The perfect season for soaking up the extra sunlight and catching up on life-enriching books is upon us. We’ve curated a short list of insightful books worth reading this summer: works to inspire, to add to your intellect and to make you laugh for whichever mood may strike.
To wind down before bed:
The Sleep Revolution – Ariana Huffington
Our culture of hustling and grinding dismisses sleep as time wasted. Co-founder and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post, Ariana Huffington exposes the harm that sleep deprivation has on our health and happiness in both our work and personal lives. This book explores sleep from all angles, such as its history, role, interferences and the latest science. It’s that electric prod for those of us who need the extra push to schedule in daily R&R.
To laugh out loud lying poolside or on a sofa staycation:
Furiously Happy – Jenny Lawson
The #1 New York Times bestselling author Jenny Lawson explores her lifelong battle with crippling depression and anxiety in a surprisingly hysterical and ridiculous way. This book touches on the dark side of mental illness, but is ultimately about embracing everything that makes us who we are—the beautiful and the flawed—and then using it to find joy in fantastic and outrageous ways. A fun read for when you need a good laugh and quality alone time, it offers enough substance to feel like it was time well spent.
To leaf through at the park or airport:
Parent Hacks: 134 Genius Shortcuts for Life with Kids – Asha Dornfest
Whether you’re caring for little ones of your own, grandkids or babysitting your best friend’s rug rats, this book just might save a life—or at least your precious time and some sweaty struggles. It’s both for the baby-averse who can learn from scratch, as well as for seasoned hands who will still pick up neat tricks. At the very least, you’ll get a good laugh and tips to share with your spouse, siblings and friends.
To bring on a quiet retreat:
When Breath Becomes Air – Paul Kalanithi
A profoundly moving bestseller, this memoir by a young neurosurgeon attempts to answer the question, what makes life worth living? One day, Paul was a doctor treating the dying and the next, he was the patient facing death, diagnosed with terminal stage IV lung cancer. The author died while working on this book, yet his words live on as a guide and a gift to us all. If you’ve ever wondered what makes life meaningful, you can explore the depths of the wisdom that come at the end of a journey long before you get there yourself.
To supplement your election newsfeed:
Five Presidents: My Extraordinary Journey with Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, and Ford – Clint Hill
Former secret service agent Clint Hill shares up close and personal moments he witnessed while protecting the presidents of the United States. With a unique insider’s perspective, he sheds new light on the characters and personalities of these five heads of state, revealing their humanity in the face of grave decisions. In anticipation of the historic election this year, this book may help us consider the presidency from a fundamental perspective, a humanist level we often forget to apply to the commander-in-chief occupying the Oval Office.
For your office book club:
The Effective Executive – Peter F. Drucker
One of three books selected by Jeff Bezos for his senior management team, it focuses on time management and effective decision-making to allow for productivity and high-value contribution. The other two books you can peruse if you’ve managed your time right are The Innovator’s Solution: Creating and Sustaining Successful Growth by Clayton M. Christensen and The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement Eliyahu M. Goldratt and Jeff Cox.