It should come as no surprise that my summer has not gone as planned.
In trying to fill the void left by the personal mini-concert series I had planned for myself this summer that has been postponed (thanks, COVID!), I first turned to food. I taught myself to cook homemade pasta, shrimp and grits, Korean bibimbap, and at least a dozen other dishes that tasted AMAZING. And then I found myself staring at a number on the scale I didn’t care to see. Time for a new hobby!
Pivot. (Did you read that in your best Ross voice? If not, please go back and try again.) I started walking every day while listening to Audible. And YOU GUYS- I have listened to some books that have motivated me to put in two-a-days!
Here are the top five books that I cannot recommend enough if you are looking to (1) feed your mind and soul and/or (2) fill the void left by all the things we cannot go out and do safely in a pandemic.
- How to be an Antiracist– Ibram X. Kendi : New York Times bestselling author and Founding Director of the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research Dr. Ibram X. Kendi intentionally and repeatedly defines important terms (i.e. racist, antiracist, racist policy, antiracist policy, etc.) to logically align readers with a clear goal. This book will challenge you to look inside yourself, ask tough questions, and be more intentional with your language and your actions. I especially appreciated the historical contexts and additional sources Kendi provided throughout. (More to explore later!) When you are ready to listen, learn, and grow- this is a great place to start!
- Untamed– Glennon Doyle : The third memoir from the best selling author is raw inspiration for anyone struggling to break free of life’s expectations. Doyle recounts her battle with and triumph over bulimia and substance abuse, how she fell in love with a woman (who happened to be USA soccer superstar Abby Wambach) and left her husband, and the painful journey of reconciling the life she wants with the life others want for her. If you struggle to fit into society’s boxes with neat labels, this is for you.
- Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking– Susan Cain : Have you ever gotten frustrated or embarrassed because a teacher FORCED you to participate (read: speak outloud) in class? Do you find yourself needing to recharge in a quiet, safe space after social events? Yeah, me too. This book cites dozens of psychological studies that explain introversion, extroversion, and how to harness and appreciate the value that BOTH types of people bring to the board room. I will never list my introversion as a weakness ever again.
- Party of One: A Memoir in 21 Songs– Dave Holmes : So, to the women who grew up watching TRL in the 90s- do you remember MTV’s Wanna Be A VJ competition? The two finalists were Jesse Camp (winner) and Dave Holms (intelligent human). I LOVED Dave. He had pop culture Jeopardy brain. And he was sassy. Now, roll all of that into a book… about his life’s journey… with each chapter themed by a pop song title. If you love 80s/90s pop culture, do yourself a favor and let Dave read this to you on Audible. You’re welcome.
- T is for Transformation– Shaun T : You probably know Shaun T from Hip Hop Abs or Insanity. But this man is my dang spirit animal. He can snap me out of any bad mood and he is never afraid to be himself, which in turn inspires me to live more authentically. This book is a combination of an autobiography and guidance on how to “unleash your seven super powers to help you dig deeper, feel stronger, and live your best life.” If you need a little motivation or if you are on any kind of fitness journey, this might be the push you’re looking for.
Happy reading! If you dive into any of these and want someone to talk with about the content, message me on Twitter- @blu3y3dballa.