Hello, my friend!
If you listen to the podcast, then you may know a bit about my journey. (Ahem, you're subscribed, right?)
I spent a decade discovering more about myself through yoga, meditation, coaching, podcasts, and — of course — books!
Personal growth sounds so heavy. So I've included some light summer reads with some irreverent writers on this list.
If you walked into my house, you'd see books everywhere: the living room, the dining room and my bedroom are really my mini libraries. I love dog earring my books (except the ones I check out of the library — that's blasphemy). When I was in college, I was an English Lit major, and I had a professor who encouraged students to engage with their books by writing in them, so there's lots of scribbles and underlines in there too.
My nightstand is also always stacked with books because I like to skip from one to the other depending on my mood. (Sound like you?)
On this book list I've curated 9 inspiring (and fun) summer reads for you. These book recommendations will get you thinking and sharing them with your friends.
Here are my 9 Inspiring and Fun Summer Reads
Full disclosure, I didn't read Rachel Holis's mega hit, “Girl, Wash Your Face.” However, I'm a sucker for all things goal setting, so I had to read this one. Rachel Holis calls it like she sees it and discusses the topics that we should have been taught in high school. She does it in such a way that you feel like you're talking to your closest friend.
Everything you've always wanted to learn about how to handle your money but never knew to ask. This was brilliantly written to keep the money talk from being intimidating or boring. It's a simple modern fable that I gobbled right up. It's written by the New York Times best selling author of “The Automatic Millionaire,” and he distills complex topics into something so simple that even your teenager can understand it. I highly recommend it.
If you're a fan of Grey's Anatomy or Scandal, you'll love this scrumptious treat of a book. Shonda Rhimes has an alluring combination of humanness and super-humanness. Every ambitious mom should read this book to assuage mom-guilt. Shonda (I feel like I can call her Shonda now) gives her honest take on learning how to show up even bigger and better in the world. This is a must read for ambitious souls.
I listened to this book on audio, and it was wonderful hearing Oprah talk to me — as well as the guests she's interviewed — in my car. It was like getting to hang out with her on a road trip (literally because I was driving over the Sierras while listening to her book). She shares her perspectives but mainly highlights the wisdom shared by her guests on her podcast and television shows. If you're not subscribed to her SuperSoul Conversations Podcast, be sure you tune in and listen to her conversations with thoughtful people like Ekhart Tolle, Iyanla Vanzant, Marie Forleo and more.
This slender volume is filled with wisdom passed down from the Toltec Shamans. Don Jose Ruiz shares stories from this oral tradition and breaks down the meaning that is infused in each one. He's the son of don Miguel who wrote the Four Agreements and co-wrote the Fifth Agreement with his father. You can open this book up to any chapter and just read a bit of it if you're sitting on the porch sipping your iced tea. I love this book for it's simplicity and depth.
Russell Brand has gone through a truly amazing transformation over the years. He shares some of his best advice for addiction to substances, but it is also incredibly relevant for us work-addicted folk. If you're a lawyer or other ambitious person, you may see yourself reflected in what he has to say. This book weaves spirituality and awareness. His irreverence and stories will keep you riveted.
I placed this money book on the list in combination with the Latte Factor because this book deals with more of the mental game behind our money. Another irreverent writer on the list, Jen Sincero only deals in honesty and helps us re-write our negative money stories with tools and strategies along the way. If you want to earn more money or handle the money you have already even better, read this book.
Brene Brown is a social scientist whose vulnerability has brought her lots of attention over the years. In this book she dives into one of my favorite topics — getting uncomfortable. If you listen to Soul Roadmap Podcast, you know that I love this woman to pieces and that the topic of staying in the discomfort for the most personal growth is a favorite of mine. We must get comfortable being uncomfortable to evolve. In this book she shares her personal stories, which endears her to the reader, but more importantly shows her commitment to this work and allows us to connect with her in a way we can't with a lot of writers. We can't really discuss the work of transformation if we're not in it ourselves, right?
I walked into a used bookstore one day in Davis, California — a small college town — and saw this book propped up on a stand. I immediately knew I had to have it. Who else could possibly have better nuggets of wisdom on writing than Stephen King? But it was more than that. It was a journey into his mind, and it was a self-help book in more ways than one. His perseverance through rejection and his stories about keeping himself motivated helped me reframe some stories that I told myself about rejection. He also inspired me to do more of what I love. Oh, yeah, he also talks about the craft of writing, so if you want to learn more about what one of the best — and most beloved — writers in the world knows about writing, read it.
Because personal growth must include watching out for our health! Kris Carr became a health sleuth after she was diagnosed with cancer. Some of that sleuthing led her to create this lovely book. If you're craving easy fresh juices to get you through the summer — and love looking through a beautiful book — definitely grab this one.
What are you reading this summer? I'm always looking for good reads, and I'd love to hear your recs.