The end of the summer is worth savoring. Sleeping in too late (my body’s still mad at me for all that I put it through this summer), spending time with the family, soaking up the sunshine while I can. The weather won’t vary too much in Lexington, but I miss constant, blaring sun.
I’m fully planning on building in time to read during the school year, since I’m taking my time back. (I’m so excited to curl up on my gorgeous porch — such a porch girl — at night with the string lights and some music and tea. Such a happy atmosphere.) But I still definitely feel the pressure to pick the “right” books to read before I lose my sense of having time. I let myself relax so much more in the summers, although my days probably look pretty similar.
There are some topics during the school year that I’ve made a commitment to reading about monthly, just because they’re helpful to brush up on and actively remember.
TOPICS I’VE LOVED
Cognitive biases & unconscious influences — Some of my most rewarding reads this summer were about the flaws in our decision-making and perception of reality. All the psychology books in the world won’t get me to stop thinking about ways I can improve, but reading scientific overviews of why we physically can’t control a lot of the situations we find ourselves in gave me a lot of peace this summer! Additionally, they’re really good for developing empathy and understanding other people, which I think is always helpful to keep in mind. It’s just helpful to be humbled by all that we don’t know at a given time.
Place and spatiality — I’m a huge location girl. My environment influences so much of my mood at a given time. There are places where I thrive, and places that I don’t. Especially as an entering senior (terrifying!), I place a lot of importance on where I’ll end up and which factors lead me to that decision. I’m also interested, on an aesthetic level, in spatiality, physical awareness, how we move, all of that.
Character and kindness — One of the most important speeches I’ve ever read is George Saunders’s comments on failures of kindness. It’s easy to get caught up in the craziness of life and forget how we should treat other people, but it’s always refreshing and grounding to be reassured that kindness should always be our #1 priority! The books and stories I read about its development are always hopeful and important to me.
Digital minimalism — As I talked about in a post earlier this week, I took a break from my phone this summer and loved it. I had so much more time, and appreciated my complete presence at any given moment. Phones aren’t evil, and screens don’t ruin you, but I enjoy having a consistent reminder of the way they can provoke unhealthy habits.
Some of these reads reflect those themes while other branch out into other topics I wanted to cover before the home stretch. Without further ado, here are some of my final picks!
I'm excited to read about social networks and how we all influence each other, especially going into my final year with a tight-knit community at school.
I’m in the thick of this read right now and have already underlined at least on every page. It’s a smart, concise overview of the decision-making errors we most often fall prey to.
So many people have told me they loved this read. I’m partway through, and enjoying it so much. I loved surfing this summer, and reading about others’ reverence for water.