What E.I. enjoyed this summer

The summer has come to an end, and it feels as though Fall came in and took over without as much as a warning.  As I sit here and reminisce of my summer and start to long for its leisure, I’m looking at all the books, music, TV/movies, and such that I may or may not be able to indulge in anymore- at least not as much.   And yes, while the Fall does bring a lot of great show premieres, returns and what not, what good is a great show if I can’t watch it?

Take a look into some of my summer favorites and the favorites of our team.  Then, if you’re so inclined chime in with comments of what your summer leisure was, or what you’re looking forward to this Fall.

My Music

If you don’t know me and music, I’ve been growing more and more interested in Country Music, so this summer I further indulged in the sounds of a banjo over a twangy tune.  While I’ve owned a couple of Luke Bryan albums for a while, I hadn’t actually taken the time to listen to them.   I was in fact doing them a disservice as I only focused on what was on the radio.  So as summer drew to an end, I decided to give Luke Bryan my undivided attention, and I found that Tailgates and Tanlines has become a favorite of mine.  Don’t worry, I still listen to “regular” music, but mostly those club hits when I’m trying to get ready for a night out on the town.  Nothing to get your going like a good jam session with Carly Rae Jepsen, right?  No?  Ok…


This summer was my time to just binge on TV I hadn’t had a chance to watch.  I had always been a huge skeptic of The Walking Dead, but I decided I would give it a go, I was pleasantly surprised.  The pilot had me hooked, and on the edge of my seat.  At first, I was watching the show sporadically, whenever I found myself with free time.  As I made my way through season one, though, I realized I was starting to make time for the show… I was hooked and there was no going back.  As I began season two, I found myself thinking about similar scenarios.  What if some type of apocalyptic event happened in 2012?  What if the Mayans are right after all?!  Would this change our humanity?  Would we have to redefine humanity?  Could I live with myself if I had to make some of the decisions the characters of The Walking Dead had to make?

Then of course, there is True Blood.  The show is absolutely absurd, and some of the acting is questionable, but I live for True Blood.  I can’t get enough of it.  Between Sookie’s southern hospitality to Lafayette’s comical outbursts, there’s just so much to sink your teeth into… no pun.  This season, however, was a bit disappointing.  The show has taken a huge detour from Charlaine Harris’ Southern Vampire Mysteries, and it makes me wonder what the show will have to offer next summer- if anything at all.  Still, I remain a loyal fang and I will be tuning in next June for the premier of season six.  

My Movies

I can’t say that I’m a big movies guy.  I don’t like going to the theater, and I would rather watch a TV show than watch a movie… or do something entirely different.  Maybe I am afraid of commitment… but I can’t see myself condemning myself to the couch for two hours for just one piece of entertainment.  However, I did watch a couple of movies this summer.  The highlight of my movie watching was Project X, and not for the reasons you think.  If you don’t know, Project X is about a couple of high school students who throw the most epic of parties.  However, as I watched the movie, I couldn’t help but to be anxious the whole time.  Maybe it’s my job, and the amount of risk management I need to be conscious of, but I just couldn’t watch this movie in peace, and it was painstaking to make it all the way to the end.

Mirror, Mirror was a very refreshing take on the classic Snow White, and I would almost say it did a better job at it than Snow White and the Huntsman.  The last movie I watched this summer was the Hunger Games.  I found myself reading the book all in one day, and immediately after being done I had to watch the movie.  The movie was good, and sure many things had to be sacrificed in order to fit it in the screen; however, the director made a terrible mistake in underplaying the love story.

My Books

I’ve been rather loyal to Charlaine Harris this summer.  It all started because of True Blood.  Charlaine’s Sooke Stackhouse novels are the books of which True Blood is based, and so far she has written twelve installments with a final book expected next May.  This summer I read my way through the series and had to stop myself at book 10.  There are only 13 books in the series and book 13 won’t be out until next May!  As I finished book ten I started to worry that I’d enter some sort of withdrawal if I finished book 12 and had to wait for months before the final book.  So I picked up The Hunger Games to distract myself, and so far it worked.  I haven’t picked up a Sookie novel since, but I can’t say that I don’t miss Sookie.  She was a regular part of my weeks this summer, and now she’s just a faint memory.  As my midsummer night’s dream approached its end, I decided I should take a break from fiction.  So I picked up Decision Points by George W. Bush.  So many reviews say that their perspective of the 43rd president of the United States and that unless you were in his shoes, you really don’t know what it was like to be president.  The book has started off with his early years, and so far it’s been a pleasant read.  Maybe I’ll write up a review once I’m finished.

Now the fall is here, and my free time seems to have eloped with summer.  Hopefully I can sneak in a book from time to time to reminisce on those wonderful summer days that are now gone.

Here’s a quick taste of what the our team is up to these days including the music they are listening to, the movies they just watched, the books they are reading, TV shows they obsessing over, etc!

Carlos Frevert

Book- I’m currently reading Clash of Kings (book 2 of A Song of Fire and Ice a.k.a. Game of Thrones)

Music- I’m not really into any music right now.  I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts and one I would recommend right now is thisamericanlife.org

TV/Movies- Just got into Breaking Bad and I am anxiously awaiting the season premier of The Walking Dead

Chris Barrero

Book- Currently, I’m reading Understanding Modern Money: The Key to Full Employment and Price Stability by L. Randall Wray.  Also, The Economic of Cities by Jane Jacobs

Music- I’ve been listening to a lot of Bob Marley, lately.  But you’ll also find the following as recently played on my iPod: Immortal Technique, Andres Calamaro, Patricio Rey y sus Redonditos de Ricota, Disturbed, Jay-Z and La Renga

TV/Movies- Just finished season five of True Blood, and I’m excited for the premier of Weeds and Dexter.

Shingi Mavima

Books-  Most of my reading this summer was dedicated to staying current on the news, so much of it was spent on news sites and magazines. I did, however, spent some time reading ‘Nothing to Lose, Everything to Gain’, an inspirational rags-to-riches story by one Ryan Blair. I devoted my post-gym coffee time to re-reading ‘The Things They Carried’, the phenomenal Vietnam War book by Tim O’Brien. I had read it for a class back in my undergraduate days, but I reached a new level of appreciation of O’Brien’s story-telling. You’ll be surprised how much more you learn when you don’t have a professor breathing down your neck!

Music: An admittedly later convert to the nitty-gritties of Hip-Hop, I took the summer to familiarize myself with some older works that i had not necessarily paid much attention to when I was younger (Illmatic, Jay-Z albums up to the Black.) I also rather enjoyed listening to Big Sean’s ‘Detroit’ mixtape, as well as B.o.B’s ‘Strange Clouds’

TV/Movies- As the summer set in, my eyes were fixed on the later part of Mad Men’s season 5. For the life of me, I cannot say I have ever seen better television. The second half of my summer involved Sunday evenings spent watching yet another AMC masterpiece: Breaking Bad. Oh, the adrenaline rush! I am sure I have the support of my fellow Breaking Bad fans when I say I can’t wait for the show’s epic conclusion next summer!


Books- Letters to a Young Poet, Vegan Planet, A Light in the Attic

Magazines- GQ, Muscle & Fitness

Music- Autour de Lucie, MGMT, Nas, Twin Shadow

TV/Movies/Documentary- Pardon the Interruption / The Kiterunner / The N-word: Divided we Stand

Dushawn Roberts

Books- Game of Thrones (series), Paterno, Letters to a young brother, Editors on Editing, Rules for Writers

Music- Lupe Fiasco, Nas, FUN, Frank Ocean

TV/Movies- Family Guy, Suits, The Mentalist, Law and Order: SVU, Real Time with Bill Maher

The Modern Nomad

Books- The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins, Jefferson on Freedom: Wisdom, Advice, and Hints on Freedom and the American Way by Thomas Jefferson, In Service to America: Celebrating 165 Years of Career and Professional Education

Music- Goodie MOB on pretty constant rotation

TV/Movies- I don’t have a TV so I haven’t watched any shows and I have a 1 year old so finding 2 hours to carve out for a movie or documentary is unrealistic these days.

There you have it!  Chime in below, and tell us what you were doing this summer.

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About Ricardo Cortez

Ricky is the Editor-in-Chief of El Iluminador, and he also serves as the Director of Member Services & Development of Sigma Lambda Beta's Executive Office. He is an alumnus of the Revolutionary Zeta Beta Chapter at the University of Florida.