We’re just a month into summer 2017 and if you’re a book lover like I am, you’re thinking about what to read by the lake, ocean or river. Maybe you already have your reading list put together; maybe you haven’t started making one.
Either way, I recommend adding some or all of the following books to your list. They are listed in no particular order; simply books I’ve read recently that I feel are worth mentioning. Each one added value to my life in some way: sparked a journal entry; gave me a quote to put on my Instagram page; caused me to reflect on my life and make shifts that are taking me a direction that makes more sense to me. That’s the power of books!
Do you like listening? Listen to an extended version of this post here.
Six of the books on the list are non-fiction; one is fiction. Again, this list is in no particular order. Each book on it is terrific for its own reasons. Click the title to learn more about each book and its author.
Happy summer [or anytime] reading!
1. A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson. This book is a memoir of the author’s attempt to hike the full length of the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine in the mid-1990s. Funny, philosophical and at times tender, this narrative brings the reader into a world most of us will never experience. I personally have no desire to hike the AT, but I certainly appreciate and respect those who do. Bryson makes this experience come alive and offers a look at America and our history in a fresh and often fascinating way.
2. Into the Water by Paula Hawkins. Hawkins is the author of the popular book, The Girl on the Train and comes back this year with a terrific page-turner. Set in a small town in England, this story brings the reader into the world of characters who lead very different lives but are connected through a river that flows through their town and tragedies from the past. I listened to this book and couldn’t stop. It kept me riveted from start to finish. A great fun beach read.
3. Killing Sacred Cows by Garrett Gunderson. This book falls into what I call the “money category.” Gunderson takes a contrarian approach to how we need to think about money and it makes a lot of sense. He argues that life is more than money, but also underscores that money gives us choices and makes life more interesting.
4. Overcoming Underearning by Barbara Stanny. This book also falls into the money category, but not in the same way as the one by Gunderson. Barbara Stanny outlines the five steps we can take to move past the blocks that keep us from earning the kind of money that gives us peace of mind and financial freedom. While her intended audience is women, I believe men can benefit from her wisdom, too. Lots of exercises after each chapter help anchor the principles she discusses.
5. Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul by Stuart Brown. Why do we need to play? What can happen to us if we don’t play? Dr. Brown presents a compelling argument for the need to incorporate some form of play into our daily lives. In a world that seems to demand we work, work, work ourselves to the bone, how refreshing to hear someone command us to stop and go to recess.
6. First Kill All the Marriage Counselors by Laura Doyle. This book was recently re-released with a new title, but the content is virtually the same as the original. If you are in a relationship of any kind, read this book. Although written for women, this book has value regardless of gender. Man or woman, you will gain at least one insight into why you sometimes struggle with your primary relationship. Trust me — what she teaches really works!
7. The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins. I love this book and I love Mel Robbins. Today’s blog post title was inspired by this book as Mel spends a lot of time reminding us that big changes often begin with small decisions. (You can watch the TEDx talk that gave life to this book below.) It’s impossible in my opinion to not be moved by Mel’s stories, energy and enthusiasm for living a full life. I listened to the audio version of this book which Mel narrates and it’s terrific. Highly recommend this book to anyone who is in need of a little guidance on moving forward with a decision, big or small.