The end of summer school is so close you can taste it. With those two weeks before Fall Semester rolls around, why not spend a couple of those lazy days relaxing outside with an interesting book.
Here's a list of some of The Daily Beacon staff's favorite summer reading material:
o "Confessions of a Shopaholic" by Sophie Kinsella. This is a perfect, light, entertaining book for summer. This is the first of three books in a series about Becky Bloomwood, a 20-something with a tendency to overshop. Two years out of college she finds herself in a boring, low-paying job with mounds of debt piling up. As creditors knock at her door, the narrative follow her struggles to save money or make more of it. The phrase "It's an investment, really" will have you yelling and laughing at the pages as you watch Becky get further into trouble. There is a bit of Becky in all of us, which leaves the reader rooting for her. The books only get better in the series as the amount of trouble and creative solutions Becky finds to get out of them increase. Read the first book and you will be hooked. - Meghan Stancil, photo editor
o "Sahara" by Clive Cussler. This book follows Dirk Pitt on his James Bond/Indiana Jones-like adventures in the best known entry into the book series. Pitt must figure out what is behind a mysterious disease that is making people go insane and a pollutant that threatens to extinguish all life in the world's oceans. Packed with action and intriguing references to history, "Sahara" is fun and carefree summer reading. Plus, it will prepare you for the film franchise in development with Matthew McConaughey as Pitt. - Luke Renfro, senior advertising production artist
o "The Screwtape Letters" by C.S. Lewis. This is a great book for anyone. Lewis, arguably the most influential Christian writer of his day, wields his craft in creating a fictitious story about Screwtape, a "highly placed assistance to 'Our Father Below.'" Lewis uses the correspondence between Screwtape and his young demon nephew Wormwood to exploit one of the most entertaining and trying accounts of temptation ever written. Wormwood has been assigned to a young fellow during the second World War, meant to lead him away from God and to hell. This book serves struggling and growing Christians very well but also is strong enough to persuade any man there are dark forces continually acting on our lives. This is one of the greatest stories of triumph over temptation written in the 20th century. - Brooks Brown, staff writer
o "Circle of Friends" by Maeve Binchy. This was my favorite book this summer. I read it while at the beach in May and I became hooked, finishing it in a few days time. The story begins in the small village of Knockglen, Ireland. Benny Hogan, the daughter of a shop keeper, and Eve Malone, a local orphan raised by the nuns, grow up as best friends. They both go to Dublin for college. Benny is forced to commute back and forth because her parents are overprotective of their only daughter. While at college Benny meets and begins to date Jack Foley, a handsome, nice man that all girls want to date. This gives Benny some self-esteem because she is forever worrying about her size and weight, but Jack sees past her insecurities to how beautiful she is. Eve and Benny also become good friends with the beautiful Nan Mahon. Soon truths begin to surface and Benny's relationships are hidden with lies and betrayals that she never suspected. Life teaches her a lesson and a broken heart gives her strength to know herself better. - Laura Pack, staff writer and copy editor
o "Tuesdays with Morrie" by Mitch Albom. I really enjoyed reading this book. After seeing Morrie on the news, Albom decides to reacquaint himself with his mentor. This book is a recollection of Albom's last moments with his great teacher. Until his death, Morrie lectures Albom on life - family, money, work and relationships. This book is an easy read, and it talks about making life fuller. With all the stress that college students deal with, "Tuesdays with Morrie" can teach everyone how to better deal with the hardballs life throws. - Stacy Covington, student life editor
o "Grapes of Wrath" by John Steinbeck. Taking place during the Great Depression, the story follows members of the Joad family as they cross America in search of a better life. The family lost its tenant farm in Oklahoma and is traveling to California to find prosperity in a time of great economic strife. Along the way the characters find friends, enemies and themselves, and they discover the vast gap between the "haves" and the "have nots." Steinbeck uses great imagery and analogy, and he paints a very unforgiving but honest picture of the United States at this time. "Grapes of Wrath" has a lot to offer readers, from romance to fighting to family struggles. And if it's cool enough for Rage Against the Machine to use the story in a song, it's cool enough for me. - Julie Howle, entertainment editor
o "Court of Shadows" by Cynthia Morgan. Katherine Langdon, a young noblewoman living in Elizabethan England, gets involved in dangerous espionage for her country. Kidnapped by a suspected spy, she is taken to Spain. She must try to escape, all the time hoping her brother, a spy for the queen, has not been killed. This book has a little of everything: adventure, suspense, romance, and drama. - Lindsey Desher, managing editor and columnist

- This story was compiled by Cherish Matthews