Maryana Garcia - #LivingLit

#LitReads for Summer

There are two kinds of people in the world. The people who don’t have time to read, and the people who make time to read. (Insert the percussion sting here, that is my quotable quote for the day.) I’d like to think that we can be either kind of person, depending on the time of year. Or maybe depending on where we are in life. Sometimes when you’ve just typed up 5,000 words or spent the day at work reading things you’d rather not, the last thing we feel like doing is going home, sitting on the couch, and reading more. Believe me, I get it. But I’d also like to say, that there is no better time to dust off that old bookshelf than right now.


Why? Because it’s SUMMER!

What does that mean? (Besides the weather remaining as characteristically unpredictable as it is for the rest of the year) It means my own exciting holiday plans are coming up fast and that my inbox has suddenly flooded with  bestseller lists that I thought I had unsubscribed from. It means that both Christmas and (gasp!) 2018 are approaching. And so are some once in a year opportunities for kick starting new healthy habits. Let's face it: 

Reading is one of the healthiest habits there is. There’s no doubt about that.

Just ask Ann Morgan, Laura Bousnak or Lisa Bu. All three of these inspirational women give TED Talks that point to reading as being a key ingredient in forming a healthy world view. Lisa talks about how books opened her mind and challenged her to see things differently. Laura talks about reading as both a privilege and a power. Lastly, Ann Morgan talks about how she discovered the truth in Ray Bradbury’s (#authornamedrop) words:

The magic is only in what books say, how they stitched the patches of the universe together into one garment for us.

So the gist of it is: reading really does matter.

But, like I said before, I get it. There are so many books out there and so little time to read them! Don't worry. First up, you don't have to read them all. Set yourself a reading goal for 2018, or even for this summer. Start with that 1% increase. Begin with a manageable first step. The most manageable step there is? Just pick a book and get started even if you read a page a day. 

What book do I start with? 

Well, this is where I come in. If there is something I almost cannot live without, it's lists. And my favorite kind of list is the book list. So I have audaciously put together a list of 20 books that I think are worth picking up this summer. 20 books that might help with finding the perfect gift for the bookworms you love this Christmas. It's an entirely subjective list. But whether you're looking for a bestseller, a classic, something a little out of left field, or you're prepping for that next book to screen adaptation, I hope there is something in this list for you.

The only thing these books have in common is that they are all books I have read and will read again.

Books that unite, challenge and inspire. Books that make you look differently at the world. Books that may leave you a different person than you were before you read them. I can give no higher recommendation than that. So without further ado here is my Christmas present to all you wonderful #LivingLit readers:

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The #LivingLit Book List 2017


Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou 

The Sunshine Kid by Harry Baker

Poems That Make Grown Men Cry: 100 Men on the Words That Move Them edited by Anthony Holden, Ben Holden 

Science Fiction

The Martian by Andy Weir 

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card 

Graphic Novel

Everyone's a Aliebn When Ur a Aliebn Too: A Book by Jonny Sun 

The Arrival by Shaun Tan 


Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson 

The Lemon Tree: An Arab, A Jew, and the Heart of the Middle East by Sandy Tolan 

Historical Fiction

The Nightingale by Kirstin Hannah

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Literary Fiction

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman


Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John Le Carre 

The Technologists by Matthew Pearl 


Railsea by China Mieville 

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman 

For Young(er) Readers

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L’Engle

If you're stuck for where to get a good read under such short notice and want to have some local options check out Browsers or Unity Books

That's all from #LivingLit for 2017.

Thank you all so much for keeping up and reading! I hope you have enjoyed reading these blogs as much as I have writing them. I look forward to pulling up my blogging socks once more in 2018. So watch the space and until then keep #LivingLit, and remember the words of the courageous Malala Yousafzai:

Let us pick up our books and our pens, they are the most powerful weapons.


Maryana Garcia

Maryana is a firm believer in the power of storytelling. You can find her poetry on Instagram.