Summer Reading List: Best Selling Picks at Avid Bookshop

(Photo/Gracie Thompson)

The Pew Research Center reported in 2016 that 74 percent of adults in the United States had read a book in the preceding year in either part or entirety.

While the percentage of American adults that are picking up books has increased slightly since 2015, almost a fourth of the population of American adults has not picked up a book in the last year.

Most people know that developing good reading habits as a child is integral to academic performance, but for adults, studies have shown that reading is a stress reliever.

The Telegraph reported in 2013 that a study conducted by the University of Sussex found that “even six minutes [with a book] can be enough to reduce stress levels by more than two thirds.”

Reading programs have even been used to treat patients that suffer from mental illness and emotional trauma in a practice known as bibliotherapy.

If you want to jump start your reading habit or revive a lost one, there are many places in Athens you can visit to get your hands on good books. You can visit chain stores like Barnes and Noble, check out a book from the Athens-Clarke County Library, or stop by independent shops like local Athens favorite Avid Bookshop.

Here are six titles to add to your summer reading list. All six are available at Avid Bookshop.

Summer Must-Reads

(Infographic/Gracie Thompson)



Finals Survival: 5 Tips to Get Through Final Exams in Athens

(Flickr Photo/ Yoann JEZEQUEL)

While the parents of college kids might ask a question like, “So things are winding down for you?” Athens locals know better when backpacks clutter coffee shop seating, and students at the University of Georgia (UGA) look haggard and weary walking to class.

Final exams start at UGA on April 28, 2017. Here are five tips to make it through the stress of finals week and some places you can visit around town to study, take a break, or have a little fun this spring.

  1. Make sure you are getting enough sleep.
    The Cleveland Clinic reports that “being awake for 16 hours straight decreases your performance as much as if your blood alcohol level were .05%.” While pulling an all night study session may seem like your only option before that all important final, putting off sleep means you are willingly setting yourself up to fail. WebMD writes that sleep is vital part of thinking and learning. If you want to pass your finals with flying colors, getting the recommended amount of sleep will is key to your success.
    Best Location: Your bed. Skip bringing your pillow to the Miller Learning Center and get some rest in your dorm or apartment.
  2. Order strategic takeout. 
    It might be a better suggestion to recommend canceling that takeout you just ordered, finals week means less time for activities like getting enough sleep and cooking a well-balanced meal. If eating out is essential to surviving all your marathon study sessions, the American Heart Association suggests ordering foods like bagels, grilled chicken sandwiches, baked potatoes, and diet sodas. These foods are much better for you than the alternatives– pastries, fried chicken, french fries, and a milkshake. If you are interested in snacking healthier, take this advice from a college student at Princeton University who survived finals on home-cooked meal and hearty snacks.
    Best Location: Wherever you are. Many places, like Einstein Bros. Bagels and Chick-fil-a, are on campus. There are also many local vendors that accept Bulldawg Bucks. 
  3. Find the study method that works best for you. 
    Whether you are an auditory, visual, or kinaesthetic learner , everyone has a different approach for studying for finals. If you find yourself in a study rut during finals week, the New York Times suggests switching up your usual study spot. “Simply alternating the room where a person studies improves retention,” said Benedict Carey of the Times. You can also try the tried-and-true flash card method. The Huffington Post reports that “[flash] cards are a great way to develop and use mnemonic devices and associative phrases.
    Best Location: You can visit the Main Library on campus for a great study space or take advantage of their online resources. If you are interested in finding another location, try a Jittery Joe’s Athens location or grab a study room with classmates at the Miller Learning Center on campus. 
  4. Manage your time well. 
    Like flash cards, another tried-and-true survival tip– make a to-do list. This not only ensures that you do not forget to write that take home essay or finish up that last bit of homework, but it will also help you prioritize your time. Try writing your to-do list by putting the highest priority task you have to accomplish at the top and work your way down. Forbes magazine suggests “[writing] your to-do list the night before” and including at time to have the task completed by.
    Best Location: In your planner, on a dry erase board, on a stickie note. Write your to-do list on something you normally use and will not lose. 
  5. Be confident.
    Dr. Susan Murphy, co-author of In the Company of Women, writes, “confidence is a belief in your ability to succeed– a belief that stimulates action.” You have been working hard all semester, and the stress surrounding your final exams is the last obstacle you have to overcome this school year. If you walk into your final exam with confidence, regardless of whether you pulled an all night or you spent the last week preparing, you are setting yourself up for success. Dr. Murphy suggests “[using] your body language to increase your confidence and self-esteem.”
    Best Location: Everywhere. Take out that blue book and do your best. 


The Iron Horse: Photo Essay

(Photo/Gracie Thompson)

Post World War II brought the state of Georgia what the New Georgia Encyclopedia calls “postwar prosperity.” The boom to the economy that came with wartime production had lasting effects, and despite the fact that the Talmadge camp was still in power, there were more opportunities for women and minorities in the workforce.

The end of World War II also brought a different cultural phenomenon to the state– modern art. The University of Georgia (UGA) hired Lamar Dodd to oversee the art department in 1937, according to the Athens-Banner Herald. Under Dodd’s direction, art became something that was on campus.

Dodd hired Abbott Pattinson to create works to be displayed on campus at UGA, and he created the Iron Horse. After much controversy, the Iron Horse resides in a field in Greene County, Georgia. This photo essay takes a look at the crafting of the Iron Horse and all the details that entice modern day UGA students to make the drive out to visit the sculpture.

The Iron Horse pictured in its field on what used to be Jack Curtis’, the late owner, family farm on April 3, 2017 in Greene County, Georgia. The farm now belongs to the University of Georgia with the agreement that the horse stays on the property. (Photo/Gracie Thompson).
The head of the Iron Horse captured from below on April 3, 2017 in Greene County, Georgia. The Athens-Banner Herald reports that the “welded metal sculpture was a new addition to the art world.” (Photo/Gracie Thompson).
The head of the Iron Horse pictured from underneath. Pattinson’s sculpture is representative of his abstract idea of a horse. (Photo/Gracie Thompson).
The head of the Iron Horse taken from behind. Many students at the University of Georgia climb the sculpture and pose for pictures. (Photo/Gracie Thompson).
Rear view of the Iron Horse from the ground. The sculpture is not symmetrical, so each side of the horse is constructed differently. (Photo/Gracie Thompson).
View of the field through one of the many welded loops of the sculpture. The sculpture itself is cemented to the ground it stands on. (Photo/Gracie Thompson).