Favorite Summer Reads

by Lydia Ruth

For many of us, summer is the time to kick back, relax, and immerse ourselves in a new book!  I’m a pretty eclectic reader. If the writing is good, I’m not too particular about the genre.  I thought I would share some of my favorites that cover the spectrum – from non-fiction to horror and everything in between.  Whether you are looking for a good beach read or something to help you relax during your staycation, I certainly hope this list puts you on the trail of a new favorite summer read!

Mystery:

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley

I read this book last summer on a cruise, and I immediately fell in love with the main character, Flavia de Luce. She is a precocious, 11-year-old chemist who solves murders in the surrounding area of her family’s crumbling estate. I love the setting of the book – 1950s British countryside. The writing was excellent, the characters were quirky and unique, and the story was told in a compelling manner that made me want to keep reading!

Action/Adventure:

Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton

I read this book a couple of years ago when Jurassic World was released in theaters. It was the perfect book to read by the pool. If you’ve seen the movie, don’t discount reading the book. There are some startling differences that still allow for it to be a new experience. The characters and the story itself are fascinating, and the non-stop action kept me reading long into a sunburn!

Young Adult:

Lockwood & Co.: The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud

I listened to this while driving to the beach on a recent vacation. Audiobooks are a great way to keep kids (and adults) occupied on long drives. The story is based on the premise that ghosts are walking the earth and some of them are very dangerous. However, only children and teenagers can see them, which means that children are basically the ghost law enforcement protecting everyone else. The story focuses around one organization and its efforts to remove a ghost from a home. The dialogue is witty, and the plot is awesome! I’m not always a big fan of Young Adult novels (they can feel like “same story, different setting” at times), but I really felt like this was a unique story that was well crafted.

Horror:

‘Salem’s Lot by Stephen King

First, let me say. I am a total ‘fraidy cat. The movie Halloween still terrifies me if I think about it too long. However, Stephen King is one of my all-time favorite authors. I can put up with the fact that his books scare me because I love almost everything about his writing style. If you’ve ever read Dracula, then you will love this book. Stephen King loved Dracula so this is sort of like a modernized version of the classic. The story is definitely creepy, but the plot is so intriguing that you’ll want to keep reading.

Non-Fiction:

Dr. Mutter’s Marvels by Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz

I stumbled onto this book by chance while visiting a friend in Philadelphia.  I had heard about the Mutter Museum located there, but I had no idea who “Mutter” was. I wasn’t able to visit the museum, so I decided to Google him, and I stumbled across this book. It turns out he was an incredible man who was an advocate for compassionate medicine in a time where a lot of medical practices were just a few steps away from barbaric. The book follows the life of Dr. Mutter, and it reveals his impact on the world of modern medicine. Whether or not you typically gravitate towards non-fiction, this is a compelling read that shows how one man’s hard work paved the way for changes in how doctors treat patients.


LydiaLydia Ruth Contact

Lydia is a recent UT Grad working as a Business Analyst in the IRIS Department. She did an internship with Disney (no, she wasn’t Mickey, and no, she can’t get you in for free) where she gained a love for helping people, along with an inordinate number of Mickey Ears. She’s always happy to receive a book suggestion (or make one)…just don’t offer her Brussel sprouts.  She thinks they’re baby cabbages.

Disclaimer
Posts represent the views, expertise and recommendations of their authors and do not necessarily reflect an endorsement by the University of Tennessee. Furthermore, the content of the blog is for informational purposes only. The content of the blog is not, and is not intended to be used as, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

Summer Reading: 9 Lessons for a Longer Life

By Melissa Powell

This summer marks a crossroads for my family.

After five years of divinity school and ordination exams, my husband is handing off the academic baton in August to our son, who is starting kindergarten, and me, as I begin work on my doctorate.

As a result, we’re embracing all things summer, especially reading.

I am putting down textbooks, professional journals and student assignments and instead picking up Dr. Seuss, Southern Living magazine and that reading wish list that all teachers have tucked away, collecting dust.

“The Blue Zones, Second Edition: 9 Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who’ve Lived the Longest” by Dan BuettnerMy first pick was a throwback to a 2012 bestseller, “The Blue Zones, Second Edition: 9 Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who’ve Lived the Longest” by Dan Buettner.

As a dietitian, I often ask myself what normal people are reading about health and nutrition. If you’re looking for a good book, I hope you will consider this title.

Many health-related books leave us feeling guilty, overwhelmed, or worse, lied to. Alternatively, this book made me feel as though I was traveling the globe, making new friends and, in general, hopeful about my health.

Buettner, a longevity expert and National Geographic Fellow, travels the world researching blue zones–communities with exceptionally high numbers of residents who are 100 or more years old.

In one chapter, he asks Okinawan, Japan native, Kamada, her secrete to living to the age of 102.

“Eat your vegetables, have a positive outlook, be kind to people and smile,” Kamada replied.

Buettner’s book allows us to glean from a few of our oldest “fathers and mothers” on the planet about food, activity and social habits that may be key to a full and healthy life. Similarly, Exodus 20:12 says, “Honor your father and mother, that your days may be long…”

“The Blue Zones” will encourage you to make the environment around you more healthful. And, while there is a focus on your plate and activity, it also will gently challenge you to consider how your attitude, the company you keep and even faith may affect your overall health, well-being and chances for longevity.


Melissa Powell and FamilyMelissa Powell Contact
UT Chattanooga

Melissa is a registered dietitian and dietetics lecturer in the Health and Human Performance Department at UT Chattanooga.  She and her husband, Chris, are the proud parents of a playful son, Craig. She enjoys time with her church family, taming her lab mutts–Mabel and Moses—wine with neighbors and traveling south for a beach vacation or visit with her nieces. Her favorite subjects are faith, food, farming, family, friends and football. She earned a bachelor’s degree in nutrition from Samford University and a master’s degree in health education from UT Chattanooga.

Disclaimer
Posts represent the views, expertise and recommendations of their authors and do not necessarily reflect an endorsement by the University of Tennessee. Furthermore, the content of the blog is for informational purposes only. The content of the blog is not, and is not intended to be used as, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.