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Books That Bring Us Joy: July 2017

BBL's roundup of this month's must-read books.

Most people know that July is the warmest month of the year for much of the United States, but what you may not know is that July has some quirks that make it a pretty unique month for more than just its high temps. For instance, July was named after Julius Caesar, and it used to be pronounced with stress on the first syllable, rhyming it with duly or truly. Also, no month ends on the same day of the week as July unless it is a leap year, when January does so. Beyond that, it’s filled with some hilarious and quirky holidays, so we thought we’d celebrate some of our favorite July reads in conjunction with the holidays that complement them. Read on to find five new great reads for personal growth available in July…truly.

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The Practical Handbook of Homoeopathy: The How, When, Why and Which of Home Prescribing by Colin Griffith

Holiday: Build a Scarecrow Day (first Sunday in July)

Protect your garden on Build a Scarecrow Day so you can fully utilize it when reading Colin Griffith’s The Practical Handbook of Homoeopathy. In recent years, people have become more and more open to homeopathic remedies, but that doesn’t mean we always know what to use or how to use it properly. Griffith’s user-friendly guide covers everything from diagnosis and treatment to a list of fifty commonly needed remedies for various conditions that can be kept and stored in the house safely. It’s true that you don’t have to grow your own ingredients and that some homeopathy doesn’t require plants, but hey, Build a Scarecrow Day is as good a reason as any to celebrate home remedies, as a scarecrow is a type of home remedy in itself. This is a revised and updated edition and is for, as the author says, “everyone who cares about natural healing.”




Seeing What Others Cannot See: The Hidden Advantages of Visual Thinkers and Differently Wired Brains by Thomas G. West

Holiday: Embrace Your Geekness Day (July 13)

Let’s be clear out of the gate: the definition of geek that’s used in this context relates to “a highly intelligent person, typically with a technical bent.” The term is not used with any negative connotation—nor is it used that way by the holiday creators, which is why we can celebrate this holiday as well as the visual thinkers spotlighted in West’s latest book. These visual thinkers have different kinds of brains and, therefore, engage in different ways of learning, thinking, and working. West is an advocate for the importance of visual thinking and visual technologies, and he illustrates this in his book through first-person accounts that inspire and outline the significant potential these different thinkers have, especially in our new digital age. Although some of these ways of thinking have been thought to be hindrances in the past, West shows those “on the spectrum,” with Asperger’s syndrome or other learning differences can indeed, as he puts it, “see what others cannot see.”




You’re Weird: A Creative Journal for Misfits, Oddballs, and Anyone Else Who’s Uniquely Awesome by Kate Peterson

Holiday: Be A Dork Day (July 15)

Okay, so honestly, we’re all dorks about something. There’s something in all of our lives that we get just a little too overly excited about, and Kate Peterson thinks it’s high time we embrace it. In her illustrated journal, she helps readers celebrate whatever it is that they are weirdoes about with lists, writing prompts, activities, and more. With Peterson’s guidance, we can revel in what makes us unique. Every page has something to scribble, color, and write in response to, so, as Peterson says: “Carpe Weird!”




What She Ate: Six Remarkable Women and the Food That Tells Their Stories by Laura Shapiro

Holiday: Culinarians Day (July 25)

Not only is it delightful that Shapiro’s latest culinary history was published on Culinarians Day, but it’s also a delightful read. This lively story follows six women in history that are as diverse as Eleanor Roosevelt and Eva Braun, yet a critical commonality between them exists—their powerful and complicated relationships with food. Shapiro’s “culinary biography” of these six unique women includes letters, journals, and iconic repasts, painting a portrait of each through her eating and cooking. If this book doesn’t inspire you to eat well, whip something up in the kitchen, or start to write about your own epicurean memories, we’d be shocked. We’re ready to do all three, because as Shapiro says, “It’s never just food.”




This Is Where You Belong: Finding Home Wherever You Are by Melody Warnick

Holiday: International Day of Friendship (July 30)

After moving six times, Melody Warnick finally asked herself: “Aren’t we supposed to put down roots at some point? How does the place we live become the place we want to stay?” In her book, This Is Where You Belong, she explores the answers to those questions through the placemaking movement. The placemaking movement is an idea as well as an approach by community members to improve their neighborhood, city, or region through the collective reimagining of shared public spaces. What Warnick found was often tied into feeling more locally connected, and the International Day of Friendship is a great day to take some of her findings and suggestions to heart—after all, what better way is there to feel like you belong than creating friendships with the people in your community. As Warnick states in her book, “The more I gave to my city, the more I got back from it,” and certainly that includes making personal connections.




Photo Credit: G-Stockstudio/iStock



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