For those of you that don’t know, I am ALWAYS reading something. Reading is absolutely one of the greatest loves of my life. For as long as I can remember, libraries and bookstores have drawn me in, and when I travel I love to find either and check them out. I actually discovered a hidden talent I’ve developed from reading so much. . . . I am reaaalllly good at rapping song lyrics. I didn’t realize I could read so fast until I rapped an entire Nicki Minaj song during karaoke like a boss. I seriously impressed myself, and I’ll let you know if I decide to go on tour.
I definitely have a thing for tangible hardcover/paperback books. I’ve tried different e-readers, but they cannot compare to holding a book in your hands, turning the pages, and seeing it on your shelf once it’s finished. when I look at my shelves full of books I can remember where and when I read each one. They’re like placeholders for moments in time and I love collecting them.
As an English graduate student, my literature interests are diverse as you’ll notice in this list, so I’m hoping there is something for everyone! The only thing that I won’t read is material that I don’t see adding value to my life. I won’t name names here, BUT I will not trade hours of my life for certain books that I can eventually experience in a reclined theatre seat, with some Reese’s Pieces and the choice to nap through them if I please.
Here are my top 7 reads of the summer:
1. Disrupt You! – Jay Samit
This book was so much fun to read! It’s all about disruptors in the marketplace and the mindset needed to go forth and be a disruptor yourself. There is a ton of information about how some of the major innovators and disruptive businesses came to be, and they will definitely surprise you. Disrupt You! will challenge your perspective and the way you apply your ideas not only in business, but on a personal level.
Excerpt: “The business world is littered with the fossils of companies that failed to evolve. Disrupt or be disrupted. There is no middle ground.”
2. milk and honey – Rupi Kaur
This book is a collection of short form poetry divided into four chapters. Each poem is accompanied by simple blank ink sketches that really take the poetry to another level. It delves into hurting, loving, breaking, and healing. Kaur skillfully translates emotions into words in the most concise and raw way. Definitely a quote worthy book and you’ll find yourself reading it over and over!
Excerpt: “you / must never / trade honesty / for relatability”
3. The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho
I know I am late to the game with this one, as I purchased the 25th anniversary edition, but I feel like this book is timeless. It’s literally where all insightful quotes were born. As I read I kept marking them all. There is so much to be learned about life, perception, dreams, and resilience within the pages of The Alchemist. Definitely a must read for every and anyone.
Excerpt: “It’s this: that at a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what’s happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fate. That’s the world’s greatest lie.”
4. Lean In – Sheryl Sandberg
This book was written by the kick ass chief operating officer at Facebook. It explores the challenges and equality issues of women in the workplace. Sandberg adds a lot of great research founded information about these issues, and brings awareness to men and women who should both read this book. Her witty writing style and sharing of personal experiences enhance the subjects approachability with keen attention and a call to action.
Excerpt: “All of us -men and women alike- have to understand and acknowledge how stereotypes and biases cloud our beliefs and perpetuate the status quo. Instead of ignoring our differences, we need to accept and transcend them.”
5. A Brilliant Madness – Robert M. Drake
I first discovered this book through Instagram when I kept seeing quotes pop up on different accounts. When I looked up the author, I realized it was a collection of poetry. Like Kaur, Drake also accompanies his poetry with black and white images. He describes the book as “a representation of daily life. The repetition of the norm, the same cycles we go through daily.” It’s fresh and insightful freeform poetry that is interesting to read.
Excerpt: “It is important to visit / that place inside you. / That place no other human / is allowed to enter. / There you will find no fear. / You will find the laughing sun / and you will love there / and rise there and fall there / and break there and put / yourself back together there.”
6. The ONE Thing – Gary Keller with Jay Papsan
I cannot say enough good things about this book! It provides the clarity needed to focus and live a purposeful life while achieving extraordinary results. It is definitely a book you will continue to reference when you’re finished reading. The format of the book makes it easy to grasp each concept and drill it home. This book is for anyone who wants to get rid of all distractions and get shit done.
Excerpt: “Anyone who dreams of an uncommon life eventually discovers there is no choice but to seek an uncommon approach to living it.”
7. All the Light We Cannot See – Anthony Doerr
This is a meticulously crafted story of a young girl and a young man experiencing World War II in very opposing ways. Doerr’s metaphors and imagery read like poetry in All the Light We Cannot See, which he spent ten years composing- you’ll see why when you read it. The amount of detail and knowledge intertwined with his impeccable skill as a writer is a literary dream come true, and well deserving of the Pulitzer Prize it has received!
Excerpt: “All the dangers he is willing to endure. For the Reich. For himself. No one stops him. No shells come whistling in. Sometimes the eye of a hurricane is the safest place to be.”
I hope you check out a few of these, they are worth it! Happy reading. 🙂