There's no better time than the summer months to invest in a few quality books to enjoy poolside. Below are several books, both old and new, that I have most enjoyed. The list includes a mix of engrossing literary fiction, a bit on spiritual development, compelling non-fiction, and some great advice on how to be a 'bad-ass bitch' in life and work as doled out by NastyGal CEO, Sophia Amoruso.
The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
"Drop the negativity that your mind has created about the situation and that serves no purpose whatsover except to strengthen a false sense of self."
Every time my thoughts become too chaotic and incessant, I know it's time to pick this up for another read. It's one of the most straight-forward and powerful manuals for mental health and spiritual development.
Flash Boys by Michael Lewis
“The world clings to its old mental picture of the stock market because it’s comforting; because it’s so hard to draw a picture of what has replaced it; and because the few people able to draw it for you have no interest in doing so.”
Spoiler Alert: The stock market is rigged. This book will outrage you that Wall Street has once again managed to make prey of the American people following the 2008 crash of the global economy.
Freedom by Jonathan Franzen
“There is, after all, a kind of happiness in unhappiness, if it's the right unhappiness.”
No list of mine would be complete without including a piece of work by Jonathan Franzen. He's a brilliant writer who manages time and again to hold up a mirror to this crazy, crazy world of ours.
Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
“Still, there are times I am bewildered by each mile I have traveled, each meal I have eaten, each person I have known, each room in which I have slept. As ordinary as it all appears, there are times when it is beyond my imagination.”
I fell in love with the short stories of Jhumpa Lahiri during my solo travels through Southeast Asia. Her writing poetically captures the voice of Indian immigrants while still managing to create tales that are universal to the human condition.
The Empathy Exams by Leslie Jamison
“Empathy isn't just listening, it’s asking the questions whose answers need to be listened to. Empathy requires inquiry as much as imagination. Empathy requires knowing you know nothing. Empathy means acknowledging a horizon of context that extends perpetually beyond what you can see.”
I literally cried on a plane while reading this book. Leslie Jamison has created an absolutely beautiful compilation of essays that will compel you to reserve your judgement and instead extend empathy in response to the pain of others.
Zen Confidential by Jack Haubner
"Think you're getting closer to enlightenment? Try spending a week with your parents."
Words of wisdom from an ex-screenwriter and stand-up comic turned Zen monk. Need I say more?
#GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso
“You can’t act like you've arrived when you’re only just receiving the invitation.”
Amen to this fantastic autobiography by NastyGal founder and fellow ex- Subway sandwich artist, Sophia Amoruso. In a time when we're all striving to create the next big thing, Amoruso drives home the importance of staying humble, steering clear of debt, and most importantly the value of a strong work-ethic no matter how shitty of a job you're working.
*Click the thumbnails above to head straight to Amazon to pick up these terrific books!