We’re Back With Summer Reading Recommendations!

Hello to all of you loyal Envision blog followers! You may have noticed that Envision has been off the blog scene for about a month now–well, good news! After our brief hiatus, we are back in business with a fancy new blog and this first post with Summer reading recommendations from the Envision Team! Whether you’re looking for a good beach read or for a page turner to keep you occupied until the mercury falls back to normal levels, we’ve got you covered! Some are older, some are newer, and all are some of the favorite reading material of your favorite eye care team!

To begin, we have some serious Ayn Rand fans working here at Envision. One of the doctor’s top two books is The Fountainhead and one of Lauren’s is Anthem. Both cited Rand’s focus on the individual as what made them love her writing–being true to yourself no matter the constraints that society might try to impose . Of The Fountainhead, Dr. Golson says “It is an account of fierce individualism in the main character, Howard Roark, who rather than change based on what others want from him or think he should do, is unwilling to compromise his artistic vision and integrity.” Seems like a good lesson for life as well as business! Another of the doc’s favorite reads is Into The Wildby Jon Krakauer. He loves it because “it speaks to my love and yearning for exploring the Western US and a commitment to live intentionally. It also speaks to the wild man–a part of the soul that is in all of us. Albeit tragic, it’s the classic hero’s journey.” And if you’ve seen the movie, you know that it IS quite the tragedy; however, do yourself a favor and read the book. It’s gotten rave reviews over the years from book critics and optometrists alike. 🙂

We’ve mentioned one of Lauren’s favorites, but she tells me that the truth is, she doesn’t get much personal reading time anymore. In fact, she spends most of her day reading to someone else. Someone whose favorite books include Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman (a classic and one of my own favorites as a kid) and Put Me in the Zooby Robert Lopshire. You may have heard of these if you have a three year old reading friend like Lauren’s daughter. These are apparently some of the hot items for children’s reading currently. Lauren reports often reading them multiple times a day–such a good mother!

Personal lives and interests of other team members are also indicated by their reading selections. Tricia, who is a devoted yoga teacher, loves to read and study Ravi Ravindra’s Yoga Sutra. She cautions that it is not light reading and is more of a “studying book” than recreational reading, but that those who are very interested in yoga study would find it absorbing. Tricia also finds the writings of Pulitzer Prize winner Annie Dillard and American poet Mary Oliver enjoyable. She says that both Dillard’s Teaching a Stone to Talk and Oliver’s poetry give the reader an overwhelming feeling rather than a description of connectivity to nature as well as other people. This sounds lovely to me, especially for the summer; and I plan to check out the writing of both before the summer’s end.

Jessica, who writes a food blog called Share the Food Love(sharethefoodlove.blogspot.com) has been really interested in cookbooks with vintage recipes and articles recently. Her love for all things food and recipe related has sparked an interest in local author Barbara Swell’s “old-timey” cookbooks. She says about them, “They are more than just cook books, including recipes found in very old cook books and journals. [Swell] adds her own modifications and additional anecdotes. I have two so far, one on pies and one on cooking with the seasons. I have read these books from cover to cover and they are very inspirational to me!” So for some delicious, old fashioned summer bites (from a local author, nonetheless) or just a good story, turn to Jessica’s tasty selections!

One of our highly skilled opticians here at Envision also happens to have an Anthropology degree! Jeni’s love for the subject shines through in some of her favorite reads including: The Secret History by Donna Tartt and the Earth’s Children series by Jean M. Auel which is set circa 30,000 years before present. Jeni says that The Secret History is a real page turner but is also very dark, describing it as “making you feel ice cold on a hot day”. I can vouch for her recommendation for the Auel books, as I have enjoyed them myself. Historical fiction of hypothetical worlds, people and cultures from tens of thousands years ago make for imaginative and fascinating reading. Take note, due to some fairly graphic content in a few of the books, this series is listed on the American Library Association’s list of 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990-2000…which makes me want to read it even more 😉 Another slightly less controversial book that Jeni loves is The Giver by Lois Lowry–an addictive story that she has read over and over since the fifth grade, proving a lasting, relateable quality for children as well as adults.

My own reading favorites for the last ten years or so have been books plucked from the shelves of my parents’ extensive collection from the 1960s and 70s. Tom Robbins, Kurt Vonnegut and J.D. Salinger have been authors whose writing I crave and seek out for entertainment, enlightenment and critical thinking. My book of the moment however, is Don’t Know Much About History by Kenneth C. Davis. It is a thorough, sometimes humorous, sometimes shocking look at the birth and life of our country told in a conversational style that might remind you of a chat with your favorite all-knowing college professor. Might be fun to check out in celebration of the 235th birthday of the good ol’ US of A.

Now go! Read! Whether a book that we’ve recommended or another you’ve been wanting to delve into. A real, live book that you can touch and smell or on a Kindle or other reading device. Either way, I hope we’ve given you a fun, varied selection of titles for the summer (or any other time of the year)!

Happy Summer and Happy Reading!

Maria Buchanan is an avid reader and team member at Envision Eyecare in Asheville, NC