There is truly nothing like summer. Time slows and blurs days into weeks and weeks into memories, under the blazing sun warming everyone and bringing life back into the world and a hunger for adventure. Whether summer entices the wistful wanderer to the beach, a road trip through the mountains, or a simple lazy Sunday on the couch, these days, people are longing for escape—to a different time and place. Nothing satisfies that craving much like being washed over by good summer reads.
Here are some of our favorites:
For the spiritual seekers – The initial ideas that blossom when the word “self-care” is uttered are face masks, baths with candles, and healthy recipes. While all of those are important, reading and gaining information and working on how to be a better person is the true core of a self-care routine. In Michael Singer’s audiobook, Living from a Place of Surrender, he walks the listener through the importance of “letting go” and shares step-by-step daily practices on how to surrender to life’s flow. Guiding the reader through a detailed journey on how to accept the things resistant to change paves the way toward the reader’s own journey to happiness and enjoying life.
For the quirky romantic – I’m the first to admit I love a good love story. The real ones. The ones that are awkward and tragic and raw and emotional and rewarding. The New York Times Modern Love series is my perfect read for those moments I need a relatable romantic experience. They compiled their best stories into a book edited by Daniel Jones.
For the literary connoisseur – Joan Didion is a classic writer that few people truly read unless they’re in specific classes or clubs in college. Her writing encapsulates California and her voice is both defiant yet pensive. Her book of essay, titled White Album, captures the world of California in the 60s. It’s easy to make parallels to current events, harder to stop reading.
For the history buff – History books are difficult to suggest because one can find something pertinent in all of history. These nuggets of what happened all seem to explain where the world is now as well as bring up more questions of how nothing appears to have changed. But there are parts of history nobody revisits and will make anyone laugh or look very well-read at a party. Here’s the secret: Mo Rocca’s Mobituaries. Rocca’s compilation of small chunks of history range from the rivalry of Jimmy Carter and his brother, Billy Carter, or notable yet forgotten history characters like Elizabeth Jennings Graham, who was basically the Rosa Parks of New York, a hundred years before. Rocca’s writing is easy yet fun to read and will probably help on a trivia game night.
For everyone – The conversations of race, history, and current events are truly essential reading for everyone. With so many books out there, it’s hard to choose just one but Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates should be required reading, especially in school. In a letter to his own son, Coates touches upon being black in America and the inherent dangers of simply being. It’s touching, heart-breaking, and eye-opening.
Whether for pleasure or education, reading and experiencing new stories has been proven to relieve stress and increase empathy. A good summer read can help anyone pull through.