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Late Summer Reading Recommendations

From science fiction to historical romance, what the Unbias the News team is reading to escape from the headlines this summer.

When we aren’t reading and editing articles from around the world pitched to us, we are reading books and novels that inspire us in other avenues in our lives and help us escape the global headline blues. So, we wanted to share with you, our readers, what we have been reading this summer and offer these recommendations to you from our editorial team!

Mercy Abang

Beloved Prophet: The Love Letters of Kahlil Gibran and Mary Haskell and Her Private Journal

In a world where we are all lost in our gadgets, somedays I am on the train looking at everyone and wondering what ever happened to the human race. Can we ever get back to where we all used to be or is this really what we have become? People are locked in their devices, no one is looking at each other, and no one can see the next person sitting by their side, but everyone is busy, busy fiddling with their mobile phones. 

 

This book is about love and love letters that were part of what humans were into, and it takes you through the lives of these two incredible humans who documented their lives with one another.

The Minimalist Entrepreneur: How Great Founders Do More with Less by Sahil Lavingia

A brilliant, fascinating read that opens your mind to the world of minimalism; my first encounter with anything this close was when I learnt about “lean manufacturing” during my MBA. But what Sahil did with this book was break it down even further and take readers through the creator economy – this is a book I will recommend to everyone. You do not have to be interested in owning or running a business to grab a copy. A MUST-READ for founders. 

A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership by James Comey

This book, for me, is about conviction and service; as someone who loves politics and governance, I read it from that lens and the consequences of lying and of loyalty to an individual over truth and the rule of law.

 

The book also talks about the inner happenings in a presidency, the “Cabals”, a term that is now widely referred to as members of a President’s kitchen cabinet, and how their actions and inactions affect the daily lives of the governed.

Wafaa Albadry

The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk

I’m reading it again because there is even more to recognize the second time around. It has so many “aha moments”. It talks about trauma and how it literally changes the brain and behavior. 

All About Love by Bell Hooks

It talks about the question, what is love? And how society is failing to give us an example to follow. And how we can find our way through.

Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahnemen 

It is about processing our thoughts, how to take decisions, which decisions need to be taken fast, and which one must be taken slowly. It is a good guidebook when you think a lot about your future, like me!

Ankita Anand

The Bad Boy’s Guide to the Good Indian Girl: A.k.a. the Good Indian Girl’s Guide to Living, Loving and Having Fun by Annie Zaidi and Smriti Ravindra

Indian society has always tried to curb women’s freedom and control their sexuality. The book shows how young women covertly push the envelope to create pockets of autonomy, trying to use the master’s tools to create dents in his house.

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb

This book works like a charm because the therapist shares her experiences as an expert in the field but also shares her own vulnerability as a “client” visiting another therapist. 

Natural Histories by Guadalupe Nettel

The travails of human life get reflected in the animals living around, and sometimes in, the protagonists of the short stories in this book. This interweaving by Nettel feels like an expression of the longing for our lost bonds with nature.

Tina Lee

The Actual Star by Monica Byrne

People don’t usually think of sci-fi when it comes to light-hearted summer reads, but this page-turning epic is pure escapism. Bryne weaves an adventure encompassing fateful characters of the ancient past, near-present, and post-climate catastrophe future that left me breathless.

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno Garcia

The concept of an updated Bronte- style gothic horror novel set in 1920s Mexico piqued my interest immediately. But how this spunky protagonist takes on eugenicism and colonialism is what really won me over.

Also, and importantly, a different take on mushrooms than the recent pro-mushroom propaganda filling screens and bookshelves.

Metrolpolis by Ben Wilson

If you didn’t have a chance to travel this summer, visit some of the amazing destinations of the past in this review of the world’s great cities, from Uruk to Amsterdam to Baghdad. Its incredible to learn how advanced some of these ancient societies were and it’s inspiring to know that we are capable of such different arrangements of society- maybe it’s time to change it up again.

Gabriela Ramirez

The War of Art, Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield

This book has become one of those I always go back to when looking for an answer during my creative process. It is Steven’s view that creative work is not an egocentric act, but a gift that we must simply give to the world. I turn to this book when I need a dose of inspiration to shed some light on why I do what I do.

Somebody’s Daughter by Ashley C. Ford

One of the most touching memoirs I have ever read. Ford’s story about growing up in a poor family in Indiana, USA, with a father who was in prison convicted of rape and a complex relationship with her mother and grandmother is captivating and revealing. The way this author tells her story is so intimate. It is a story that demonstrates the power of vulnerability in storytelling in a beautifully written memoir by a Black woman.

El Zumbido y El Moscardón by Javier Darío Restrepo (Spanish)

El Zumbido y el Moscardón compiles one hundred and fifty of the more than 1,500 cases of journalistic ethics. Every case in the book is organized by categories about the fundamentals of the profession, journalism in situations such as war, elections, or catastrophes. One of my favorites was the ethics related to the relationship between journalists and their sources and, finally, the main ethical challenges that digital journalism and the internet bring.

Purple Romero

Banned Book Club by Kim Hyun Sook, Ko Hyung-Ju and Ryan Estrada

This autobiographical graphic novel has become more relevant with the wave of books being banned around the world. It touches on the youth’s core spirit of questioning the status quo, but also leaves an important message that change takes time. 

Cosmos by Carl Sagan

If you want to understand how people have tried to understand things bigger than us, read this book. 

Bad Science by Ben Goldacre

Debunking misinformation about so-called health wonders has never been this informative AND funny. 

Zahra Salah Uddin

What Would Boudicca Do? Everyday Problems Solved by History’s Most Remarkable Women by E.Foley & B. Coates

I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed reading this. It’s very rare for me these days to actually physically express laughter or gasps while reading a book (sad, I know) but this book had me doing all of that. It features 50 women that we have known to exist throughout history and how they would solve modern-day problems we face were they alive today. There’s a chapter in there that draws inspiration from the life of Frida Kahlo. A chapter on Rosa Parks and how to stand up to bullies. My favourite chapter was about being body positive and it shared examples from the life of Mae West, who I find absolutely stunning and hilarious. There are more chapters in there that are extremely inspirational and feature incredible women from world history such as Boudicca, Catherine the Great, Cleopatra, Amelia Earthart and a few other literal queens.

The Faces by Tove Ditlevsen

A great novel by one of Denmark’s most celebrated authors. The story follows an award-winning children’s book author who is struggling with the concept of ‘madness’ and the story chronicles her delusional and intrusive thoughts. It also portrays the character’s fears as an author which at one point felt like Tove feels this way about herself as an author too. The story seamless goes in and out of the character Lise’s reality and the world she has created in her mind. Quite some Sylvia Plath in the Bell Jar vibes.

Just Kids by Patti Smith

As a huge fan of Patti Smith’s music, I recommend this book to everyone I know because it is quite honestly the most beautifully written memoir about love and an enduring friendship. It’s about her relationship with one of  New York’s most celebrated photographers Robert Mapplethorpe. It’s sweet, wholesome and at times gripping as it chronicles their relationship and what life was like for struggling artists in New York in the late 60s and 70s. It left my heart feeling so full, but also renewed my ambition towards getting better at maintaining my relationships with the ones I love. This is a book I re-visit every summer.

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