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Editor's Picks

6 Summer Readings

Whether you’re packing for the beach or catching some rays at your neighborhood restaurant’s terrace, make sure you have a good book to keep you company.

Who doesn’t love the idea of being completely absorbed by a fascinating read? Whether you’re packing for the beach or catching some rays at your neighborhood restaurant’s terrace, make sure you have a good book to keep you company.

We’ve rounded up six of our favorite summer reads, which dive into everything from a New York Times bestseller that will forever change the way you breathe, to a Pulitzer Prize-winning biography on one of history’s most intriguing women, to a beautiful collection of words that will bring you closer to the ones you love.

Happy reading!

Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art by James Nestor

“This New York Times bestseller by James Nestor will take you on the fascinating evolution of the way humans breathe and how we lost the ability to breathe correctly with grave consequences. Nestor gives us the tools to improve our overall health. Even slight adjustments to the way we inhale and exhale can jump-start athletic performance, rejuvenate internal organs, halt snoring, asthma and autoimmune disease.”

BWB’s Comments: Summer is the ideal time to include some wellness books in your reading pile that have the potential to change your life. I had that experience a few years ago with Anticancer: A New Way of Life by David Servan-Schreiber, and then with Alejandro Junger and Frank Lipman’s books. Each one has taught me something that has improved my overall health. Breath by James Nestor is no exception and will not disappoint.

Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff

“Famous long before she was notorious, Cleopatra has gone down in history for all the wrong reasons. Shakespeare and Shaw put words in her mouth. Michelangelo, Tiepolo, and Elizabeth Taylor put a face to her name. Along the way, Cleopatra’s supple personality and the drama of her circumstances have been lost. In a masterly return to the classical sources, Stacy Schiff here boldly separates fact from fiction to rescue the magnetic queen whose death ushered in a new world order. Rich in detail, epic in scope, Schiff ‘s is a luminous, deeply original reconstruction of a dazzling life.”

BWB’s Comments: I never thought that I would be so captivated by the life of a woman who lived over two thousand years ago. How extraordinary that we still have so much information on her life. This book is a must-read!

The Disappearance of Stephanie Mailer by Joël Dicker

“In the summer of 1994, the quiet seaside town of Orphea reels from the discovery of four murders. Two young police officers, Jesse Rosenberg and Derek Scott crack the case and identify the killer. Then, twenty years later and just as he is on the point of taking early retirement, Rosenberg is approached by Stephanie Mailer, a journalist who believes he made a mistake back in 1994 and that the real murderer is still out there, perhaps ready to strike again. But before she can give any more details, Stephanie Mailer mysteriously disappears, and Rosenberg and Scott are forced to confront the possibility that her suspicions might have been proved true.”

BWB’s Comments: Joël Dicker has already proven his skills as a master of the thriller genre with The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair, and he did not disappoint with this one.

Atomic Habits by James Clear

“Tiny changes, remarkable results. No matter your goals, Atomic Habits offers a proven framework for improving—every day. James Clear, one of the world’s leading experts on habit formation, reveals practical strategies that will teach you exactly how to form good habits, break bad ones, and master the tiny behaviors that lead to remarkable results.”

BWB’s Comments: A great read for a time like this, when we are all going through so much change and adjustment. It’s important to remind ourselves of the power of habit and to ground ourselves in the small, conscious choices we make every single day. I love self-help books like this one because they’re great for both light reading moods, as well as deeper ones.

Clarity & Connection by Yung Pueblo

“In Clarity & Connection, Yung Pueblo describes how intense emotions accumulate in our subconscious and condition us to act and react in certain ways. In his characteristically spare, poetic style, he guides readers through the excavation and release of the past that is required for growth. To be read on its own or as a complement to Inward, Yung Pueblo’s second work is a powerful resource for those invested in the work of personal transformation, building self-awareness, and deepening their connection with others.”

BWB’s Comments: This is the kind of book you pick up when you need spurts of inspiration, encouragement or comfort. Flip to a page and, somehow, the excerpt is a gem of wisdom that is always applicable to whatever you are experiencing.

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb

“From aNew York Times best-selling author, psychotherapist, and national advice columnist, a hilarious, thought-provoking, and surprising new book that takes us behind the scenes of a therapist’s world–where her patients are looking for answers (and so is she). One day, Lori Gottlieb is a therapist who helps patients in her Los Angeles practice. The next, a crisis causes her world to come crashing down. Enter Wendell, the quirky but seasoned therapist in whose of­fice she suddenly lands. With his balding head, cardigan, and khakis, he seems to have come straight from Therapist Central Casting. Yet he will turn out to be anything but.”

BWB’s Comments: I took this book on an airplane recently, and it was the perfect in-flight read. If you’re someone who is at all interested in therapy or mental health—but you also love a good story—this is the book for you! Gottlieb shares her candid, nuanced experience seeking therapy as a therapist herself in a way that is relatable and endearing. Whether you keep this book by your bed or take it with you on the go, you’ll find yourself laughing and crying through all of life’s twists and turns with a licensed therapist and—sometimes, we forget—real person.

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