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Top 10 Beach Reads of 2015

Top Ten Beach Reads 2015

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It’s been a tough winter in many places across the country, with storm after storm taking its toll. Some lucky people will be heading to the beaches of Florida to escape winter, if only for a week or two.

Beaches are made for relaxing, and for reading. If you’re one of the lucky ones heading South, and looking for your next great beach read, here are ten suggestions.

1. The Martian – Andy Weir

What do you do when you’re the last person left on Mars? The Martian tries to answer that question – you’ll be dying to know what happens next and you won’t want to put the book down until you’ve finished it. Read the book before the movie comes out this fall.

2. Not That Kind of Girl – Lena Dunham

She many only be in her mid-twenties, but Lena Dunham has the wit of people twice her age. Her collection of essays are funny, thought-provoking and very relateable.

3. Girl on the Train – Paula Hawkins

Love a thrilling book that keeps you turning the pages? Many people who have read the novel are calling it the next Gone Girl. It’s the perfect book to keep you on your toes, while you work on your tan.

4. The Rosie Effect – Graeme Simsion

Over the the past few years, countless thousands of people fell in love with the sweet but socially awkward protagonist Professor Don Tillman, and the relationship he formed with Rosie. In the follow-up novel, you’ll follow the pair as they adjust to life in New York City after moving from Australia.

5. Brain on Fire – Susannah Cahalan

Pick up this autobiography and you won’t be able to put it down, or believe it’s not fiction. Susannah wakes up in the hospital not remembering the last month of her life, and when she learns what happens, she doesn’t recognize herself.

6. American Sniper – Jim Defelice

American Sniper, the movie directed by Clint Eastwood, and nominated for 6 Academy Awards is based on this gripping book. Read about how a military vet is tested both on the line of duty, and off.

7. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee

It was recently announced that Harper Lee, at the forever young age of 88, will be releasing her second book this summer. Before you pick it up, revisit the old classic that made her such a beloved figure.

8. The Beach – Alex Garland

A book about a beach, to read at the beach. In this novel, the protagonist sets out to find a private beach oasis in Thailand. Sounds like paradise, but the way the story unfolds, you’ll find yourself happy you’re on the more public beaches of Florida.

9. The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood

This book turns 30 years old in 2015, yet the dystopian novel seems incredibly relevant, perhaps even more so than when it was published. In the future, the United States of America is no more, and in the new society of the Republic of Gilead, women have no rights.

10. A Short History of Nearly Everything – Bill Bryson

Delightful, informing and funny, this book zips along at a snappy pace. Who says a day at the beach can’t be educational?

We wish you good readings and warm, sunny beach weather. If you’re looking for more book recommendations check out the summer reading post we wrote last year.

Moving Tips – What to Keep and What to Toss

Moving is an excellent time to clean house (pun intended). As you start the packing process you’ll find yourself unearthing all kinds of things you forgot you had. Even if you’re not downsizing, there are likely to be some items that you should get rid of before moving. Saying goodbye to your possessions doesn’t mean you have to throw everything¬† in the trash. The garbage can should be your last resort. Below you’ll find our best tip on how to determine what you should keep, and how to do away with your unwanted items.

Should I Keep It?

Ask yourself this: Have I (or someone in the household) used it in the past year? We usually see this rule only applied to clothing, but it’s a good rule of thumb for your entire household. Anything that you’ve used in the past year can stay. Everything else? Seriously consider if it’s worth packing. Really think things over, do you really need five sets of linens for the guest bed when one or two sets will do just fine? Ignore the “What If” or “Just in Case” thoughts floating through your head. If you suddenly truly need a specific item, you can likely borrow it or purchase a new and improved version.

The Exception

It’s okay to keep some sentimental items. Everyone has some loved possessions that don’t get a lot of use, but are saved because they mean a lot.

If you are keeping sentimental items, try finding a use for them. For example, if you’ve inherited your Grandmother’s dishes, instead of only using them on special occasions, make them your regular dishes and get rid of your everyday set. You’ll be reminded of your grandmother every time you use them, and we’re sure she’d be happy to know they are being used.

Another idea is to condense your collections. Have a lot of art work and report cards from when your kids were young? Instead of keeping it all in boxes and totes, select one or two items from each year and create a scrapbook or collage with them.

And one final tip – Those Beanie Babies you’ve been keeping around? Time to say goodbye, they are never going to be worth anything.

How to Part With Things

Offer items up to friend and family. Young adults moving into their first apartments, and new parents will often gratefully accept just about anything in good condition. Have you had people over to your house who have commented that they love a certain lamp or your curtains? Have if they’d be interested in having it.

Next, host a garage sale. It’s always surprising to see what different people are interested in, and it’s a great way to earn some extra money to help with the new move.

Put up anything that you don’t sell at the garage sale on Craigslist, either for a nominal amount or for free, if you just want to get it out of sight.

For anything that you can’t sell, if it’s in good or at least decent condition, donate it to a good cause. Many charities will even come pick up the goods, saving you an extra trip.

For the remaining items, if they are broken or beyond repair, look to see if they can be recycled, or if they need to be disposed of properly, like electronics.

Finally, after you’ve gone through all the above steps, if you are still left with a few items, you can put them in the garbage.

We hope this post will help make things easier for you on your next move, and help you enter your new home with a clean slate.