Sights and Sounds of Summer

As of this morning at about nine o’clock when I walked up the giant hill into the doors of Oconee Hall at Tri-County, summer is over.

These are the (more notable) things I watched, read, and listened to all summer long. I’d love to know what you picked up and why I should see/read it too.

–[[[ T.V. Shows ]]]–

11.22.63. (trailer)


This is the one and only thing I’ve ever found to watch on Hulu. It’s about an English teacher who time travels in order stop the assassination of J.F.K. The show is based off the novel written by Stephen King. I mostly love it because of the way it speaks about the butterfly effect, something which is really really cool. And the last scene is golden.

*this show has a lot of language, it’s kind of scary, and a lot of people get killed. Read the parents guide before watching.

We did not ask for this room or this music. We were invited in. Therefore, because the dark surrounds us, let us turn our faces to the light. Let us endure hardship to be grateful for plenty. We have been given pain to be astounded by joy. We have been given life to deny death. We did not ask for this room or this music. But because we are here, let us dance.” – Stephen King

The West Wing (trailer)

west wing

I think I feel the same way about The West Wing that a lot of my friends feel about The Office. It’s set in the white house and tells the story of America from the point of view of the people in power. This is a show that you walk away from feeling smarter than when you sat down.

Better Call Saul (trailer)

better call saul

I can’t really remember how I started watching this one. But it has become my favorite show of the summer. Better Call Saul is about a lawyer named Jimmy McGill who lives and practices in Albuquerque. It’s wonderful.

–[[[ Films ]]]

Almost Famous (trailer)


I think this is my favorite movie. It’s about journalism, rock and roll, living on the road, and wanting to be cool. It’s got Elton John all over the soundtrack…it’s a great movie.

“The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you’re uncool.” – Lester Bangs (Almost Famous)

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (trailer)

eternal sunshine of the spotless mind

I’d been waiting to see this movie…and then it finally came on Netflix! It’s Jim Carrey (but not in the Dumb and Dumber fashion). This is a love story about two strange people told backwards – it’s good.

The Shawshank Redemption (trailer)


This is a story about the triumph of the human spirit. One of the best movies I’ve ever seen. *once again, read the parents guide…it’s set in prison.

–[[[Books ]]]

Bridge to Terabithia


I re-read this one to make sure it was still my favorite book – and it still is. This is, hands down, my favorite story in the world.

Justice: what’s the right thing to do


This book was written by a Harvard Professor, and I think everyone should read it. It’s not so much that it teaches you about the world as it shows you what you believe and what that actually means for society. You will walk away more informed and thankful that you read it; I certainly did.

Lord of the Flies

lrdl of the fliesl

This is a book that critiques humanity by placing a group of young boys on an island and showing you what unfolds. I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it.

The Glass Castle

the glass castle

My mom was on me for a long time to read this book, saying that it’s one everyone ought to read. And she was right – it only took me a few days to read this story. It’s a true story about the childhood of Jeanette Walls, and it is wonderful. You’ve never heard of a family who lived the way these people did: always on the move (or the run) and with a worldview that’s simply astounding. They prioritized self expression and love of nature and experiencing culture to the point of living in dire poverty. The Walls’s value structure didn’t really work in a capitalist society, but it made for one heck of a childhood for four siblings.

The Grapes of Wrath

greaps of warth.jpg

This book isn’t one you just breeze through, at least I didn’t. But it was definitely worth my time. If you read the book, and then listen to Springsteen’s song, The Ghost of Tom Joad written from it, it’s really something.

The Man Who Was Thursday

man thwo was hturday

I also re-read this one to see if I still loved it…and I still do. This is a story about the loneliness and fear everyone trying to do the right things finds in themself. It’s about a detective trying to thwart a ring of anarchists. What unfolds is really quite hopeful. Currently, this is my second favorite book.

And that, my friends, is what I’ve consumed this summer.


Published by javenbear

Javen Bear is 25 years old and lives with his beautiful wife Aleisha in Phoenix, Arizona. He's a graduate student in a mental health counseling program at Grand Canyon University where he also works as an admissions representative. Javen’s super-power, if he had one, would be the ability to press pause on the world and catch up on reading. He enjoys talking walks with his wife, playing guitar, and always uses Oxford commas.

One thought on “Sights and Sounds of Summer

  1. Try reading the Bible through. It is the best book of all. Love you. Grandma. It was sooo good to see you again.


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