Summer is here! Once again, I’m happy to share with you some of my favorite books. I hope that you’ll find some time to read this summer, whether you are sipping lemonade in your backyard hammock or enjoying the breeze on a warm, sandy beach. May these recommendations provide new perspectives and help you to rest, reflect, and recharge!
I’ve included a wide variety here – enjoy!
Both/And: A Memoir, by Huma Abedin
With clear eyes and often brutal honesty, Huma weaves all of the aspects of her remarkable life story together into a truly American story. The daughter of immigrants who spent much of her childhood in Saudi Arabia, she shares what it is like to be a Muslim woman in the US, ultimately serving at the highest levels of government. Her hard work and extreme dedication in her roles at the White House and the State Department are especially noteworthy. This “mystery woman” who staffed Hillary Rodham Clinton so faithfully for 25 years endured many heartbreaks including her husband’s (Anthony Weiner) infamous scandals. She writes unsparingly about some of her most intense personal and professional experiences and how they affected her. She emerges as a stronger and more resilient person, describing what it took for her to get there. A deeply satisfying read.
Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less, by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang
This book shifted my thinking profoundly about how to best use my time. Based on solid research and interesting insights about famous historical figures, it particularly helped me when I was becoming an author, since I needed to spend a significant amount of time originating and synthesizing ideas rather than reacting to them. That kind of productivity necessitated some periods of rest for the mind. Interestingly, that rest can take many forms, including active endeavors like hiking or playing tennis. It’s a compelling argument and it works!
She Walks in Beauty: A Woman’s Journey Through Poems, selected and introduced by Caroline Kennedy
The beauty of the poetry in this exquisitely curated book has spoken to me, particularly as I’ve navigated my recent periods of grief. It has helped me to find solace in challenging times, and better appreciate the many ages and stages we travel through as women.
Born Standing Up: A Comic’s Life, by Steve Martin
This surprisingly touching memoir was well worth the listen. Steve shares the human side of comedy, including the long road to becoming famous, and the lonely aspects of success. I particularly loved his descriptions of working at Disneyland in its early days, and the poignant recap of the time he spent with his parents in their final days.
These are three of my favorites that I’ve read most recently. I fully immersed in these interesting stories which addressed the challenges of family dynamics and how individuals and families are affected by the stressors of immigration, the legacy of racism, and the burden of societal expectations.
A Place for Us, by Fatima Farheen Mirza
The Art of Inheriting Secrets, by Barbara O’Neal
The Guest Book, by Sarah Blake
Have a wonderful summer!