Reading books activates your imagination. Carefully reading every page increases concentration, and by diving into the story and its characters, you’re developing more compassion for the world around you. Books can inspire you to do great things. And sometimes they can encourage you to do small things–which also counts for something, let’s be honest. So, relax on that beach bed and keep one of these books close by.

 

Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life

By Francesc Miralles and Héctor Garcia

We all want to live happily ever after. On the Japanese island of Okinawa, people actually do, thanks to the Japanese concept of ikigai. This book is an introduction to this way of life. Discover your ikigai by asking yourself questions such as: What do I like? What are my talents? What can I contribute to the world? What do I want to do for a living? We have already written about how important it is to involve both your heart and your mind when answering these questions. It will help you to develop a lifestyle that makes you feel healthy and happy.

 

 

 

 

Chasing Slow: Courage to Journey Off the Beaten Path

By Erin Loechner

Chasing Slow is not a book to read hastily. In fact, its main message is that it’s essential to take a break from time to time. Or even take a few steps back to find out what really matters: living a truthful life, experiencing human interaction and occasionally telling yourself: “I’m here now (and that’s okay).” Author Erin Loechner speaks from experience: it took her a lot of time and strength to realise that life is too precious to chase happiness without taking any time to reflect.

 

 

 

 

The Joy of Doing Just Enough: The Secret Art of Being Lazy and Getting Away with It

By Jennifer McCartney

While reading McCartney’s book, you might start to wonder: could it be that Jennifer McCartney and Erin Loechner, the author of the abovementioned book, have spent a few brainstorming sessions together? Yet McCartney’s humorous view on how we deal with productivity (or lack thereof), stress and perfectionism remains refreshing. It’s a relief for people who aren’t too keen on keeping up appearances (like being an influencer and motivational speaker in addition to having a day job, a social life and those so-called hobbies everyone’s always raving about.) So, keep living your life and don’t let your Instagram trick you into thinking that nothing is ever truly enough.

 

 

 

 

The Eight Mountains

By Paolo Cognetti

Italian author Paolo Cognetti wrote this bestseller about quiet Pietro and adventurous Bruno: two young friends on their path to adulthood. Although they come from different backgrounds, these boys spend their summers together in the Italian mountains. Feel like getting wholly immersed in a great novel? Do yourself a favour and plunge into this story of friendship, adventure and nature.

 

 

 

 

Still looking for more summer reading material? Check out some additional suggestions here. Whether you’re lounging at home or on a foreign, sandy beach, they’re sure to inspire you to slow down and enjoy the season.

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