12 books that will make you want to be a kinder, more eco-conscious person 
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Hello bookworms, we have some inspiration for your summer reading list!

Some of the books are new, some are not, but all of them have inspiring messages that will make you want to be a better, kinder human

12 must-read books for your summer reading list!

How to Stay Human in a F*cked-Up World: Mindfulness Practices for Real Life 

If you want to meditate, but you’re not sure where to start — you’re going to love this book by Tim Desmond. But even if you meditate every day for an hour, you’ll find relatable and thoughtful information about mindfulness and ways to keep your life together even when it feels nearly impossible. 

Miracle in the Mundane: Poems, Prompts, and Inspiration to Unlock Your Creativity and Unfiltered Joy 

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In 11 days, a book I worked my buns off on will find its way into the world for the 5th time in my life. This one is different, it’s a life reboot, it’s a reminder, it’s a testament to the miniature miracles hiding all around us. It’s a guidebook on finding them, finding lost pieces of yourself along the way. Of letting go, of forgiveness, of rediscovering your creativity, your own joy. I hope so much you love it. This one needs your help, I need your help. Think of it as a Kickstarter project with only two rewards, this book, and my eternal thanks. It’s up for pre-order, so if you have not yet, please do, the link is in my bio. Please share this, tag someone below who may need it, please spread the news. Please and I love you.

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You may or may not have seen Tyler Knott’s romantic poems on Instagram. (If not, be sure to check him out!) But this book isn’t really about romance. Instead, it centers around cultivating a sense of wonder for the world and noticing the beauty that exists all around us. 

The Soul of an Octopus  

This book by Sy Montgomery will make you fall in love with octopuses (if you haven’t already). With every page turn you’ll be reminded of the amazing connection between humans and animals, even the ones with blue blood and three hearts.

Plastic Purge: How to Use Less Plastic, Eat Better, Keep Toxins Out of Your Body, and Help Save the Sea Turtles! 

We’re usually not ones to judge a book by its cover, but this title pretty much says everything we want to hear. The author, Michael SanClements, not only explains (in an understandable way) a lot of interesting information about plastic, but he also gives practical advice on ways to reduce plastic-use. 

Memorials Matter

This book by Jennifer K. Ladino explores the environments of seven diverse National Park Service (NPS) sites in the American West. Let’s just say you’ll want to pack your bags and go on a road trip after reading it!

Flaneuse 

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🗣 "I walk because, somehow, it's like reading. You're privy to these lives and conversations that have nothing to do with yours, but you can eavesdrop on them. You are not alone. You walk in the city side by side with the living and the dead.” Lauren Elkin – Flaneuse: Women Walk the City ✨ I took this photo outside the house in Gordon Square which, according to this fascinating memoir/cultural history by Lauren Elkin, is the exact address a young Virginia Woolf and her family moved to from Kensington, back when Bloomsbury was still known as a fairly shabby area of London. ✨ Woolf is just one example of the many 'flaneuses' featured in this study of women who love to walk the city – Elkin's answer to the popular masculine figure of the 'flaneur', AKA the men who have historically enjoyed the relative ease of being able to move through cities untroubled by street harassment and the general conspicuousness of being a woman. ✨ Throughout, Elkin makes a persuasive case for the joy of walking for both men and women. She retraces her own steps through various cities: New York, Paris, Venice and Tokyo, weaving her experiences between a blend of cultural history, biography and literary criticism. She examines the connection between the city and creativity, using everyone from filmmaker Agnes Varda to author Jean Rhys as case studies of women whose lives and work are intertwined with the streets of their chosen cities – and leaving you itching to take to the streets yourself. 🚶🏻‍♀️🚶🏽‍♀️🚶🏾‍♀️

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Flaneuse by Lauren Elkin is a love letter to walking and women who walk. If you love exploring cities and have a fascination with the simple act of putting one foot in front of the other, you’ll have a hard time putting this book down.

Eating Animals 

Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer reads like a combination of investigative reporting and memoir. It’s a deep dive into the origins of eating traditions and why humans justify eating animals. But no matter your eating style, reading this book will make you want to be a kinder person. 

Big Magic 

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Big Magic by @elizabeth_gilbert_writer ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ A beautiful book about bravely living our creative lives. Creative living is the search for the hidden treasure inside of us, and the results of that search is what Elizabeth calls “Big Magic.” . She acknowledges the fear that comes with living a creative life and sharing our creative work with others, and insists that we must bravely make space for fear as it will always be present as we march towards creative fulfillment. The goal is not to be fearless (because fear has a natural job to keep us safe), but rather to ride alongside it, while never allowing it to drive our decisions. What she calls “the mystery” I would call the Spirit. What she calls a “transformative encounter with inspiration” I call a transformative encounter with God. When she writes, “the work wants to be made and it wants to be made through you,” I read that God wants to work through us. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I love the practical tips to living into our creative potential: 1. Pursue what you love and “create whatever causes a revolution in your heart.” 2. Stop complaining as it chases Inspiration away. 3. Persevere between the bright moments because that is where the real work lies. 4. When challenges arise, maintain curiosity and change our language from “this is awful” to “this is interesting.” 5. Chase creativity not a pay-off. 6. Treat failure like a “constructive experiment" 7. Do not allow envy and scarcity stand in our way, as there is enough room for everyone’s creativity. 8. Give up perfection, let go of insecurities, and create! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ She reminds us that we don’t need a degree to be a creator. We can share what we know through living and surviving. “Do you have the courage to bring forth this work? The treasures that are hidden inside you are hoping you will say yes…What do you love doing so much that the words failure and success essentially become irrelevant?"

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Big Magic is like a hug for the soul. Elizabeth Gilbert’s thoughtful and practical advice about ways to embark on creative projects  — whether it’s a novel or a watercolor painting — will make you want to stop planning and start doing. 

The Alchemist 

Look no further than The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho for the ultimate lessons in life and love. The core message of the book: pursue your dreams and let your heart lead the way. Who doesn’t need to be reminded of that every once in a while?!

Let Your Mind Run: A Memoir of Thinking My Way to Victory

Deena Kastor won the US their first Olympic medal after a 20 year drought. In her book, Kastor describes how she got out of a rut, manifested more positivity in her life, and made big changes to achieve her goals. 

If you’re feeling stressed, burned out, or have a big goal on the horizon, this book is for you. 

A Man Called Ove 

This book by Fredrik Backman will make you feel connected to a fictional character in ways you didn’t think was possible. It’s full of wisdom, heart, lovable characters, and oddly perfect metaphors. Plus, there’s a ridiculously lovable cat, so that doesn’t hurt! 

Zero Waste Home

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The biggest challenge in reducing our waste was finding balance ⚖, figuring out what worked for us and what did not. There were no books 📚or blogs on how to eliminate trash when we started, so I had to google alternatives, test many recipes and how-to's, interview my mom, grandma and mother in-law about how people lived before our consumerist society. Along the way, I got too wrapped up into homemaking: At one point, I was making our cheese 🧀 , bread, yogurt, soy milk, butter, toothpaste, deodorant etc. These practices were too extreme, too time consuming for my full time job, and therefore unsustainable. We eventually dropped them for the sake of simplicity. For example, we realized that there was no need for us to make bread 🥖if we could buy it unpackaged with a cloth bag either directly from the bakery or from the bakery bins. We found that for Zero Waste to be sustainable in a household, one has to adopt alternatives that fits his/her schedule/needs/family and are feasible in the long run, for life. We found that zero waste becomes a lifestyle when you let it simplify your life, not complicate it. What has been your biggest challenge in adopting waste-free living? #zerowaste #zerodechet #zerowastehome #unpackaged #bulk #zerowastehomebook #zerowastelifestyle #5Rs #refill #reuse #ZWH #minimalist #minimalism #simplicity #voluntarysimplicity

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From making your own mustard to cancelling junk mail, this book by Bea Johnson gives you practical tips for ways to be kinder to yourself and the planet. 

To find more summer inspiration, check out these posts!

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