Every summer, I make it a point to construct a reading list and tackle a handful of books that are both thought-provoking and inspiring.
If you’re wondering what to read this summer, here are three that I enjoyed:
Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health, by Jo Robinson
This book demonstrates how to maximize the nutrients in our diets without sacrificing flavor by choosing delicious, nutrient-packed seasonal fruits and vegetables and preparing them properly. Robinson is an investigative journalist who specializes in health and science.
Slow Death by Rubber Duck: The Secret Danger of Everyday Things, by Rick Smith and Bruce Lourie
As its subtitle suggests, this is a guide to being aware of our surroundings, focusing on personal pollutants via items cluttering our homes and workplaces, from shampoos to children’s toys. The authors are environmentalists who conducted first-person research by testing products and have relayed their stories to detail the extent to which we are exposed to poisons every day.
The Wild Edge of Sorrow: Rituals of Renewal and the Sacred Work of Grief, by Francis Weller
For those who are grieving the loss of a loved one, caring for others who are grieving, have suffered trauma or are feeling defeated by the world’s chaotic events, this book provides a guide for facing sorrow naturally. The author highlights the importance of relationships and the dangers of masking grief and emotions. Weller, a noted psychotherapist, offers the tools and resources to link grief with gratitude and help those grieving to live more fully.
And here are two that I am looking forward to reading this summer. Perhaps you can add them to your list, as well.
With the End in Mind: Dying, Death and Wisdom in an Age of Denial, by Kathryn Mannix
A tough topic is made easier with this book’s compilation of stories about those experiencing the path to death and embracing life along the way. Dr. Mannix specializes in palliative care and approaches death gently and with a unique understanding of the range of thoughts and feelings involved in dealing with the end of life.
The Longevity Diet: Discover the New Science Behind Stem Cell Activation and Regeneration to Slow Aging, Fight Disease, and Optimize Weight, by Valter Longo, PhD
Not a typical diet book, this program provides information on aging, nutrition and disease and details a simple solution to living a long life through nutrition by combining a healthy everyday eating plan with periodic fasting-mimicking techniques. The author indicates that simple everyday changes can extend your lifespan, and that eating specific foods can activate stem cells and promote regeneration and rejuvenation in organs to reduce the risk of various diseases. Longo is a cell biologist and the director of the Longevity Institute at USC.