There’s something about the sun’s warmth that makes us feel more optimistic and driven to pick up some good habits — and good books. Over the past few months, these three novels have helped me find balance in my relationships to my loved ones, my communities or myself. So whether school’s out forever or just for now, give yourself some time to unwind and turn inwards with our summer reading list:
All About Love: New Visions by bell hooks
In this classic, cultural critic bell hooks reimagines love in all its forms: intimate, nurturing, self-compassionate and divine. She mixes personal anecdotes with profound musings informed by intersectional feminist theories about learning to love.
Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good by adrienne maree brown
This collection of conversations and essays on an array of topics, from sex work to climate change, explores the ways we can centre pleasure in building a socially just society. It’s important to recognize that self-love and care don’t exist in a vacuum. Eradicating systems of oppression are fundamental to living fulfilling lives rooted in compassion and community-care.
Trauma and the Unbound Body: The Healing Power of Fundamental Consciousness by Judith Blackstone
Psychotherapist Judith Blackstone outlines how the fascia (the body’s connective tissue) constricts in response to trauma. Informed by Hindu and Buddhist teachings and honed over decades of practice, her Realization Process is a meditative exercise for releasing unconscious reactions and embracing fundamental consciousness.
Today I Affirm: Journal by Alexandra Elle
Well-loved on Instagram for her hand-written notes, writer Alexandra Elle created a journal and guide to reading and writing daily affirmations. The guide walks us through the concept of writing as a form of meditation and the journal prompts help us develop our own daily affirmations by reflecting on our innermost feelings.
Which self-care books have helped you along your path of healing? Share them with the Collective in the comments below so we can expand our list!
MEET THE CONTRIBUTER
Tamara Jones is a Toronto-based publicist, freelance writer, and associate editor for Sophomore Magazine. Tamara’s editorial work includes profiles, cultural commentary, and book reviews. More recently, Tamara has been inspired to explore patterns of trauma and healing through personal writing. Her understanding of spiritual and emotional wellness is both self-taught and gathered from trusted professionals and elders.
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