“Books are the plane, and the train, and the road. They are the destination, and the journey. They are home.” ― Anna Quindlen

One of my favorite things to do during the summer is dive into a good book — a doorway to a new world, an adventure in time, a mirror to my own mind.

Last year I shared my summer reading list, and in response I got some incredible recommendations from all of you.

Here are some of the books I read over the past year that really stood out:

Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke
Poetic wisdom and encouragement. I found myself re-reading passages to let the words fully blossom. (Thank you Ruth for the recommendation.)

Invisible Man: A Novel by Ralph Ellison
Ellison’s writing has rhythm that transported me. It shines a light on personal identity, politics and the conscious and unconscious biases that contribute to systemic racism — issues that are as relevant today as when the book was written in 1952. If you haven’t read this classic yet, bump it up in your queue.

The Last Black Unicorn by Tiffany Haddish
After reading this book, only one name comes to mind for the word Resilience: Tiffany Haddish. This book is raw. Hilarious. Inappropriate. Wild. Inspiring. Sad. Encouraging. And above all, unapologetically human. I recommend listening to the audiobook to really appreciate Tiffany’s comedic delivery, which is itself an incredible art. (Thanks for the recommendation Jess.)

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Turns out I love sci-fi. This classic dystopian science fiction novel explores race, genetic modification, the purpose of life, religion, relationships, governance, capitalism, and so much in between. I couldn’t put it down. It’s also mind-blowing to me that this book was written in the 1930s!

Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living by Krista Tippett
Krista Tippett is like that wise, calm friend that you can always count on for a compassionate conversation over a warm cup of tea. Becoming Wise explores what it means to live well through interviews that remind us of the beauty, strength, passion, and resilience we have as humans. (Thanks again Ruth :-)

The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself by Michael A. Singer
Listening to this book was a journey inward. In it, Singer shares thoughts and ideas that I have always felt but could never quite put to words. This book unlocked something inside me. (Thanks Tina for the recommendation.)

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari
This book ambitiously covers history from the perspective of humans and all their creations — religion, currency, wars, commerce, slavery, environmental impact, and the future of the species. It was mind-blowing to see how each chapter related to the others. It's also a book I'd like to revisit — there was too much thought-provoking content to capture in a single read.

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
I just finished this book last night. For nearly half of it, I was choked up with a ball of tears stuck in my throat. For the other half, I couldn't hold back a smile or laugh. This is a beautiful story of love, loss, aging, and unlikely friendships. It’s also a perfect reminder of the unexpected impact we can have through the seemingly small roles we play in each others' lives. (Thanks Claudia and Carol for this recommendation — so glad I finally read this!)

Have you read any of these books? Are there others you would recommend?

Share what books you are reading and loving with the Holstee Community — join the conversation here.

And if you’re not yet, help contribute to our work and get access to monthly guides, art, and the private community by becoming a supporting Holstee Member: Holstee.com/membership

See you on the inside!

Dave Radparvar
Co-Founder, Holstee

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