Our Reading List: Summer Books to Kickback With

Written by Samantha Proctor

Summer has hit us, friends! If you’re lucky, you get to take some time off, hang out at the beach or by the pool, and what’s better than laying in the sun with a good book*? Also, if the kids get a summer reading list, you should too! Check out a few of our summer favorites for this year!

The Language of Letting Go, Melanie Beattie – Melody Beattie, the bestselling author of “Codependent No More” and “Beyond Codependency,” has now created Hazelden’s first meditation book for codependents. Here are reflections that nurture spiritual and emotional health, serenity, and recovery. Focusing on self-esteem and acceptance, and written in the direct, unsentimental style of Beattie’s bestsellers, these daily meditations give voice to the thoughts and feelings common to men and women in recovery. They encourage fruitful reflection on problem-solving, self-awareness, sexuality, intimacy, detachment, attachment, acceptance, feelings, relationships, spirituality, and more.

This is Where I Leave You, Jonathan Tropper – A riotously funny, emotionally raw New York Times bestselling novel about love, marriage, divorce, family, and the ties that bind—whether we like it or not.The death of Judd Foxman’s father marks the first time that the entire Foxman clan has congregated in years. There is, however, one conspicuous absence: Judd’s wife, Jen, whose affair with his radio- shock-jock boss has recently become painfully public. Simultaneously mourning the demise of his father and his marriage, Judd joins his dysfunctional family as they reluctantly sit shiva and spend seven days and nights under the same roof. The week quickly spins out of control as long standing grudges resurface, secrets are revealed and old passions are reawakened. Then Jen delivers the clincher: she’s pregnant…

Dare to Lead, Brene Brown – Four-time #1 New York Times bestselling author Brené Brown has spent the past two decades studying the emotions and experiences that give meaning to our lives, and the past seven years working with transformative leaders and teams spanning the globe. She found that leaders in organizations ranging from small entrepreneurial startups and family-owned businesses to nonprofits, civic organizations, and Fortune 50 companies all ask the same question: How do you cultivate braver, more daring leaders, and how do you embed the value of courage in your culture? In this new book, Brown uses research, stories, and examples to answer these questions in the no-BS style that millions of readers have come to expect and love.

Community, The Structure of Belonging, Peter Block – As a response to the increasing violence in our culture, the widening ideological divides, and the growing gap in economic well-being, there is greater awareness that a deeper sense of community is desperately needed. But even as we acknowledge the need to build community, the dominant on-the-ground practices about how to engage people, civically and organizationally, remain essentially unchanged. We still believe community is built with better messaging, more persuasion, and social events for people to get to know each other better. All of which is naïve. In this new edition, Block draws on a decade of putting these ideas into practice to emphasize what has worked and extract those thoughts that were nice but had no durability. He explores how technology, instead of bringing us together, has driven us into more isolation. New examples show that community building can be a more powerful way to address social problems than more traditional policies and programs. And encouragingly, Block insists this is really simple, once we decide it is essential. He offers a way of thinking that creates an opening for authentic communities to exist and details what each of us can do to make that happen.

Midnight in Chernobyl, Adam Higgenbotham – Drawing on hundreds of hours of interviews conducted over the course of more than ten years, as well as letters, unpublished memoirs, and documents from recently-declassified archives, Adam Higginbotham has written a harrowing and compelling narrative which brings the disaster to life through the eyes of the men and women who witnessed it firsthand. The result is a masterful nonfiction thriller, and the definitive account of an event that changed history: a story that is more complex, more human, and more terrifying than the Soviet myth. Midnight in Chernobyl is an indelible portrait of one of the great disasters of the twentieth century, of human resilience and ingenuity, and the lessons learned when mankind seeks to bend the natural world to his will – lessons which, in the face of climate change and other threats, remain not just vital but necessary.

Where the Crawdads Sing, Delia Owens – For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life—until the unthinkable happens. Perfect for fans of Barbara Kingsolver and Karen Russell, Where the Crawdads Sing is at once an exquisite ode to the natural world, a heartbreaking coming-of-age story, and a surprising tale of possible murder. Owens reminds us that we are forever shaped by the children we once were, and that we are all subject to the beautiful and violent secrets that nature keeps.

*All synopsis information was collected from Barnes and Noble.

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