I have always enjoyed diving into a good book, but lately, I find that it's the perfect way to take a break and disconnect. It's important to learn and talk about everything that is going on in the world right now, but it's also nice to have something else in your back pocket to discuss. I am going to do my best to give you a seasonal update on what I have been reading with 3-5 recommendations each time.
Here are the books I was loving this summer:
Untamed by Glennon Doyle
You are going to hear me reference this memoir a lot. Some of you may already feel like you don't need to read it because I have talked about it so much already, but I promise you... you do. Full disclosure, I thought this book was going to be a little too Kumbaya for me, but I listened to it on Audible, then I bought the hard copy and read it again. I still find myself opening it back up and looking for certain passages when I need some comfort.
Glennon Doyle touches on everything from family life, her relationship with God and her "inner knowing," to race relations and friendship in this enlightening and empowering memoir. It reminds us how to listen to our inner knowing and lead a life that is true to ourselves. This book is simply good for the soul and good to have in your collection when you need a reminder that you are a god damn cheetah (just read the book 😉).
I'm Still Here - Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown
This little green book packs a punch. It is direct and honest, yet hopeful and reassuring. This book felt like a letter of tough love from my black friend. I felt like I was sitting next to her in class in the 90s - hearing my teacher make an un-relatable reference or the co-worker that recognized that she was being talked over.
Austin Channing Brown walks us through her experiences in what she calls "white spaces," from her elementary school years and into the workplace. This compilation of stories from her life leaves you in agreement that "white people can be exhausting," and I took it as a call to action to be a better friend and ally. I have an entire blog post about this book coming soon, but in the meantime, I encourage you to add it to your collection - it will only make you a kinder and more empathetic soul.
The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn
I love a good thriller and this one was nothing short of addicting. I disappeared into this book for a solid two days and couldn't breathe until it was over. A.J. Finn puts you in the clouded mind of Anna Fox and very quickly, it becomes hard to tell what is paranoia and what is real. Your heart breaks for this vice-ridden character and you'll find yourself rooting for her while trapped alongside her.
Becoming by Michelle Obama
Just like the former first lady herself, this book is a class act. Relatable and nostalgic, Becoming takes us through the last 6 decades, connecting us through stories of family and marriage, race, careers, and politics without ever being divisive. It can connect generations, incite empathy, and show us the impact of a strong, passionate wife and mother, professional and leader.
I listened to it on Audible in late spring/early summer, and during a time of chaos and unknowns, I just found this book and Michelle Obama's voice to be so comforting and grounding. Her story is so beautifully written - it reads like a classic novel. It reminds us that being true to ourselves and leading with love and compassion is powerful and can lead us down life-changing roads. It reminds us that, yes, we can become whoever we want to be and do anything we put our minds to.
The Couple Next Door by Shari LaPena
I wouldn't exactly give Anne and Marco the title of "Parents of the Year," and in the first chapter, you just want to yell at them and say, "well, what did you think was going to happen?!" Well... nothing in this book was what I thought was going to happen. This suspenseful thriller is full of twists and turns up until the very last page. Trust no one in this book and be prepared to not put it down until your done.
Have you read any of my summer picks? What do you recommend? Let me know in the comments - I need some suggestions for the fall!