What’s summer without great reading material?
Not that we don’t enjoy a great book, magazine or blog at ANY point throughout the year, but there’s something about the longer days of summer that seem to generate more of those glorious little windows of time where we can do something just for ourselves.
So whether you’re at the beach, in your backyard or simply curled up on your couch during a spare moment, we pulled together some favorites from our team and some friends for your summer reading enjoyment!
The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff
The Tao of Pooh has stood the test of time and maintained its relevance since it was first published in 1983. Hoff uses the calm, unassuming favorite childhood bear to introduce and explain the central tenets of Taoism.
Katrina says: "A cute book that teaches you how to stay happy and calm under all circumstances. It takes complicated ancient lessons and makes them very easy to understand. It’s a short read and stuffed with valuable takeaways!”
The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
A New York Times Bestseller first published in 1997, The Red Tent is a richly told story, related in the voice of Dinah, a woman only hinted at in the Bible’s Book of Genesis. Jacob’s one and only daughter weaves a multi-layered story, highlighting a new view of ancient biblical women’s lives.
Jenn says: “I love this book. It was gifted to me by a dear friend and it truly displays the beauty of women, their ability to carry life inside them, and the amazing sisterhood that comes with being a woman.”
The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes
A novel so compelling that it begs to be read in a single setting, and at less than 200 pages, that might actually be achievable! This is the story of Tony, who must revisit his past and balance it with his place in the present.
Rachel says: “The Sense of an Ending is sexy in a brainiac way. It’s a mystery, a character study, and an erotic romance, all rolled into a brisk, quintessentially British coming of age story.”
Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan
When 24-year-old Susannah Cahalan woke up alone in a hospital room, strapped to her bed and unable to move or speak, she had no memory of how she’d gotten there. An award-winning memoir and instant New York Times bestseller, Brain on Fire is the powerful account of one woman’s struggle to reclaim her identity.
Shari says: “Cahalan’s account of a mysterious brain condition that takes over and threatens to destroy her life is harrowing and captivating all at once. You can’t imagine what she is going through, wondering if she will even live, let alone be able to recapture her previous path. You’ll want to slap certain doctors and wrap others in a bear hug.”
Blog: A Beautiful Mess
Co-owned by sisters Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman, the blog is only one element of the duo’s lifestyle company which also features online classes, published books and their own product line. In their words, A Beautiful Mess is “focused on creating happiness every day through a homemade lifestyle”. (Visit here.)
Megan says: “For me, it’s the perfect combination of lifestyle, fashion and DIY topics. I am a very crafty person and love to make things myself because they’re made with love, it’s inexpensive and the gifts are usually cuter anyway!”
The Top 500 Poems edited by William Harmon
William Harmon has assembled a collection of popular and enduring poems as chosen by critics, editors, poets and general readers. The anthology features a colorful tapestry covering many eras and including poets such as Chaucer, Shakespeare, Donne, Wordsworth, Keats and Ginsberg. Harmon also provides his own insightful commentary to accompany each work.
Erin says: “My fiancé and I read a poem a night (most nights) together from The Top 500 Poems. We got it at Powell’s City of Books in Portland, the same trip where we got engaged. Besides the sentimentality, I like that it's something we can share and discuss. The poetry also helps me observe and contemplate the world around me.”