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Hotty Toddy Editors Reflect on Favorite Books for National Book Lovers Day

By Anna Grace Usery
Today is a special day for any fan of literature. According to the National Day Calendar, Aug. 9 is National Book Lovers Day. Oxford is a haven for writers, readers and thinkers who can lounge in the nooks and crannies of Square Books to soak up the last bits of genius from our town’s literary genius, William Faulkner. Though our careers are dependent upon writing, we at Hotty Toddy also relish in the joys of reading. To commemorate National Books Lovers Day, here are our tried-and-true, favorite reads. 
Rachel West, Publisher/CEO
“An Unforeseen Life” by Mary Ann Connell
I appreciated reading about the local author and former University of Mississippi attorney’s journey in life. Her willingness to prove others wrong along the way and her drive and determination to do the best she could in her career was inspiring. The book was easy to read and insightful into a time at Ole Miss that isn’t discussed much. Her vision as a female at the time of her leadership was inspiring.
                                           Anna Grace Usery, Editor-in-Chief
“The Race Beat: The Press, the Civil Rights Struggle, and the Awakening of a Nation” by Gene Roberts and Hank Klibanoff
This book lit the fire to my journalistic spirit. I credit the few hours I spent cradling this book with a completely new outlook on my life and career. Following well-known southern journalists into the fire, literally and metaphorically, to learn how they told stories during the Civil Rights movement was riveting and insightful. For a storyteller’s perspective of a humbling, invigorating, frightening and inspiring read, look no further than this book.
Hannah Vines, Graphic Designer
“The Magnolia Story” by Chip and Joanna Gaines
I love this book because I love the show Fixer Upper and pretty much anything to do with interior design. The book tells the story of their lives and how they got where they are today. I find it fascinating that Joanna Gaines never majored in interior design in college but went on to become the queen of HGTV. Their story is inspiring and I highly recommend reading the book, even if you are not a fan of the show. I will be buying Joanna’s next book “Homebody” for sure!
Talbert Toole, Lifestyles Editor
“Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person” by Shonda Rhimes
As the creator of TV shows such as Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy, this book pulls you in with life lessons that everyone can apply to their lives. Rhimes writes how working endless hours started to affect her home and children. She finally had to stop saying no to her children and start living outside the Hollywood studios. After completing this fantastic read, I finally started applying the same motto to my own life. I took a jump of faith and now I work in my dream career at HottyToddy.com
Adam Brown, Sports Editor
“The Indian and the Cupboard” by Lynne Reid Banks
The summer prior to the start of my fourth grade year I had surgery on my legs to help with my Cerebral Palsy (CP). During the time of recovery and over that summer my mom and I read three of the series’ books cover to cover trying to find what adventures await Omri, Little Bear and Boone.
Alyssa Schnugg, Staff Writer
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
I read this book after I watched the original movie with my mother on a rainy Saturday afternoon. I was a young teen and bored and while watching a black and white movie was not on my cool list of things to do, I sat with my mom anyway because she was recouping from pneumonia and couldn’t do much. I loved the movie so much, I checked out the book at the school library a few days later. It was a little creepy, a little romantic and a whole lot of wonderful writing. I read the book many times over the years. As a young child, my favorite book was Charlotte’s Web and it was my first “big book.” Wuthering Heights remains my all time favorite, I believe not just because of the book but because of my fond memories of having something to share with my mother.

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