7 Thought-Provoking Summer Reads

Summer reading is one of my all-time favorite things. And while I do love light and fun beach reads, there is something extra special about a book that makes you think. Here is a round-up of the perfect thought-provoking summer reads – whether you’re on the beach or not!

 

Rising Strong: The Reckoning. The Rumble. The Revolution.
By Brené Brown

Rising Strong

Social scientist Brené Brown has ignited a global conversation on courage, vulnerability, shame, and worthiness with her new book, Rising Strong. Brown discovered that vulnerability—the willingness to show up and be seen with no guarantee of outcome—is the only path to more love, belonging, creativity, and joy. But that’s not always easy.  In Rising Strong, a range of people—from leaders in Fortune 500 companies and the military to artists, couples in long-term relationships, teachers, and parents—share their stories of being brave, falling, and getting back up. Regardless of how big or small the problem is, the process of rising strong after a fall is what teaches us about who we are.

 

Summer House with Swimming Pool

By Herman Koch

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Summer House with Swimming Pool is out in paperback this summer, and it’s a must-read for those who can’t get enough of books that keep you guessing – all while containing Herman Koch’s signature humor and psychological insight.

When a medical procedure goes horribly wrong and famous actor Ralph Meier winds up dead, Dr. Marc Schlosser needs to come up with some answers.  It all started the previous summer when Marc’s family joined Ralph’s family and friends for a week at a summer home on the Mediterranean. But when a violent incident disrupts the trip, darker motivations are revealed, and suddenly no one can be trusted. As the ultimate holiday turns into a nightmare, the circumstances surrounding Ralph’s later death begin to reveal the disturbing reality behind that summer’s tragedy.

 

Modern Romance
By Aziz Ansari

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I think Aziz Ansari is one of the funniest comedians alive. When I first heard about his book, Modern Romance, the first thing I thought of was this hilarious clip from 2013 of him talk about modern dating on Conan. I knew I had to pick up his book. Aziz and sociologist Eric Klinenberg conducted a massive research project using hundreds of interviews and focus groups from all over the world. The result makes us laugh-out-loud at the insights and humor in this book, but also challenges us to really think about what love means and how we find love in the 21st century. I feel like this should be required reading for everyone looking for love.

 

A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing: A Novel
By Eimear McBride

A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing

When this debut novel was out in hardcover it received rave reviews, made it on countless “Best Books of 2014” lists, won a slew of literary awards, and the New York Times hailed a future classic. If this isn’t a must-read, I’m not sure what is!

A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing tells the story a young girl’s devastating adolescence as she and her brother struggle for a semblance of normalcy in the shadow of sexual abuse. Her writing is compared to Joyce, O’Brien, and Woolf –high praise, and McBride lives up to it.

 

The Surrender Experiment
By Michael A. Singer

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There are so many different ways to live life. I feel like a lot of us are convinced we have to stay on a particular path, but in reality, if you really wanted to, you could drastically change your lifestyle. Michael Singer does this in such a huge and successful way and reading his story challenged me to take a deeper look at my life.

Michael Singer decided to live alone in the middle of the woods, let go of himself, and embrace a life of solitude. This man had made a radical decision and let life call the shots—which unwittingly led him to both the pinnacle of success and the brink of disaster.

 

Thrive
By Arianna Huffington

Thrive

Striving for work/life balance has been a popular discussion lately and often times is easier said than done. In Thrive, Arianna Huffington talks about how our relentless pursuit of power and money is leading to an epidemic of burnout and stress and with being connected to the world 24/7, we’re losing our connection to what truly matters. Our current definition of success is, as Thrive shows, literally killing us. We need a new way forward.

Arianna talks candidly about her own challenges with managing time and prioritizing the demands of a career and family. She also draws on the latest groundbreaking research and scientific findings to show the profound and transformative effects of meditation, mindfulness, unplugging, and giving. I learned a lot from this read and hopefully you will too.

 

The Book of Strange New Things
Michel Faber

The Book of Strange New Things

This novel begins with Peter, a devoted man of faith, who is called on a mission of a lifetime, one that takes him galaxies away from his wife, Bea. Peter becomes immersed in the mysteries of an astonishing new environment. But Peter is rattled when Bea’s letters from home become increasingly desperate: typhoons and earthquakes are devastating whole countries and governments are crumbling.  Bea’s faith, once the guiding light of their lives, begins to falter.  Their trials lay bare a profound meditation on faith, love tested beyond endurance, and our responsibility to those closest to us.


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