From the time I was young, books have been among my steadiest comrades, accompanying me through all seasons of life. Nowadays you’ll find my nose buried in a page-turner in checkout lines, waiting rooms, park benches, and patios. It should come as no surprise that I’ve fallen prey to biting off more books than I can chew too many times to count, and this summer is no exception. So without further ado, here’s what’s at the top of this year’s lineup.
The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are — Brené Brown
We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known.
A self-described “storyteller,” Brené Brown has become a household name in recent years, landing her own Netflix special last month. As a leading researcher on shame, authenticity, and belonging, Brown candidly relays her struggle to live authentically while harnessing the courage to see beyond the tales of unworthiness we so often tell ourselves. Drawing on years of research around our desire to fit in, Brown reminds us with her characteristic wit and wisdom what it means to live wholeheartedly and how we can come to better embrace our messy, imperfect selves.
Learn more about Brené’s Netflix special!
A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from my Kitchen Table — Molly Wizenberg
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
Like those impossibly tiny lamps and teacups you find in dollhouses, she inspires a lot of cooing, and though she’s very assertive, people often want to pat her on the head.
Meet Molly: food blogger, podcast producer, and New York Times bestselling author. In her debut memoir, she seamlessly weaves together stories that induce tears one minute and belly laughs the next, with recipes that complement each person, place, and period recalled. This book will have you simultaneously salivating and wishing the author would invite you to dinner (as much for the delightful conversation as for the famously good food.) At once lyrical and relatable, this is an ideal read to carry along on your commute or curl up with under the shade of a tall tree.
Check out Molly’s podcast, Spilled Milk.
Together Tea — Marjan Kamali
Now that she was here, she realized there were no huge teacups in which people sat and laughed, but the people still spun endlessly.
The nostalgia I felt for Marjan Kamali’s colorful cast of characters after putting this book down was potent. More than the story of a mother’s longtime quest to find her daughter the ideal husband, Together Tea centers on an Iranian-American family as they come to better understand their identities while learning to dwell in two very different worlds. Kamali masterfully navigates the post-Revolution landscape of Iran, as 25-year-old Mina returns to her roots, reencountering the faces and places that have shaped her life since she was a young girl. A tale of self-discovery, tradition, and belonging, this book pairs perfectly with a cup of tea.
Read an excerpt.
INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • WINNER OF THE 2020 NAACP IMAGE AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING LITERARY WORK — BIOGRAPHY/AUTOBIOGRAPHY
I realized that if we aren’t vigilant, we can move through our entire lives feeling smaller than we actually are.
As former editor-in-chief of Teen Vogue, Elaine Welteroth was the youngest person ever appointed editor-in-chief, and in 2012, the first African American to hold the post of beauty and health director at a Condé Nast publication. In this riveting memoir, Elaine chronicles what it was like finding her place as a woman of mixed race in predominantly white environments and how she rose through the ranks of media and fashion while challenging the status quo. Imbued with lessons on race, privilege, and relentless determination, this book is a must-read for anyone who’s ever questioned their value or potential.
Watch an interview with the author.