I live in the Northeast/Mid-Atlantic area. Philadelphia, to be exact. Our winters are long, filled with bitter bites in our air, and short days that lead to blanketed nights. Sometimes, we wake up to snow falling from the sky as if they’re delicate gifts from the clouds. Other times, we shelter against snowstorms that remind you of nature’s power.
Whenever summer comes around, it often becomes a busy time. People emerge from their winter cocoons to celebrate life’s magic and milestones: day trips to the beach, barbecues with family, never-ending, warm nights in the presence of friends old and new. Wedding and baby shower invitations seem to arrive in the mail all at once, as if the envelopes were part of a summer’s bloom.
But, despite all the events and celebrations – or perhaps because of them – summer can become a time for deep reflection.
The day trips come to an end with one last vivid blast of color in the sky; barbecues are spiced with the complexity that can come whenever surrounded by people who claim to know you before you had a chance to get to know yourself; the transient, summer nights with friends and acquaintances can lead to hangovers that make you feel like everyone has the potential to be a stranger.
In the silent pauses between these events, when I find myself alone with my thoughts and no reason to distract myself from them, I begin to reflect. I consider the life I’ve lived and the one I’m leading.
I think about my future. In the warmth of the long summer sun, I even dare to dream about it.
Before I know it, all the feelings and experiences that warm weather can bring leads me to search for my soul among the black and white pages of books written by strangers.
And while I love a juicy beach read (I wrote and published one, after all!) this post is dedicated to three books I can’t recommend enough. For anyone wanting to experience a season of reflecting, and maybe even realigning, some things in their life, these books are for you:
Now, I’m not going to pretend to be a book critic, or offer long reviews, but I will say that the words written in these three books have altered me and my worldview. Perhaps they could do a lot for you, too:
𝑩𝒓𝒂𝒊𝒅𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝑺𝒘𝒆𝒆𝒕𝒈𝒓𝒂𝒔𝒔 𝒃𝒚 𝑹𝒐𝒃𝒊𝒏 𝑾𝒂𝒍𝒍 𝑲𝒊𝒎𝒎𝒆𝒓𝒆𝒓 … the writing is transportive. This book has forever changed the way I view the natural world and my place in it.
𝑯𝒐𝒘 𝒕𝒐 𝑫𝒐 𝑵𝒐𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒃𝒚 𝑱𝒆𝒏𝒏𝒚 𝑶𝒅𝒆𝒍𝒍 … As soon as I started this book, I had to bring it with me everywhere (it’s the one photographed in the picture), because any time I tried to put it down, I craved for the feeling its chapters gave me. Odell’s writing forced me to reflect on my time, creativity, and technology.
𝑫𝒊𝒈𝒊𝒕𝒂𝒍 𝑴𝒊𝒏𝒊𝒎𝒂𝒍𝒊𝒔𝒎 𝒃𝒚 𝑪𝒂𝒍 𝑵𝒆𝒘𝒑𝒐𝒓𝒕 … I think many of us have a complicated relationship with technology. Even sharing this book through an online platform seems ironic. But Newport’s writing helped me make sense of our digitally-focused, modern world: where we have been, where we are, and where we may want to go, instead.
Now I need some book recommendations for the summer months ahead. Please leave them in the comments below (I’ve found a book I love in every genre, so, please don’t hesitate!)