Hi, Sunflower blog readers!
Julia, here. On hazy days like these, the one thing I want to do the very most is find a shady spot near the water and a very good book. I asked my fellow Sunflower employees for their summer reading recommendations and it only seemed appropriate, once my list was compiled, to share them with you, too! Some books on here are inspirational, some are informational, and others are just plain silly!
Here it is, the official Sunflower Summer Reading List....
1. Walden - Henry David Thoreau
This is an essential read for everyone, but it works especially well during a New England summer. For any nature-lover, reading this book will satisfy something deep within you and give words to the pull you may have a hard time vocalizing to others. Thoreau wrote this about his part of New England and it will baffle and truly move you to realize the overwhelming change that our home has seen since his time.
2. The Toolbox for Sustainable City Living - Scott Kellogg and Stacy Pettrigrew
Although we are not city dwellers up here in the Lakes Region, this book can certainly apply to anyone looking to make the most of what the Earth gives them, even if that is very little. Ryan says it shows the reader "how to do a lot in a really small space", so anyone concerned with efficiency might want to give this book a try.
3. The Artist's Way - Julia Cameron*
Kim tells us that this book will help the reader "redisover their creative self. There's an artist's prayer in here that I still have posted on my bulletin board at home. It helps you to realign yourself and rediscover the things you want to do, and how to do them." Sounds like great inspiration to me!
4. Rawsome! - Brigitte Mars*
Here's the perfect book for you if you have considered taking up a raw diet, but aren't sure where to start. Or, if you're just wondering what this raw food movement is all about! "Readers will find advice on planning a balanced diet to meet their nutritional needs, combining foods for best effect, preserving raw foods, equipping the raw kitchen, sprouting, juicing, and every other technique that makes the raw foods diet simple, delicious, and healthful. (source)"
5. Where The Wild Things Are - Maurice Sendak
It's easy for any person of any age to become carried away with their emotions, but the remarkable thing about this book, is that it allows the reader to realize that the best thing of all - even better than "winning" an argument or gaining control - is to be in a place where they are loved. This is something we all need to remember sometimes.
6. Green For Life - Victoria Boutenko*
This is a quick read! The author exuberantly explains her theory behind eating raw foods. It will motivate and inspire you to take a more in depth look at your diet.
7. You Can Heal Your Life - Louise Hay
"The timeless message of the book is that we are each responsible for our own reality and 'dis-ease.' Hay believes we make ourselves ill by having thoughts of self-hatred. She includes a directory of ailments and emotional causes for each with a corresponding affirmation to help overcome the illness. (source)" An interesting outlook on living, this book will give you something to think about!
8. Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health - Rosemary Gladstar*
Melissa was happy to share this book because it was written by a friend and mentor. This book "provides time-tested natural therapies and herbal remedies that are safe, effective, and easy to use. (Rosemary) guides you every step of the way, from the growing and ecologically sound harvesting of herbs, to basic preparations and dosage directions. (source)"
9. How To Eat Fried Worms - Thomas Rockwell
Even if you don't want to try this diet, you will probably still devour the book. It's a humerous and relatable children's book that explores a child's first foray into food preparation, as disgusting as it may be. Give this book a try if you have children, or if you need a laugh!
10. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle - Barbara Kingsolver*
I couldn't agree more with Ana on this choice! I picked this book up on a whim once and it absolutely changed my life. Previous to reading it, I didn't think a lot about eating well or living a healthy life (for myself or the planet). I have always been a tree-hugger, but this book brought me clarity and direction. Kingsolver is a novelist who tells her family's locavore story and inspired me to do the same. After reading it, I threw myself into eating (and buying) local and haven't looked back since!
11. The Roots of My Obsession - Thomas C. Cooper*
In this book, 30 different gardeners explain what their gardens mean to them and why they spend so much time in the soil. Some garden for food, some for peace, but all are infatuated with the process of nourishing life.
12. Herbal Handbook - David Hoffmann*
Nate suggests this book because it "puts Medicinal Herbalism in a clear form, but with detail." It's practical, comprehensive, and up-to-date!
13. Alphabet Soup - Scott Gustafson
This beautiful book will captivate your child's imagination. Animals are invited to a party where they each contribute one item to an alphabet soup! Every animal brings something that begins with the same letter they do, which makes for some pretty interesting tongue twisters. This is a fun way to familiarize young children with cooking, even if the ingredients are sometimes a little silly!
14. The Herbalist of Yarrow: A Fairy Tale of Plant Wisdom - Shatoiya De La Tour
Here's another book to add to the family's summer reading list. Nate said, "This book is my daughter, Erilyn's, favorite. She always asks if we can read it together." Here's a wonderful way to help children connect to the Earth at a young age.
15. Unbroken - Laura Hillenbrand
This book is the definition of a page-turner! The reader follows the life of Lou Zamperini, a hooligan turned Olympic runner turned WWII Prisoner of War. The story is unbelievable, yet it's true! You really get to thinking about what it is to be human and what we need to live. Read this book and you'll find yourself inspired, grateful, and in awe.
16. The World Without Us - Alan Weisman*
Have you ever wondered what would happen to the Earth if people just disappeared? This book will tell you exactly that! New York city will sink into the ground, plants will overgrow our buildings, and the natural world will thrive. However, it will take quite some time. Much of the damage we have done to the planet will take thousands, maybe even millions of years for time to clean up. Weisman presents scientific fact in a story-telling fashion to keep you interested and intrigued from the first page to the last.
17. In Defense of Food - Michael Pollan
Michael Pollan knows how to simplify things. In this book he discusses food - what it is, what it is not, and how to find it. If you have ever struggled with diets or wondered about the healthiest way to eat, your answers are in here. The best part? It's not hard to understand or to apply! It's broken down into simple, common-sense rules that you won't soon forget. No calorie counting, no stomach rumbling, just easy food philosophy that makes sense.
Many of these books (the ones with the asterix*) are available here at Sunflower, and others we may be able to order for you! If you haven't had time to peruse our book section lately, I would highly recommended it. Now that you have your summer reading list, pour yourself some iced tea, find a cool lake breeze, and enjoy your summer!
Health & happiness from Julia and