If you’re a perpetual reader like me, I always like to have some (relatively) fun seasonal reading in my rotation to reinforce the shift in seasonal energy and give me some inspiration for new projects that flow with each season. Summer is particularly easy in this regard because there are so many good books that take on the flavor and vibe that summer has to offer. I meet with a lot of clients throughout the summer months that feel like nothing much changes for them season to season in terms of their jobs, their lifestyle, cooking and eating patterns or even their time spent outdoors. Often, this is just the rut they’ve gotten into over time, and even habits of hum drum daily life can be hardest to break. With a few good summer reads, make sure you’re actually setting aside some time every day, maybe 30 minutes, to devote to garnering inspirations from what these resources have to offer and if something really jumps out at you – give it a try! Summer is the perfect month, energetically, to take on new projects and adventures.
Animal Vegetable Miracle – I’m sure I’ve brought this one up before, but it’s my absolute favorite summer book. It follows a family who homesteads for an entire year and documents their journey managing, planting, growing and tending to their garden, the glory of bountiful harvests and the (somewhat enjoyable) difficulty of living sustainably and completely local.
Cooked – Summer is really an ideal time to connect more with your food, cook for yourself and even harvest your own ingredients as herbs, vegetables, fruits and spices are so abundant. In Cooked, Michael Pollan takes that even one step further by addressing our connection with preparing foods, but also our connection with our ancestors and how how our relationship with foods is so intertwined with our past heritage. As we evolve, so to did our foods.
Into the Wild – Summer energy is always high, and the desire to go on outdoor explorations persists through every age group in the dead of summer. Into the Wild documents the true adventure of Christopher McCandless as he leaves behind his modern life to go find home in the wild. If any book will make you want to journey through the beautiful US and disconnect for a while, it’s this one.
The Little Prince – This is a classic book for all ages, but I find it’s most ideal for young kids / young adults to get their creative juices flowing and their imaginations running wild. Most of the year we may be working on things that either constrict or don’t allow much creativity (especially young adults), and taking time to read stories with a sense of adventure and wonder is so important for all ages!
The Botany of Desire – Another Michael Pollan favorite. When summer is here and so many fresh foods are available, it’s interesting to delve a little deeper than just purchasing and eating these foods. Every schoolchild learns about the mutually beneficial dance of honeybees and flowers: The bee collects nectar and pollen to make honey and, in the process, spreads the flowers’ genes far and wide. In The Botany of Desire, Michael Pollan cleverly demonstrates how people and domesticated plants have formed a similarly reciprocal relationship. It’s an essential reminder that we are not so different than our plant and animal neighbors.
Take some time this summer season to pay attention to the edible abundance around you, to the change in upward energy that summer offers, and for creative projects to give your imagination an outlet. The body works better in ever regard when we feel creative, happy, safe and inspired, and I encourage you to make extra time for this in every season!
Lindsay Kluge M.Sc, CNS, LDN | HealthCoach@EllwoodThompsons.com