5.23.19
best books 2019

Feed your brain — by the pool, at the beach, next to the only functional air conditioner in your apartment. One of the best parts of summer is ditching our screens, getting outside and feeling chill enough to plant ourselves down and dive into an incredible book. The real challenge is determining which summer read is really worth your brain space and precious leisure time.

We took to Instagram and asked you, our brilliant readers, which books you’re loving in 2019 and why. We were thrilled by all the recommendations that cover everything from success to anxiety, wellness to philosophy, coming of age stories to simply damn good writing. Here are the summer reads we’re dropping into our Amazon carts immediately…

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens | This delightful read — both a murder mystery and coming of age story — is perfect poolside on sticky-hot day. Taking place on the North Carolina coast in the late 60s, Where The Crawdads Sing is about a sensitive and intelligent loner, Kya Clark aka the Marsh Girl, who is suspected of killing local golden boy, Chase Andrews. The writing is deliciously transporting (especially the descriptions of natural life in the marshlands) and the plot is entertaining without being too demanding. CHECK OUT

Educated by Tara Westover | This is the kind of book you’ll read in two days and then recommend to all your friends. Educated is the true memoir of Tara Westover, who was born to Morman survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, and her journey from social and educational isolation to a Harvard degree and an identity of her own. The story will grip you, thrill you and totally transform the way you see the world. CHECK OUT

Women Who Run With The Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés | Within every woman there lives a wild nature filled with good instincts, passionate creativity, and ageless knowing — but the pressures of modern life have made it hard to tap into these intrinsic qualities. In Women Who Run with the Wolves, Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés unfolds myths, fairy tales, folk tales, and other stories to show us how to reconnect with the fiercest attributes of our wild, instinctual nature. CHECK OUT

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson | In what has been called a generation-defining self-help guide,  blogger turned self-help guru, Mark Manson, illustraits the power that can be gained when we stop trying to be “positive” all the time so that we can truly become better, happier people. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k is his millennial-savvy guide to help us  lead  more contented, grounded lives. CHECK OUT

A Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl | If you’re looking for a light summer read, this isn’t it, but if you’re looking for something real and deep and truly transformational, grab a copy immediately. Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl’s memoir has riveted generations of readers with descriptions of life in Nazi death camps and his personal lessons for spiritual survival. Based on his own experience and the experiences of others he treated later in his practice, Frankl argues that we cannot avoid suffering but we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward with renewed purpose. CHECK OUT

Daisy Jones And The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid | Daisy is a girl coming of age in L.A. in the late sixties, sneaking into clubs on the Sunset Strip, sleeping with rock stars, and dreaming of singing. The drama that unfolds in her twenties is the stuff of legend.Written as an oral history of one of the biggest bands of the seventies, this fictional novel transports to a very real and highly romanticized part of history. CHECK OUT

Dare To Lead by Brene Brown | We fan-girl hard for all things by Brene Brown ever since we first watched her life-changing TED Talk on vulnerability (check it out). She has spent the past two decades studying the tricky emotions that give life meaning, and the past seven years working with transformative leaders and teams spanning the globe. She found that leaders in organizations ranging from small  startups to Fortune 50 companies all ask the same question: How do you cultivate braver, more daring leaders? Brene uses research, stories, and personal examples to answer these questions. CHECK OUT

Game Changers by Dave Asprey | We all know Dave Asprey, founder of the Bulletproof empire, is a badass in business as much as he is in wellness. When he started his Bulletproof Radio podcast more than five years ago, he sought out influencers in an array of disciplines, from biochemists toiling in unknown laboratories to business leaders changing the world to mediation masters discovering inner peace. Dave wanted to know: What did they have in common? What mattered most to them? What made them so successful—and what made them tick? At the end of each interview, Dave asked the same question: “What are your top three recommendations for people who want to perform better at being human?” This book shares some of his top findings. CHECK OUT
How Not To Die by Michael Greger and Gene Stone | In How Not to Die, Dr. Michael Greger, the internationally-renowned nutrition expert, physician, and founder of NutritionFacts.org, examines the fifteen top causes of premature death in America–heart disease, various cancers, diabetes, Parkinson’s, high blood pressure, and more–and explains how nutritional and lifestyle interventions can sometimes trump prescription pills and other pharmaceutical and surgical approaches to help prevent and reverse these diseases, freeing us to live healthier lives.CHECK OUT
I Am, I Am, I Am by Maggie O’Farrell | I Am, I Am, I Am is Maggie O’Farrell’s astonishing memoir of the near-death experiences that have punctuated and defined her life. Seventeen discrete encounters with Maggie at different ages, in different locations, reveal a whole life in a series of tense, visceral snapshots that will leave you reveling in the beauty and magic of life itself. CHECK OUT

First We Make The Beast Beautiful by Sarah Wilson | Mark Manson called this book “probably the best book on living with anxiety that I’ve ever read.” The Chinese believe that before you can conquer a beast, you must first make it beautiful. In First, We Make the Beast Beautiful, Sarah Wilson directs her fierce investigating skills onto her lifetime companion, anxiety, looking at the triggers and treatments, the fashions and fads. The book will encourage the myriad souls who dance with this condition to embrace it as a part of who they are, and to explore the possibilities it offers for a richer, fuller life.CHECK OUT

Disrupt-Her: A Manifesto for the Modern Woman by Miki Agrawal | Miki Agrawal has learned to navigate the maddening struggles of modern femininity head on. This manifesto galvanizes us to action in 13 major areas of our lives, offering tools to take positive steps on the personal, professional, and societal levels. CHECK OUT
Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman | No one’s ever told Eleanor that life should be better than fine. Soon to be a major motion picture produced by Reese Witherspoon, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine is the smart, warm, and uplifting story of an out-of-the-ordinary heroine whose deadpan weirdness and unconscious wit make for an irresistible journey as she realizes. . . The only way to survive is to open your heart.CHECK OUT
The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk M.D. | Trauma is a topic we’re fascinated by — we’ve all experienced trauma to some degree, but few of us really understands how it leaves an imprint on our bodies and minds, or how to heal. Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, one of the world’s foremost experts on trauma, has spent over three decades working with survivors. In The Body Keeps the Score, he uses recent scientific advances to show how trauma literally reshapes both body and brain and offers new paths to recovery by activating the brain’s natural neuroplasticity. CHECK OUT
Save Me the Plums by Ruth Reichl | For the foodie who can’t bring a cookbook to the beach, this novel is an ideal summer read. Written by trailblazing food writer and beloved restaurant critic, Ruth Reichl, this novel takes place in the once high-stakes and truly-glamorous world of magazine publishing. “It is the story of the moment restaurants became an important part of popular culture, a time when the rise of the farm-to-table movement changed, forever, the way we eat”. Complete with recipes, Save Me the Plums is a personal journey of a woman coming to terms with following a passion. CHECK OUT
A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles | This transporting novel is driven by the kinds of characters that you’ll think about all day, you’ll miss when you’re not reading and will bring up at brunch like they actually exist. The story starts in 1920s Russia, at the edge of the communist revolution, and focuses on charming and erudite aristocrat Count Alexander Rostov, who is sentenced to life-long house-arrest in a grand hotel in the center of Moscow. The confined life he experiences in the hotel becomes a microcosm of the events happening outside, and the people he meets over the years makes this a beautiful and surprisingly emotionally rich read.  CHECK OUT

Year Of Yes by Shonda Rhimes | This is the ultimate book club read. From the creator of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal and executive producer of How to Get Away With Murder, Shonda Rhimes shares how saying YES changed her life. Contrary to how her iconic characters live boldly and speak their minds, she is an extreme introvery and challenged herself to a year of living outside her comfort zone where she learned to explore, empower and love her truest self. CHECK OUT

Circe by Madeline Miller | Still mourning the end of Game of Thrones? This rich fantasy novel, with a powerful female protagonist, will quench your thirst for magic, mysticism and the occult. Circe is an intoxicating epic of family rivalry, love and loss, as well as a celebration of indomitable female strength in a man’s world.  CHECK OUT

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Comments


  1. If you like Circe and a re-imagining of Greek Mythology, The Song of Achilles, also by Madeline Miller, is a really great read as well.

    Christie Mechelle | 05.30.2019 | Reply

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