in | 26 Jul 2018




They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but sometimes words can make a much greater impact. Reading is a transformative experience. A fantastic novel can take you out of yourself and to another place, and squirrelling away with a non-fiction read can help you achieve clarity and grow as a person.


One of the beautiful things about summer is more time. Or at least the illusion of it. Longer days and fewer days in the office (if you’re lucky enough to have a summer holiday) mean more time for self-exploration and more time for reading. So why not combine the two?


The number of choices can feel overwhelming, we know. How can you possibly read every great book? How can you possibly find out everything about yourself? Good news is you can’t. So instead of leaving you all on your own, wondering just what you should read, we have a laundry list of beautiful books to help you explore within and grow as a person. Read on to find out what we’re reading this summer.


1. My Morning Routine by Benjamin Spall and Michael Xander dives deep into the importance and power of a morning routine. Whether you’re an early morning exerciser or a self-indulgent lie-in aficionado, all routines are good routines. It’s just about finding the right one for you. With the help of this book, you will most certainly look forward to waking up.

2. 12 Rules for Life by Jordan B. Peterson, a world renowned psychologist, takes a look at ancient tradition and cutting-edge research to dilute the noise. Though rules are meant for breaking, these 12 rules (we like to look at them as gentle suggestions) will encourage you to live better.

3. The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle may not be a recent powerhouse of a book – it was written in 1997 – but its staying power should tell you something. This book really helps. The experience that readers have when reading this classic can radically change their lives for the better. What are you waiting for?

4. Man’s Search for Meaning written by Viktor E. Frankl is an even older book, written in 1946, but it might just be that much more powerful. Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl recounts life in Nazi death camps and provides an empowering and inspiring lesson in spiritual survival. Though the tales themselves may seem disheartening at first, a close read reveals what Frankl believes: we cannot avoid suffering, but we can choose how we approach it, finding meaning in sadness and finding purpose to move forward.

5. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho may seem like a strange choice here, as it is a work of fiction. Despite that, or perhaps because of it, this book is a truly moving tale that will help you discover what it is you were meant to do in this crazy life.

6. What You Say When You Talk to Your Self by Dr. Shad Helmstetter is an oft-overlooked self-growth book that should be on everyone’s shelf. The way you speak to yourself can greatly affect your life and how you feel, so it is incredibly important to master your inner self-talk. We all tend to lean toward an inner dialogue that is negative and self-destructive, so now is the time to change that.


7. The Magic of Thinking Big by David J. Schwartz is a truly powerful look at the power of our own minds. This book will encourage you to not short-change yourself. The bigger you think, the greater the payoff, whether this is in your career, your love life or your spirituality.

8. The Self-Care Project written by Jayne Hardy focuses on the importance of loving ourselves and taking the time to truly care for ourselves. Luckily, the global conversation is finally shifting toward mental health and self-care, but many of us still don’t know how to treat ourselves with the love we deserve. This book is not as esoteric as some and includes some exercises at the end of each chapter to help you engage. Finally some homework we want to do!


9. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill is a deep dive into the power of the mind and harnessing that power to achieve your goals. Just because you’re spiritual doesn’t mean you can’t be financially successful as well. The mind is a powerful thing.


10. The Way of the Superior Man by David Deida is not just for guys; it’s for the fairer sex as well. Men will learn how to grow spiritually and tussle with the challenges of women, and women will learn about how men work and to let them use their power for good.


Now, it’s our time to encourage you toward self-exploration. Get out there and go to the bookstore! Many of these are available at The American Book Center on the Spui, and  even if you can’t find the one that struck a chord with you, try and support your own local book store. They are becoming a rare bread we don’t want to lose!