9 Summer Reads to Boost Your Happiness (2017 Edition!)

Hiya Gorgeous,

The sun is shining and summer is finally upon us. It’s one of my happiest times of the year because I get to soak up two of my favorite things: reading and vitamin D! I love being able to catch up on all the delicious must read books that have been piling up on my nightstand. There’s nothing better than curling up in a fabulous spot with an exciting new page-turner.

Throughout my wellness journey, books have been my faithful compass, guiding me along the way. They’re my teachers when I feel stuck, lost or in need of fresh inspiration. And they provide a cozy classroom to wrap my mind around health pickles when I’m getting my footing or feeling overwhelmed.

Lately, I’ve been looking to the bookshelf to stoke my spiritual fire and creative passion. Which brings me to my summer reading list. Whether you’re on the beach, by the pool, or chillin’ at the park, bring one of these gems with you (and don’t forget your sunscreen!).

These books will leave you feeling totally inspired and recharged. And here’s another bonus: reading is connected to your wellness because it helps to reduce stress. (study) So take the time to indulge—it’s good for ya, honey!

Here’s to the sweet days of drinking in a little down time. Sit back, relax, and enjoy one (or all) of these transformational beauties…

My summer reading list

Hourglass: Time, Memory, Marriage by Dani Shapiro

Dani Shapiro is quite possibly my favorite writer. Her latest book is an intimate journey into her 18 year partnership with her husband. To me, it’s a spiritual inquiry about the fragility and strength that develops over the course of many years together. Brian and I recently shared our 10 year anniversary together and there were so many moments I could relate to in her book. And after reading it, I feel more committed to my life with my amazing man who I know and don’t know at the same time, who I love and disappoint, champion and annoy. This book helped me remember that relationships are beautiful, messy, complicated, and deeply spiritual if we’re open to it.

The One Life We’re Given by Mark Nepo

There’s a beautiful dance between trying and letting go, giving your all and surrendering to receive. Mark’s book came into my life at the perfect time as I’ve been navigating some challenges with a loved one. It’s the gentle reminder of how precious life is and how we have to stay open to whatever life puts before us (even when it’s not so pretty). The heart carves a path for our deep work leading us to our true purpose. This one is a total game-changer!

Wake Up to the Joy of You by Agapi Stassinopoulos

Agapi is one of my dear friends and when she told me about her new book, I knew I was going to fall in love. She’s an inspirational force who has channeled her wisdom into this beautiful collection of motivation. I love how she lays out an easy-to-follow process for building the foundations of self-care —amen sister! There’s 52 weeks of activities for letting go of what doesn’t work for you and finding what does. It’s all about learning to trust in your own creativity, keeping your heart open, and connecting to that something bigger that lives inside you.

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

What I love about this book is Trevor’s adoration for his mama. He’s a comedian, but his book is anything but jokes. He documents his experience growing up as a mixed race child during apartheid in South Africa with raw integrity and humor. He’ll make you belly laugh and then be moved to tears. Trevor speaks his truth and unveils his deep, undying love for his mother who survived a near fatal gun wound. It’s all about following dreams and rising above the obstacles life throws your way—with grace, a little naughtiness, and a wicked sense of humor!

Hallelujah Anyway by Anne Lamott

How I love the wisdom of Anne Lamott! Her latest book is a collection of essays on faith—what it really means to believe in yourself and the world around you. She delves head first into the upside of discovering and extending mercy to yourself and others. My favorite line: “Kindness towards others, beginning with myself, buys us a shot at a warm and generous heart, the greatest prize of all.” Just let that beautiful sentence soak in. This book is as honest as it is humorous, and it will leave you with a clearer vision of what it means to lead each day with a merciful heart.

Material Girl, Mystical World: The Now Age Guide to a High Vibe Life by Ruby Warrington

Ruby Warrington is your girl if you’re looking for a modern-day guide to spirituality. As the founder of the popular website The Numinous, she’s created a lovely manual for understanding your mystical side and the tools that can help along your spiritual journey. From astrology to meditation, Ruby connects the New Age to what she’s dubbed “the Now Age”—helping us to understand and apply modern-day spirituality to everyday life. She breaks everything down into easy to digest chapters and shares fun, anecdotal bits from her own hilarious experiences. A super fun read, especially for younger readers.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson

When I first read Mark’s essay, I thought YES, this guy gets it! The truth is, we all give way too many fucks when we don’t need to. And when we give a fuck that we probably shouldn’t have, we’re often cutting ourselves short on the things we should be focusing on. It’s really all about learning when and where to give your energy without apologies or shoulds. He’ll help you decipher between your musts and the things you don’t need to think twice about—ultimately knowing what’s right for you and what’s not-so-much. Fuck yeah!

Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy by Sheryl Sandberg

It’s possible for each of us to face life’s roadblocks with joy and love. Sheryl is the COO of Facebook who lost her husband Dave. She wrote this incredible Facebook post 30 days after her husband suddenly passed away, and it’s evolved into her new brilliant book. Dave had said to her: “Option A is not available. So let’s just kick the shit out of Option B.” Sheryl bravely and gracefully demonstrates to us how to face grief head on. It’s all about how we can reroute our plans and still find peace and happiness.

Seat of the Soul by Gary Zukav

This is a classic, go-to book packed with big wisdom. I re-read this every year and it always leaves me with so many things to think about. If you’re ready for some deep, soul-level intelligence, then this is the perfect place to start. Gary is one of the most brilliant spiritual teachers of our time. He explains how we’re evolving into a species that craves authentic power (over that surface-level, external stuff). When we infuse our daily routines with reverence, compassion, and trust, our days come alive with meaning and purpose.

Your turn: What’re you reading this summer? Tell me about the pile on your nightstand. Share in the comments below—I’m always looking for suggestions!

Peace and happy reading,

Kris Carr

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