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Justin's 2023 Summer Reads

One of my favorite things to do in the summer is find a couple of trees to hang my hammock between and spend a couple hours reading a great book. While June was a pretty wild month, July is my time to relax a bit more and check some books off my reading list. Here’s what’s in progress or on deck.

The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma, by Bessel van der Kolk M.D.

This isn’t a new book, but one that’s been on my ‘to read’ list for a while. I’ve finally dug in and I’m really appreciating the balance between classic psychological theory with modern discoveries in neuroscience.

The Gay Metropolis: The Landmark History of Gay Life in America, by Charles Kaiser

Every summer I read at least one book that helps connect me with my LGBTQIA family. While there’s disagreement on the origins of this quote, I firmly believe that ‘those who forget their history are doomed to repeat it.’ I find it important to explore the experiences and journeys of other contemporary and historic LGBTQIA individuals to ensure I’m maintaining my focus on our fight for equality. This book promises to help me do just that.

Stolen Focus: Why You Can’t Pay Attention – and How to Think Deeply Again, by Johann Hari

I can’t rave enough about this book! If you’ve noticed that you and those around you are having a harder time focusing, Johann does an amazing job of digging into the research of why our focus seems to be collectively getting worse. And while it might be easy to scapegoat social media, there are several factors. If there’s only one book on this list you read, it should be this one!

Wired to Become: The Brain Science of Finding Your Purpose, Creating Meaningful Work, and Achieving Your Potential, by Dr. Britt Andreatta

Humans are wired for purpose, yet not everyone is connected to theirs. Britt, as always, does a great job of digging into the research to understand the biology of why we’re wired for purpose, and helps us understand the reasons why, and then helps the reader create a plan to find their purpose.

The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times, by Michelle Obama

If you enjoyed her first book, you’ll enjoy this one as much! I just love her style and the vulnerability she brings to the table. I am fascinated by anyone who has risen to such fame, yet faced adversity and continues to be grounded in reality. Regardless of your background, I feel anyone could connect with Mrs. Obama’s stories.

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