Thursday, March 5, 2015

Ocean Voyage Reading List

Saturday my family and I are going off on a seaward adventure! (I mean, we're not setting sail until Sunday, but we leave on our trip Saturday and get to spend a night in NOLA - so cool!) I have made an effort to get ahead on my homework so I wouldn't have to worry about it at all on this trip and can just enjoy the sunshine and family time. While we are at sea and visiting different countries in the Western Caribbean, we will be WiFi-less, which will mean very limited technology usage. I'm actually pretty excited to unplug and will be spending a lot of our travels doing what I don't typically get to do since I've been in grad school - read for fun! 

I have five titles picked out for our journey, and while I'm not counting on getting through every single one (I'm a fairly slow reader), it will be great to just have them at hand. I have a lot of lounging around to catch up on. What better lounging companion than a great book? ;) Here are the books I selected to bring along on the trip with me:


1. Where'd You Go, Benadette by Maria Semple | I found this book when I was shopping around in Barnes & Noble with a gift card I had received for Christmas. It seemed like a fun read to take on vacation with me, and when I had posted on Instagram that I had bough it, a few people commented saying what a great book it was! I'll probably be taking this one on the plane with me to pass the time.

"Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she's a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she's a disgrace; to design mavens, she's a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom.
Then Bernadette disappears. It began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette's intensifying allergy to Seattle--and people in general--has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands. A trip to the end of the earth is problematic.
To find her mother, Bee compiles email messages, official documents, secret correspondence--creating a compulsively readable and touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter's role in an absurd world."

2. Wild by Cheryl Strayed | I've been wanting to read this book for quite some time (According to my GoodReads account, I added this to my to-read pile back on Christmas 2012, which is actually when I received my Kindle as a gift!) When I heard that it had been turned into a film, I knew that it was the time to finally buy the book and sit down to read it. I have a feeling this is going to be the perfect vacation book filled with adventure!

"At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life. With no experience or training, driven only by blind will, she would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State—and she would do it alone. Told with suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild powerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her."


3. Love, Life, and Elephants: An African Love Story by Dame Daphne Sheldrick | I came across this book a few weeks ago when I had first found out about the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. Of course, becuase of the work they do with endangered animals, especially elephants, I was automatically intrigued by the story of the Sheldricks and wanted to study more about them! I thought this would be a wonderful place to start. I downloaded a copy to my Kindle and I am so excited to find out more!
"The first person to successfully raise newborn elephants, Dame Daphne Sheldrick has saved countless African animals from certain death. In this indelible and deeply heartfelt memoir, Daphne tells of her remarkable career as a conservationist and introduces us to a whole host of orphans - including Bushy, a liquid-eyed antelope, and the majestic elephan Eleanor. Yet she also shares the incredible human story of her relationship with David Sheldrick, the famous Tsavo National Park warden whose death inspired the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and the orphans' nursery, where Daphne works to this day. From her tireless campaign to preserve Kenya's wildlife to the astonishing creatures she befriended along the way, Love, Life, and Elephants is alive with compassion and humor, providing rare insight into the life of one of the world's most fascinating women."

4. DIY U: Edupunks, Edupreneurs, and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education by Anya Kamenetz | Of course I couldn't take a break from professional development while on vacation! This book was loaned to me in the fall by my Director at BSU, Cindy. The title definitely got me interested, as there is definitely a "traditional" approach to higher ed, but I feel like there has been much more unconventional innovation in the field as of late. I can't wait to find out more!

"The price of college tuition has increased more than any other major good or service for the last twenty years. Nine out of ten American high school seniors aspire to go to college, yet the United States has fallen from world leader to only the tenth most educated nation. Almost half of college students don't graduate; those who do have unprecedented levels of federal and private student loan debt, which constitutes a credit bubble similar to the mortgage crisis. The system particularly fails the first-generation, the low-income, and students of color who predominate in coming generations. What we need to know is changing more quickly than ever, and a rising tide of information threatens to swamp knowledge and wisdom. America cannot regain its economic and cultural leadership with an increasingly ignorant population. Our choice is clear: Radically change the way higher education is delivered, or resign ourselves to never having enough of it. The roots of the words "university" and "college" both mean community. In the age of constant connectedness and social media, it's time for the monolithic, millennium-old, ivy-covered walls to undergo a phase change into something much lighter, more permeable, and fluid. The future lies in personal learning networks and paths, learning that blends experiential and digital approaches, and free and open-source educational models. Increasingly, you will decide what, when, where, and with whom you want to learn, and you will learn by doing. The university is the cathedral of modernity and rationality, and with our whole civilization in crisis, we are poised on the brink of Reformation."

5. We Should Hang Out Sometime: Embarrassingly, a True Story by Josh Sundquist | I had heard about Josh Sundquist in the past, but really got to know more of his story by listening to his episode of Ear Biscuits with Rhett & Link. When he spoke about his journey to find out what was going wrong in his romantic endeavors and the book he wrote about this journey as a result, I was very intrigued! I just had to download the story to my Kindle and just indulge while I lie in the sun. Josh lives a very unique and interesting life and I'm very excited to learn more about him through this memoir.
"Josh Sundquist only ever had one girlfriend. For twenty-three hours. In eighth grade. 
Why was Josh still single? To find out, he tracked down the girls he had tried to date and asked them straight up: What went wrong?
The results of Josh's semiscientific, wholly hilarious investigation are captured here. From a disastrous Putt-Putt date involving a backward prosthetic foot, to his introduction to CFD (Close Fast Dancing), to a misguided "grand gesture" at a Miss America pageant, this story is about looking for love -- or at least a girlfriend -- in all the wrong places."

And there you have it! My list of vacation reads for this trip. I can't wait to get lost in these books and just forget about the world for a week. 

What kind of books do you like to take on trips with you? 
Leave some suggestions in the comments! 

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