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Summer 2018 Reading List

Books, LifestyleMaría Elena RodríguezComment
summer 2018 reading list

Yes, it's true. I have been a little disconnected lately. The truth is I've been on a roll juggling ambinity and freelancing since the beginning of the year, and after binge watching Scandal's last season on Netflix while starting marathon training, I knew I needed a detox. A digital detox. 

But one of the things I have been spending my free time on lately (apart from tweeting) is reading. I have written about this on other posts, but I used to have horrible migraines and one of the things that really triggers them is screen time. So after realizing I was spending too much time on my computer and phone, I decided to set myself the challenge of getting back on my reading game, which I have I lost in all the craziness of my life lately. You know, surviving two hurricanes, quitting my job and training for the NYC Marathon...  #INeedToChill

So without further ado, here's a much needed breath of fresh air with some books that will light up all your energy this summer:

Eva Luna by Isabel Allende

Grab Eva Luna by Isabel Ayende  here .

Grab Eva Luna by Isabel Ayende here.

Reading Status: Finished it! ✔️

As you can see from this picture, this book is practically destroyed. It took me a long time to read it, not because it was bad, but because a) I was running around with it in my purse most of the time and b) because I am a slow reader and novels take me a longer time to read, especially this type of novels that I find are a little out of my comfort zone in terms of intellect. I found myself getting distracted during some guerrilla scenes, but fun fact; I always fall asleep in violent scenes in movies. I find them so boring! 

That aside, I loved that Isabel Allende describes this book’s lead character as a strong and free woman in the most beautiful way I have ever read. I can't wait to read La Casa de los Espíritus and other novels by her, even if it takes me three months to finish them! 

Book Description (from Amazon): Eva Luna is the daughter of a professor’s assistant and a snake-bitten gardener—born poor, orphaned at an early age, and working as a servant. Eva is a naturally gifted and imaginative storyteller who meets people from all stations and walks of life. Though she has no wealth, she trades her stories like currency with people who are kind to her. In this novel, she shares the story of her own life and introduces readers to a diverse and eccentric cast of characters including the Lebanese émigré who befriends her and takes her in; her unfortunate godmother, whose brain is addled by rum and who believes in all the Catholic saints and a few of her own invention; a street urchin who grows into a petty criminal and, later, a leader in the guerrilla struggle; a celebrated transsexual entertainer who instructs her in the ways of the adult world; and a young refugee whose flight from postwar Europe will prove crucial to Eva's fate.
As Eva tells her story, Isabel Allende conjures up a whole complex South American nation—the rich, the poor, the simple, and the sophisticated—in a novel replete with character and incident, with drama and comedy and history, with battles and passions, rebellions and reunions, a novel that celebrates the power of imagination to create a better world.

Grab Eva Luna by Isabel Ayende here

El día que me venció el olvido by Edmaris Carazo

Grab  El día que me venció el olvido  by Edmaris Carazo in   Kindle Version    here  .

Grab El día que me venció el olvido by Edmaris Carazo in Kindle Version here.

Reading Status: Finished it! ✔️

This is Edmaris Carazo's debut novel and it narrates three generations of women, including a grandmother with Alzheimer desease. It is intense, raw and a book that you just can't put down because she writes in a way that just feels familiar, like she's speaking to you. If you have ever stumbled upon her blog, Siempre Jueves, you know what I'm talking about and if you haven't, hurry over there NOW! Then come back. 😊

Book Description (from Amazon): El Día que me venció el Olvido cuenta a dos voces la historia de 3 mujeres de 3 generaciones distintas. El lector se siente dentro de la cabeza, desde los ojos y entre las piernas de una narradora que vive de prisa intentando escapar de la genética y las decisiones de su familia. La novela obliga a mirarse desde los ojos del Alzheimer, del desdén, de la indiferencia y desde la erotización del dolor. Una narración concisa, íntima, cotidiana, irreverente, humana y poderosa que produce cosquillas de las buenas y de las malas en el lector que observa a una abuela que olvida, una madre que ignora y una hija que intenta recolectar y juntar los pedazos antes de que el olvido los desaparezca.

Grab El día que me venció el olvido by Edmaris Carazo in Kindle Version here

Find the print version at Librería Norberto, Librería Mágica, Libros AC and Casa Norberto. 

How to Lose a Marathon

Grab How to Lose a Marathon by Joel H. Cohen  here .

Grab How to Lose a Marathon by Joel H. Cohen here.

Reading Status: Finished it! ✔️

Ok I get it. There is a really low chance you are interested in this book, but I thought I would include it since it's part of my marathon training and this shit is hard! I need some validation and support ok? 

Now that we got that out of the way, I can say that this book was a little discouraging at first. The first few chapers were all about how the author is not qualified to write a book about running. Like I mean, really? The author is a writer at The Simpsoms so he's used to writing comedy, but sometimes I just wished he stopped joking and got to the facts. Nevertheless, after the first few chaperts were over, I found myself enjoying and even giggling over his jokes (especially the chafing section). 

Overall: It's a good marathon book for beginners or even if you're just looking for some comedy reading, but I will definetely be buying a more serius one soon, like this one

Book Description (from Amazon): A writer and producer for The Simpsons presents a humorous, illustrated guide for any and every wannabe marathoner. 

Grab How to Lose a Marathon by Joel H. Cohen here

Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari

Grab Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari    here .

Grab Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari here.

Reading Status: Reading 📖

I saw this book randomly at Costco one day and it immedietly caught my eye, but after flipping through some pages, I knew I needed it. It describes humanity in the most provocative, thought intriguing way I have ever read and I can't put it down. I haven't finished the first chapter and he already talked about the pope's celibacy and why men are not as flamboyant as they used to be in other centuries. Right up my alley! 

Book Description (from Amazon): From a renowned historian comes a groundbreaking narrative of humanity’s creation and evolution—a #1 international bestseller—that explores the ways in which biology and history have defined us and enhanced our understanding of what it means to be “human.” One hundred thousand years ago, at least six different species of humans inhabited Earth. Yet today there is only one—homo sapiens. What happened to the others? And what may happen to us? 

Most books about the history of humanity pursue either a historical or a biological approach, but Dr. Yuval Noah Harari breaks the mold with this highly original book that begins about 70,000 years ago with the appearance of modern cognition. From examining the role evolving humans have played in the global ecosystem to charting the rise of empires, Sapiens integrates history and science to reconsider accepted narratives, connect past developments with contemporary concerns, and examine specific events within the context of larger ideas.

Dr. Harari also compels us to look ahead, because over the last few decades humans have begun to bend laws of natural selection that have governed life for the past four billion years. We are acquiring the ability to design not only the world around us, but also ourselves. Where is this leading us, and what do we want to become?

Grab Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari here

SweetBitter by Stephanie Danler

Grab SweetBitter by Stephanie Danler    here  .

Grab SweetBitter by Stephanie Danler here.

Reading Status: In line to read 📚

Confession: I've had this book since my trip to Chicago two years ago. Yeah, I know. I have tried several times to get hooked on it, but never do. I have seen several reviews online and it has some mixed reviews, but since it already has a TV Show I figured it can't be that bad. Let's see if I finally enjoy it this summer! 

Book Description (from Amazon): Twenty-two, and knowing no one, Tess leaves home to begin her adult life in New York City. Thus begins a year that is both enchanting and punishing, in a low-level job at “the best restaurant in New York City.” Grueling hours and a steep culinary learning curve awaken her to the beauty of oysters, the finest Champagnes, the appellations of Burgundy. At the same time, she opens herself to friendships—and love—set against the backdrop of dive bars and late nights.  As her appetites sharpen—for food and wine, but also for knowledge, experience, and belonging—Tess is drawn into a darkly alluring love triangle that will prove to be her most exhilarating and painful lesson of all. 
Stephanie Danler deftly conjures the nonstop and purely adrenalized world of the restaurant—conversations interrupted, phrases overheard, and suggestions below the surface. Evoking the infinite possibility of being young in New York with heart-stopping accuracy, Sweetbitter is ultimately about the power of what remains after disillusionment, and the wisdom that comes from experience, sweet and bitter.

Grab SweetBitter by Stephanie Danler here

Las imperfectas by Cristy Marrero

Grab  Las imperfectas  by Cristy Marrero    here  .

Grab Las imperfectas by Cristy Marrero here.

Reading Status: In line to read 📚

I really didn't want to buy this book, mostly because all I buy is chic-lit (Emily Giffin is my favorite author) and I have been trying to get out of my literary comfort zone (hence, Isabel Allende). But while flipping through this book at the book store, one of the sales clerk told me it was a really good one and that people literaly LOL while reading it. So being the weak human being that I tend to be around shopping experiences, I purchased it. I have flipped a few pages and I am super intrigued because the author sounds just like my friends. I suspect this could be a boricua version of Sex and the City, I'll let you know once I finish! 

Book Description (from Amazon): Somos María, Linda, Martita, Astrid, Gladys, Victoria, Yamila, Zulma, Elisa y Cecilia: diez mujeres, un camino... En este honesto (#nofilter) y humorístico relato nos damos cuenta lo distintas que somos y cómo, al mismo tiempo, queremos lo mismo: simplicidad, amor, paz, balance, celebrar nuestra feminidad, y saber que todo va a estar bien. Que sólo podemos controlar nuestras intenciones, mas nunca los resultados. Aunque a veces nos cueste reconocer y escuchar por temor a ser vulnerables por temor a lo desconocido—a lo que ya está escrito, rompemos estereotipos según los vamos creando. Así, nos declaramos perfectamente imperfectas.

Grab Las imperfectas by Cristy Marrero here

Grab  Las imperfectas  by Cristy Marrero    here  .

Grab Las imperfectas by Cristy Marrero here.

Reading Status: In line to read 📚

Silvia, my co-host at Un aguacate a la vez, has sent me several books during our friendship and this is one of them. I haven't had the time to read it yet, but I know this could easily be a nice beach read to enjoy. 

Book Description (from Amazon): Award-winning filmmaker and performing artist Miranda July brings her extraordinary talents to the page in a startling, sexy, and tender collection. In these stories, July gives the most seemingly insignificant moments a sly potency. A benign encounter, a misunderstanding, a shy revelation can reconfigure the world. Her characters engage awkwardly—they are sometimes too remote, sometimes too intimate. With great compassion and generosity, July reveals their idiosyncrasies and the odd logic and longing that govern their lives. No One Belongs Here More Than You is a stunning debut, the work of a writer with a spectacularly original and compelling voice.

Grab Las imperfectas by Cristy Marrero here

There you go! Have you read any of these books? Let me know in the comments below. 

Until next time, 

María Elena

May Favorites 2015

BeautyMaría Elena8 Comments

I don't know about you, but I'm super happy May is over. It was kind of a really long month work wise but I'm really happy how it all ended: Having the opportunity of interviewing Fernando Rodríguez from Aaron Stewart Home as Ambinity's first Career Profile was definitely the highlight! Since May was kind of an interesting month, I decided to show off some of my favorites, ignoring the fact it's June 7th and I'm a little late now. :)

  • Macbook Pro Retina Display + Marble Case - You see that beautiful marble in the picture? That's my new Macbook! After 5 years using the old white Macbook I was ready for an update, especially before they announce our sales tax is being increased from a 7% to an 11% later this year! I think I did a great purchase. So the same day I brought my new baby home, I went into Amazon and bought myself the most beautiful marble case to complete my recent marble obsession. Totally worth it, don't you think?
  • Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Eye - I got this as a free gift with purchase after buying the Midnight Recovery Concentrate. I don't get impressed very often with eye creams thanks to my super dark genetic dark circles, but with this, I feel like it's actually making a difference. Definitely will be buying full size when it runs out. 
  • Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua - This has been my go to foundation since I bought it! It feels light to the skin and gives you a subtle glow that doesn't look shiny throughout the day. And that's a lot to say when you think about the draught Puerto Rico is going through this summer! 
  • Rimmel's Show Off Lip Lacquer in Apocaliptic - My go-to summer lip look. I recently reviewed this for you guys as one of my favorite drugstore purchases since it is one of the only kind of hot pink color that actually looks good on my lips. I also feel like the longer you wear it, the better it looks. 
  • Jo Malone English Pear & Freesia/ Fragonard Sweetpea Eau de Toilette - This month I've been more into fresh and really feminine smells which is why I've been loving wearing any of these two. Jo Malone makes me feel fancy as hell and Fragonard reminds me of my teenage years when I used to wear Tommy Girl (but better).
  • How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are: Love, Style, and Bad Habits - This is the perfect summer read! Light, funny and informative. I've been bringing this with me for any relaxing moment and I've been learning a lot. Like wearing a black bra underneath a white t-shirt. What? Love it!

What were your May favorites?