Is summer the time to finally catch up on that book list you’ve been making all year? Are you looking for additional suggestions? I assume so, since you’re reading this article. So my fellow readers, fear not, I have just the right titles in mind for your summer reading extravaganza!
I am a fellow lover of books and am particularly fond of sitting in the sun and letting the summer day pass by into sunset with my eyes glued to a great book. There is a certain feeling of inner peace when you’re plopped in a cozy spot for what feels like eternity, with everything you need and a book full of profound pages, lessons, and stories.
Over the last few summers, I’ve accumulated a lovely list of books that have truly changed my life, either in the way I see myself and/or Earth itself. Having the privilege to enjoy the genius of these spectacular writers, I hope that their words can find your soul and open it to new understandings like they did with mine.
The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield
The Celestine Prophecy (published in 1993) is a philosophical adventure story which takes place all over the globe, centering on the narrative of one man as he goes on a life changing journey which seemingly finds him (read the book, I swear this will explain itself) as he becomes more aware of himself and his innate instincts. Our protagonist and narrator, who remains unnamed, encounters various psychological and spiritual ideals rooted in New Age spirituality and Ancient Eastern traditions aka. The 12 insights, which change his worldview.
This novel changed my life and, similar to that of our protagonist, opened my eyes to a presence in the universe I had not previously opened myself up to. This book is perhaps the ideal summer adventure story to get invested in, paired with a cool glass of your favorite beverage, a hat, and a nice spot in the sun in your favorite reading environment. I suggest, the further you get into the book, to surround yourself with nature and see how the words on the page come to life in the environment around you.
The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff
The Tao of Pooh (published in 1982) might seem silly at first glance, but author Benjamin Hoff is masterfully disarming readers with this title and theme to artfully explain Taoism through no other than a most iconic childhood fan favorite, Winnie the Pooh. Utilizing direct references to Winnie the Pooh stories and VHS episodes, Hoff applies the philosophical beliefs and interpretations of Taoism onto the lives and characters of Pooh bear and their friends, including Christopher Robin. Every inch of the Hundred Acre Woods is included as our lovely childhood friends take on a new life, embodying various narratives of Taoism.
Each page of this book opened my mind to new interpretations of myself and my own behavior. It encouraged self-reflection and brought a smile to my face. Everyday I read this book felt like a gleeful day well-spent and occupied by higher thinking. The brevity of the novel is also helpful for those of us with shorter attention spans.
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
The original version of The Alchemist was written in Portuguese and published in 1987. It centers on the adventure of a young boy in search of treasure he sees in his dreams. On his adventure, the boy learns more about magic and happenstance in life and the world around him. He leans on chance and instinct as a guide in his adventure discovering what truly matters in life and in terms of self-betterment.
This novel holds a special place in my heart as a reminder of the magic that goes unnoticed in our daily lives. It truly is a novel that warms the soul and has the capacity to make a day or night feel timeless. I feel as though I am lucky to have connected to this book in the way I did and hope others can have a similar and enchanting experience with this story.
The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran
The Prophet was published in 1923 and contains content on metaphysical fiction and religious prose. The novel consists of 26 prose poetry fable writings discussing different areas of life, such as pleasure, crime, punishment, teaching, and death. These writings provide a profound interpretation of these topics in a poetic fashion, almost like the words are dancing. From these readings comes a spiritual wisdom narrated from the mind of a man on a personal wandering voyage. As he encounters a public following, he shares more of what he believes and knows, always leaving something for interpretation.
While the pages are short, I advise reading them slowly and with a pencil in hand to take notes and make sense of the literary organization. This is definitely a novel worth reading over the years again and again, gaining new insights with each new dive into Gibran’s mind.
These books all contain messages that have opened my heart and mind to a more magical, self-aware, and beautiful state of being. I hope that in engaging with these texts you feel at peace, gleeful, and wiser than you felt before. If anything, I simply hope you enjoy the sunny passage of time with your nose in a book whilst your body relaxes in a place that makes you happy.