Summer is the perfect time to get out your reading list and relax with a good book. I like to choose a variety of books to read and really stretch myself in terms of my reading choices in hopes that I will be able to reflect on myself and how I view the world.
The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin is a great inspirational read about how to take active steps to be happier. If you’re looking for a self-help book, this is it! This yearly guide has new resolutions every month and is full of anecdotes and helpful suggestions to help you achieve a lifestyle that makes you happier. It’s the perfect book to read to prepare for the new academic year.
The Woman I Wanted To Be by Diane Von Furstenberg is a fantastic autobiographical work exploring the life and decisions of one of the world’s most successful businesswomen. Personally and financially inspirational, Diane teaches us how to embrace ourselves and our work in order to be happier and more successful. Any aspiring fashionista or businesswoman would definitely benefit from seeing life from Diane’s perspective.
How To Eat by Nigella Lawson is great for kick-starting a new, healthier relationship with food. Throw out all of your diet books because this is the only food book you’ll need. This guide is filled with recipes and writings about how to have a better relationship with food, how to make tasty meals from only a few ingredients, and how to use your food (and budget) wisely to create meals for anyone.
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert was on my list for a long time and I finally read it last summer in France. I always love to read at least one classic over the summer and there is no better place to read a French novel than in the country itself! Flaubert writes so elegantly and Emma Bovary is so outlandish that she is a perennially entertaining heroine.
The Color Purple by Alice Walker will definitely make you think (and most definitely make you cry). Focusing on racism in the United States, the protagonist, Celie, faces a harrowing life with surprising optimism. The novel really makes you think about some of the things we take for granted and the tragedies that African-Americans have faced over the centuries. Maybe not the most relaxing beach-read, but an important one nonetheless.