Summer weather and slowing down makes the perfect conditions for afternoons spent reading. On a beach, by a lake, or lounging in a favorite chair while the sun casts leafy shadows across the room. Ahhh.

If you’re looking for some good books, I’ve gathered some of my favorite books to give your summer reading a little variety.These book can be read all at once or in small bits, whenever the mood strikes you, making them perfect for your summer schedule.

But don’t take my word for it. Find out for yourself!

How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease 

by  Michael Greger M.D.

Even though it was repeatedly recommended to me by people I really respect, I avoided reading this book for years. The name really put me off.

Despite the name, this books is packed with practical information on what to eat to feel better and live a healthier life. And, what I really like about it, is that Greger backs up his recommendations with peer-reviewed, scientific research.

Although I mostly have eaten plant-based , whole foods my entire life, this book gave me the tools and the confidence to start eating an exclusively whole-food, plant-based diet. And, I have to say I feel even better than before.

Whether you want to switch to a plant-based, whole-food diet, or improve your food choices in more subtle ways, this book is for you.

Sneak Peak: “So, which foods are good for you? This sounds like a simple enough question. In truth, I’ve found it difficult to answer. Whenever I’m asked at a lecture whether a certain food is healthy or not, I have to invariabley reply, ‘Compared to what?” For example, are eggs healthy? Compare to oatmeal, definitely not. But compared to the sausage links next to them on the breakfast platter? Yes.”

P.S. This is the book we’ve chosen for book group Friday, September 20

 

Boomer Yoga: Energizing the Years Ahead for Men & Women

by Beryl Bender Birch

Written by our teacher, Beryl Bender Birch, this book is what our Boomer Yoga class is based on. Beryl’s down-to-earth style of writing will instantly draw you in.

Beryl shows how a conscious practice of the postures can be used not only for strength and longevity but to protect and restore the body from many of the common aspects of aging such as back pain, osteoarthritis, menopause, prostate issues, or high blood pressure.

This book is a great supplement to the boomer yoga classes at Yoga in ME. But, even if you don’t come to boomer yoga, this book shows how to take charge of change and create a yoga plan that works for your body.

Sneak Peak: “In all the workshops I lead across the country, I ask the same question, “How many of you feel yoga has changed your life?” Everone raises his or her hand. yoga tranforms us. Hhow does it do that? Well, I like to say it’s the mystery of the methodology.  It’s in the doin that the change happens. You can’t explain it, you can’t define it, you can onlyl feel it – your become more aware, more conscious, and more compassionate. You start with asana, the practice of the yoga postures, and you learn at the most fundamentail level to pay attention. That’s the Yoga Code in a nutshell. Pay attention, make and effort to keep your mind steady, and watch what happens.”

 

The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

by Eckhart Tolle

 

This personal growth book is a classic that has sold over 2 million copies. It’s not a tough read, although it IS one of those books that I keep coming back to again and again. Each time I read it, I’m reminded again of how much better I feel if I remember to keep my attention in the present moment.

Yoga has given me plenty of tools to keep my attention in the present moment. Reading the Power of Now reminds me how important it is in my life to keep coming back to using those tools on and off the mat.

Sneak Peak: “When listening to another person, don’t just listen with your mind, listen with your whole body. Feel the energy field of your inner body as you listen. That takes attention away from thinking and creates a still space that enables you to truly listen without them mind interfering. You are givin gthe other person space – space to be. It is the most precious gift you can give.”

 

The Wisdom of No Escape and the Path of Loving-Kindness Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment Yoga: Energizing the Years Ahead for Men & Women

by Pema Chodron

This is another book I come back to over and over. If you’ve been in class with me, you’ve probably heard me read from it.

It’s written in bite-size chapters so, even if you live with a lot of distractions,  you can pick it up and put it down without losing the flow of it.

This book is about saying yes to life in all its manifestations – and embracing the potent mixture of joy, suffering, brilliance, and confusion that characterizes the human experience. Pema Chödrön shows us the profound value of our situation of “no escape” from the ups and downs of life.

Sneak Peak: “People find it quite easy to have beliefs and to hold on to them and to let their whole world be a product of their belief system. They also find it quite easy to attack those who disagree. The harder, more courageous thing, which the hero and the heroine, the warrior, and the mystic do, is continually to look one’s beliefs straight in the face, honestly and clearly, and then step beyond them. That requires a lot of heart and kindness. It requires being able to touch and know completely, to the core, your own experience, without harshness, without making any judgment.”

 

A Wrinkle in Time

by Madeleine L’Engle

If you are looking for a quick, enjoyable, book with a happy ending, this might be just the ticket. This fantasy book is marketed for young adults, but it is one of the very few books I’ve read more than once as an adult.

Even after my kids got old enough I could no longer pretend I was reading it to keep up with them, I kept coming back to it. The grandkids are getting old enough now that I can probably use them as an exuse going forward…

L’Engle weaves her faith and interest in science to create a world where love is what matters most. Although it’s so much simpler in a book than real life, it is refreshing for me to re-think how many of those extra complications I’ve piled onto my life really need to be there. 

Sneak Peak: ““I don’t understand it any more than you do, but one thing I’ve learned is that you don’t have to understand things for them to be.”