Summer Reading List 2017

Summer is upon us and I am as free as a bird. Well, not exactly…

I still have to earn a living and continue with drama-related projects, but other than that I am pretty free!

Now that school is out I have more time on my hands, and therefore I will be reading every day for a few hours at a time to keep myself occupied and delve into different areas of interest.

Through reading, the aim is to primarily focus on my personal development and spirituality; expand my knowledge of French theatre; and enlarge my vocabulary, all the while leaving enough room for some recommendations or even a few juicy thrillers to really spice things up.

I am considering reading over some material related to veganism just to refamiliarise myself with some key facts and studies that promote and champion the lifestyle. This would also serve as strong motivation as I continue to workout more intensively in the coming weeks. Alternatively, I may just watch a few documentaries and/or lectures online, but we shall see what the future holds.

In the back of my mind I want to read a bit more about personal finance to again reinforce what I know and reaffirm that I am making the best money decisions right now and for the foreseeable future.

So in no particular order here is what I plan on reading this summer:



Between September and January of the next academic year I will be studying Shakespeare as part of my actor training, and I will also be performing in a production of ‘Julius Caesar’ at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

I’m very excited to start learning and exploring Shakespeare as it is a must for all drama students, and there is equally so much to gain because his work is highly stimulating and definitely a challenging task no matter how much experience you have as a performer.

Nevertheless, I will be reading this book to ease myself into things and gain a head’s start. I began this book a few days ago and so far it is concise, practical and very accessible; I’m very much enjoying the style of writing, too. Highly recommended!






In the last few months I have developed an interest in poetry, but, to be honest, I had little to no experience with poetic text aside from a module I studied this year at school.

As I’m trying to expand my French vocabulary as well, I thought it a good idea to read classical poetry so that I can get used to working with French text in verse – as I will be doing a lot of that when studying in Paris at CNSAD in 2018 – and to additionally access a higher register of the French language – killing two birds with one stone out here!

This book covers texts from the medieval period to the 20th century, and thus far I am excited by all that I’ve been learning because poets like the talented Clément Marot employ a variety of techniques to create descriptive, imaginative and beautiful work.

Never in a million years would I have imagined actually liking poetry. Surprise, surprise!

Each poem that I’ve read has increased my vocabulary by at least 5 words which I’m extremely happy about. A poem a day is my aim, and by rereading them multiples times during the day I’ll be able to retain at least 100 new words in the next 30 days.






I’m sifting through some of the major classic French playwrights and Molière is unquestionably one of them. So, I’ll be reading the above, in addition to  ‘Molière’s Comedies: Volume 2’, to generally obtain a secure grasp on his style of writing.

The comedies include: ‘Love’s the Best Doctor (L’Amour médecin)’, ‘Squire Lubberly (Monsieur de Pourceaugnac)’, ‘George Dandin, or ‘The Husband Defeated (Georges Dandin, ou Le Mari confondu)’, ‘The Impertinents (Les Fâcheux)’, ‘The Learned Ladies (Les Femmes savantes)’, ‘The Cheats of Scapin (Les Fourberies de Scapin)’ and ‘The Hypochondriac (Le Malade imaginaire)’.

In the last 4 weeks I have read ‘Tartuffe’ (which is an excellent comedy) as well as ‘Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme’. I’m 100% looking forward to exploring more of Molière’s stuff this summer.





For the same reason as mentioned above, I will be digging into works by Marivaux, Corneille and a handful of great female playwrights of the 17th and 18th centuries such as Francoise Pascal who was the first French woman writer to have a play publicly staged by a professional company.






At the tender age of 13 this was the first book I had ever read on self-development and prosperity. My cousin in Kenya, John Bullen, had given this book to me, by chance, during one summer holiday in Nairobi, and it had transformed my life entirely.

Without going too deep into things, at the time I was quietly struggling with self-esteem issues, family problems, and consequently, I was disruptive, aggressive and underperforming in school. This book, however, really kick-started my growth and completely changed the course of my life.

After reading this book I began to follow the teachings of Joel Osteen for a number of years, and I’m forever grateful to John Bullen for his generosity and consideration, and for starting my journey towards achieving my full potential.

Knowing what I know now, I can come back to this book with a fresh pair of eyes and see how much more I can extract from it almost a decade later.






Tony Robbins is a phenomenal motivational speaker. Fact. He is positive, energetic, optimistic and very intelligent. Moreover, he has drive, ambition, courage and is extremely generous and compassionate towards others. On the whole, I trust in his knowledge, wisdom and experience.

I’m wondering if he has a younger brother who is 25 and single…

The other day I was listening to a podcast about this book during which Tony Robbins outlines what he believes are the fundamentals for financial success, which is obviously one of my biggest ambitions.

This book will be loaded with useful information and I feel that there is absolutely more room for me to grow and more knowledge to gain with regards to my personal finances. That said, I’ll be delving into this book with an open mind, zeal and great enthusiasm.






This book (10 Secrets for Success and Inner Peace) deals with spiritual development, which something I want to prioritise each day of my life. As it is written in French, and I read it everyday morning for 30 minutes, I am improving my reading skills at the same time. Some of the 10 secrets include letting go of the past and using meditation to silence the mind.

As with all books on personal development, what resonates the most with me at the time of reading is what I tend to incorporate into my life and take on for the foreseeable future. When I come back to it later on, perhaps even years later, I know I’ll be able to identify with a different message or idea discussed in the book.



Regarding the suspense/ thriller novels I think I will look into any top 10 list under these genres (such Waterstones, Amazon, etc.) to find decent recommendations. As always, if the book is very good and well written, I am hooked and can easily devour the whole thing in a very short period of time as if it were a juicy, tofu burger! I hope to treat myself to about 3-5 thrillers.


Et voilà, we have come to the end of my reading list for the holidays.

Here’s to a summer filled with beautiful words, lots of learning and gripping storylines!



Copyright © Akuc Bol 2016