Summer Reads

Upstream, Mary Oliver's newest collection of short essays so good you want them to be longer.

The Gift by Hafiz. Hafiz. Hafiz. Hafiz. My homeboy, my poet guru of the moment. Bedside table status. (That's major.) Better than dessert. (who we kidding? as good as dessert).

Women, Food, and God by Geneen Roth (or the audiobook (which she reads with astonishing honesty and sass). Straight talk on the stories we tell ourselves through our relationship to food. Wisdom, compassion, life-changing thought.

Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton: (mad authenticity in her reading of the audiobook). An essential, raw, hilarious story of food and love. Just for starters. 

Thirst by Mary Oliver. My favorite of MO's simple masterpieces, and a spiritual turning point in her work.

A Short Trip to the Edge by Scott Cairns. Favorite poet. A tender, smart-ass, aching memoir of learning to pray and the otherworldly life of Mount Athos, Greece.

My Bright Abyss by Christian Wiman. Illness, beauty, despair, poetry, joy.

The Plant Power Way by Rich Roll. Eat more plants. And smear, splatter, streak ridiculously delicious sauce all over this gorgeous coffee-table-worthy book that tells a story as compelling as its real-life, beginner-friendly recipes.

My Story As Told by Water by David James Duncan. The Man. This guy can tell the complicated geographical-political-economic story of a river in straight-up, immersive poetry you can't put down. I live in the world with enriched attention because of DJD's writing. (Also he makes me want to learn to fly fish.)

The Unsettling of America by Wendell Berry. America is unsettled these days. I can't think of a better place to start to understand our relationship to it and to each other than understanding our relationship to the land itself. Wendell is St. Wendell to me. I could talk for a long time about the ways his novels and poems have unsettled my heart in enlivening ways. But I would start with this book of essays, which get us down, on our knees, in the dirt, learning to love the body of it with our bodies, learning the ways it sustains us, learning to eat wisely, and becoming street-wise about the agricultural and political (and digital) systems that can rob us of what might be our greatest need: feeling at home.

We Are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby. Inappropriately hilarious. Current dinner party guest of my dreams.

Stay tuned for more.

Wishing you that best feeling that whatever's going south, you've got a great book to get back to.

Nicole MelineComment