My favorite part of summer is the extra time for summer reading.
My work schedule slows down a bit and the days are longer and it’s perfect for early morning or late night reading outside (or by the pool or snuggled up in bed!). I am an incredibly slow reader, which is a blessing and a curse because the books I love last longer but when I was in school I could never keep up with my homework. Somehow I made it through school (hating reading), but now I love reading! Below I’ve listed some of my favorite reads in different categories. Hopefully you’ll find something that peaks your interest. Enjoy!
1. Open by Andre Agassi. I’m not a huge tennis fan but I enjoy watching the finals of the major tournaments and occasionally I play with my husband. I’m lucky if I hit the ball 4 times in a row but I look the part with my cute tennis outfit! This book kept my interest throughout and has a great message of listening to your heart and finding what makes you, not others, happy in life.
2. Comeback by Lance Armstrong. Ok, I know what you’re thinking, but I read this book before all the drama. Even with the performance enhancing drug allegations his story was inspiring. Cancer is a horrible diagnosis plus the chemotherapy and radiation are exhausting with awful side effects. His determination to get back on a bike and to fight for his life made me appreciate my health and live life more fully!
1. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. I somehow ended up on a World War II streak, first reading this book and then All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, which won a Pulitzer Prize last year. I have to say I enjoyed The Nightingale more. They both follow a family in France during the German invasion but Kristin Hannah’s book has a more intimate look into a family’s struggle and relationships with one another. I fell in love with the characters and also found it very educational.
2. Me Before You by JoJo Moyes. So for a short time the Pilates in the Grove staff had a book club and this was our first book. Now it’s been made into a movie and coming out this weekend. It starts a little slow but quickly gets your attention. It is a beautiful love story that both made me smile and brought me to tears! It also deals with the topic of physician-assisted dying and will give you a perspective from both sides. Love this book! (Kleenex required)
1. Harry Potter by JK Rowling. If you haven’t read these books by now you’ve been missing out! I re-read these over and over. Great writing and full of adventure. The underlying message of friendship, love, and perseverance will warm your heart.
2. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson. The first book is definitely a slow start but after the first 100 pages you can’t put it down! A real page turner!
3. Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. This book is definitely a little bizarre sounding as a fight to the death, reality type show with children, but the family relationships and love interests make this book even more enjoyable. It is full of cliffhangers so give yourself plenty of time to read several chapters.
4. The Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly. I can’t say enough about these books. There are 3 books in the series that start with one young couple and continues through their life to their children and grandchildren’s lives. It starts in London at the turn on the 19th century and continues in New York City as the main character starts a tea business that turns out to be a huge success. The love stories will bring you to tears and keep you rooting for young love.
1. Engine Two Diet by Rip Esselstyn. A wonderful book written by an ex-firefighter about his journey towards health and the health of the people he rescued as a firefighter. His experience as a firefighter will surprise you and the amazing transformations of his diet participants will inspire you.
The China Study by T. Colin Campbell and Thomas Campbell II. I LOVED this book so much I read it twice. It blew my mind! If you are a ‘show me the evidence’ kind of person, you’ll enjoy this book. It is full of the most comprehensive nutrition research to date and will give you numbers and examples to support switching to a plant-based diet to help potentially save your life and keep quality of life as you age.
To your health and happiness!
Sabina Gempel, DPT, PT