Everybody loves a classic novel simply because you know they’ve been read by hundreds of thousands of people before you. And simply because it’s a classic, you can be sure that you’re reading something well worth the time and effort.

But at the same time, it’s always important to push your own personal boundaries and limitation. So try new things and learn about what else the literary world has to offer.

So by checking out these 5 up-and-coming authors of 2020, you can be sure to gain a new perspective on modern life.

After Graduation: What To Expect

Graduating from college or university this year? Not sure what to expect after you’ve received your degree? Learn more about what to realistically expect after graduation.

So you’ve made it through college or university. Congratulations, that’s huge!

This is a major stepping stone in your life and you should be proud of what you’ve just accomplished. After all, completing your post-secondary education takes a whole lot of time and determination to see it through to the end.

But as graduation approaches and you anticipate leaving the college life behind, you may find yourself having mixed feelings about this whole experience.

You’re stepping out into the world of the unknown. And there are many uncertainties that you’ll face in the upcoming years.

With that said, in the following blog post, we’ll go over what to realistically expect when you get out into the proverbial “real world”. 

woman wearing academic cap and dress selective focus photography

Finding A Post-Secondary Job

Number one on the list, right?

Many students rely on financial assistance to get through college or university. But now, unfortunately, it’s time to start paying all of that back.

So don’t be surprised if you find yourself working the same entry-level job that had back in high-school, and that’s okay.

A college degree will absolutely open doors for you, but it takes time and experience in the industry before your resume will be taken seriously.

Don’t forget that everyone has to start somewhere. And in your case, this is your somewhere.

So for right now, it’s a good idea to get yourself a job; any job, big or small, that will provide you with an income to start paying off your student loans and getting yourself set up for the future.

two women sitting beside table and talking - after graduation

The truth is that it’s unlikely you’re going to nail your dream job right after graduation.

So, having any type of job at this point is simply going to help keep you afloat, while you actively pursue your ultimate employment status. 

Read job interview tips here.

Getting Your Foot In The Door 

While you have your “cushion job” to fall back on and to help get you through, now is the time to get your name out there and start networking.

So start applying to any jobs that you feel are relevant to the knowledge you’ve just gained from your schooling.

But the harsh reality is that you are going to get rejected over and over again, and may find yourself feeling lost, possibly thinking that you’ve made the wrong choice in a career.

You might even consider giving up on this career altogether. There may be times when you’ll hit a point and feel that this is impossible.

But, hang in there. These things just take time. 

The important thing is to land yourself a job that will give you a step up in the direction you’re trying to go.

two people shaking hands - after graduation

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So stick with your field, but don’t amp your expectations up too high. This is where you might end up doing some grunt work. And you may feel like you’re underpaid or overworked.

But the value in the underpaid and overworked job is the experience you’ll gain to help you get the job you ultimately want.

You’re going to want to do the grunt work with a smile because the person you’re working for is going to make a great reference one day.

This job is going to be where you prove yourself. And I assure you that hard work does pay off.

Others will eventually start to take notice and remember your name. You may even start getting some job offers bigger that pay better.

You will find that sometimes, it may not be as much about what you know, but who you know. So it’s important to start by getting your name out there and showing them what you’re capable of. 

man writing on paper - after graduation

Don’t Compare Yourself To Others 

Please go easy on yourself when it comes to comparing yourself to your peers. If they are ahead of the game, working their fancy dream jobs, don’t be fooled. It’s likely they already knew someone who put them there. 

There’s something to be said about the ones who put in the hard work, the ones who won’t take any opportunity for granted.

That hard work and determination that got you through this far will pay off, in time. You’re going to learn hard lessons, you’re going to make mistakes, and you’re going to develop a thick skin because of it.

These are all valuable assets to potential employers. These skills are what’s going to take you to the next level. 

low light photography of woman in gray knit sweatshirt writing on desk

If there’s one thing we want you to take away from this, it’s to not give up on yourself.

You’ve come this far, You’ve invested the time and money in yourself. And you’re going to get there in the right amount of time that it takes.

It may take 3 years, maybe 5, maybe 10. But you’ll get there. 

In the meantime, absorb as much as you can from anyone who’s willing to give you insight and knowledge, and run with it.

Things might be uncertain right now, but stick to your master plan, use your stepping stones, and you’ll get where you want to go.

The Best Cooking Tips For Students

Are you unsure of what to cook for dinner? Tired of making the same meals week after week? Looking for the best cooking tips for students? We’ll review a few simple, yet crucial, tips for cooking as a student. 

Leaving the roost and learning to cook for yourself can be a challenge for pretty much anyone. After all, you’ve likely spent most of your life living at home. And if you were as lucky as I was, you had your awesome mother there to prepare your meals for you most of the time.

But now, you’re in college, possibly living on your own, and it’s time to learn how to cook for yourself. And yes, I know that learning how to cook can seem daunting.

avocado, tomatoes, eggs, mushrooms, spring onions, and leaves

But I assure you that once you’ve learned a few basic recipes and have taken the time to get a bit more comfortable in the kitchen, you’ll quickly start to see how enjoyable (and tasty) home-cooked meals can truly be.

So with that said, in today’s blog post, we’re going to be taking a look at some of the most important tips for cooking as a student.

 

Stock Up On Basic Supplies

It’s obvious to say, but when you’re in a pinch and aren’t quite sure what to cook, cooking can be a headache. But on the other hand, when you have a cupboard or pantry filled with basic cooking supplies, throwing together a quick meal becomes about as easy as can be.

That’s why it’s crucial to stock up on a range of basic cooking supplies. For this, think of shelf-stable foods like dried beans, lentils, rice, or quinoa. Basically, just try to stock up on anything that’s going to last a long time and that can be used in a bunch of different ways.

assorted food in socks

However, going out and buying a whole bunch of cupboard supplies might cost you a bit more upfront. But the fact that you can easily buy these items in bulk, and they’re not going to go bad means that you’ll be saving money in the long run. Plus, you’ll always have something on-hand to cook.

 

Variety Is The Spice Of Life

It’s truly amazing how only a few different herbs and spices can truly liven up your meals. And when it comes to spices, there’s virtually no limit to how creative you can be.

That’s why it’s important to always have a good variety of spices on hand, not just salt and pepper. Some of my personal favorites are garlic powder, cumin, paprika, cayenne, and thyme.

three green leaf potted vegetables

But there are literally hundreds of herbs and spices to choose from. Which means that there are hundreds of thousands of spice combinations you can create by using them.

So don’t be afraid to experiment. Try new and different spices. Taste different cultures. And you’ll quickly see just how true it is that having a variety of spices on-hand can spice up your cooking life.

Bonus tip: many herbs and spices are super resilient and easy to grow at home. So you can even try growing them yourself!

 

Learn From Others

Some people are born with it, while others need to learn. But I assure you, there’s no shame in needing to learn how to cook. And today, with the internet, blogs, and platforms like YouTube, it’s easier than ever to learn how to make new meals and expand your culinary repertoire.

In fact, there are literally thousands of cooking blogs and YouTube channels available that you can learn from. Or, you can always visit your local library or find an online book store to look for a good cookbook. And even if you don’t like following the recipes, having a cookbook on-hand can be a lifesaver when you’re trying to decide what to cook yourself for dinner.

Best Cooking Tips For Students smiling man standing and mixing near woman in kitchen area of the house

Lastly, you can always ask friends or family members to help teach you a recipe or two.

Regardless, the important thing is to learn new recipes and meal ideas. Then, once you’ve made them a few times and have them memorized, you’ll start to see just how easy it can be to whip up a quick meal.

 

Prepare Your Meals In Advance

I’m sure you’ve heard this a million times before, but doing meal prep can be a lifesaver, both in terms of saving you money, as well as making it significantly easier to cook dinner on a whim.

six full clear glass jars on white surface Best Cooking Tips For Students

There’s pretty much no limits as to what you can prepare in advance, but a few of my favorites are homemade soups, chilis or pasta. These can all be made in larger quantities, then portioned out, and frozen for later use.

Then, when dinner time rolls around, all you’ll need to do is thaw out your pre-portioned meal, heat it up, and enjoy the delicious bliss of your awesome home-cooked meal.

 

Saving Money And Eating Well

As a student, I’m sure you already know that it’s all too easy to spend a fortune on fast-food and eating out. Not only is this a complete waste of money, but when you eat out, you’re more likely to eat junky foods that simply aren’t nutritious, like greasy french fries, burgers, etc.

But by following the tips we’ve discussed today, stocking up on cupboard supplies, learning new meal ideas, and doing meal prep, you’ll easily be able to save yourself some money, and learn how to feed your mind, body, and soul in the best way possible.