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Summer Reading Recommendations

Updated: Jul 11

Are you looking for some books to help with practicing self care and personal growth this summer? There are so many great books out there that it is hard to limit to just a handful. This list is a little diverse, but I promise each book has profoundly changed and helped me personally and professionally. I often read these titles when I feel like I need to be reminded of the important messages they provide. Here are just few of my favorites:

  1. Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life by Jon Kabat Zinn. This book is probably always at the top of every book recommendation I give out to clients, therapists, parents and friends. Jon Kabat Zinn is often considered the person responsible for making mindfulness and meditation so “mainstream”. The book is so simple and yet so profound; it is such a gentle reminder to slow down and appreciate all that is around us in the very moment. I often recommend reading this book slowly and really letting the words sink in. This was the first book I read that made me think mindfulness meditation could be something I could learn (even with my busy brain). LINK

  2. The Subtle Art of Not giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Mason. This book has recently become more and more popular over the last few years. When I first saw the title, I was thinking it was probably a catchy title with little to no substance. I was clearly wrong. This book provided valuable tools for help with self-care and valuable information related to the field of mental wellness, all while presenting with a fun sense of humor. I find no greater joy than reading a book that makes me laugh out loud and say, “wow” as it presents me with a totally new perspective or insight. LINK

  3. Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent & Lead by Brené Brown. This again is one of those very popular authors that many people have heard of. I again thought Brené was a little “over-hyped” until I started reading her stuff. I laughed, I was inspired and I identified with the author on so many levels. Her approach to looking vulnerability straight in the eye was so powerful and helped me reframe so many aspects of my life and my approaches to anything before me. Brené Brown isn’t just “hype”. Her writing is authentic, personal and inspires me to be more authentic myself, and to “step into the arena” each day. LINK

  4. Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life With the Heart of a Buddha by Tara Brach. This book is also one of my all-time favorites and has so much to teach us. Tara Brach is a psychologist, Buddhist and popular mindfulness teacher. It was after reading this book that I became a true fan of her work and have even attended retreats that she has led. She also has a more recently released book called “Trusting The Gold”. Like Jon Kabat Zinn, what she writes about is so simple and yet so far from being “easy”. The concept of accepting things exactly like they are, without reservations, will change your life and allow room for more happiness and enjoyment. The stories and lessons are relatable and made me feel that the practice of mindfulness meditation was not beyond my capability. LINK

  5. Unfu*K Yourself: Get Out of Your Head and Into Your Life by Gary John Bishop. Like Marc Mason’s approach, the author fills this book with great value and plenty of laughs. Marc Mason is a fun writer and coach that really has a “no nonsense” approach to getting his message across. The bulk of his message is how our own mindset gets in the way of our happiness, joy and success. I loved the book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck and “UnFu*k Yourself” expands on some of those concepts. While this is a great book to read, especially during the summer, I would also highly recommend the audio version of the book. Gary John Bishop is Scottish with an amazing Scottish brogue. I’m pretty sure there is nothing more satisfying than hearing the “F bomb” dropped in a Scottish accent over and over again. LINK

  6. Maybe You Should Talk With Someone: A Therapist, HER Therapist and Our Lives Revealed by Lori Gottlieb. This is a “must read” for any therapist or for anyone who goes to therapy. In this book, I found myself laughing out loud and then being in awe of the author's insights. The book is based on a real life therapist going into therapy for herself. The author does such a great job on humanizing herself and reminding the reader that we are all just people trying to figure ourselves out (even if we hold the title of therapist). It is a brilliant lesson in self compassion. LINK

While these are not all of my favorite summer reads, they are certainly worth picking up if you have never read them. I also asked our clinical team about some of their favorite reads and here are some of their choices:

  1. Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

  2. The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra

  3. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

As we know this list is far from complete, we would love to hear from you! Please share your favorite summer reads in the comments below or on our social media pages.

Respectfully Submitted by Gordon Gooding, LCSW

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1 Comment

Jennifer Esposito
Jennifer Esposito
Jun 23, 2021

Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself by Kristin Neff, Ph.D. 💖💖💖

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