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Our July Reading List

This July, we're shifting our perspective and reflecting inward with a few of these classic works of fiction and a refreshing coming-of-age memoir.
Credit: Samantha Hahn

Credit: Samantha Hahn

Now that we are in the thick of summer and the days have taken a slower pitch (thanks to the heat!), I have had a bit of extra time to think about the importance of stories and books, especially within our current landscape. In a time when our preferences become the majority of what we see – social media filters posts to our preferences, Google does the same, Amazon culls our reading lists, the list is endless – and this is where, I believe, the danger lies. Our individual point of views are endlessly confirmed, suggestions for further study in line with these views, and the loop continues. It becomes easy to lose our touch point, our sense of perspective. And that’s where the power of books come in, to serve as a counterweight.

Credit: Samantha Hahn

Credit: Samantha Hahn

Grabbing a book at the library, or at the bookstore (which, to be fair, is still a curated selection), seeking out a story after reading a review, choosing the book that daunts, that challenges and confronts, stepping outside of our boxes and dipping our toes in a bit of discomfort, all of this carries with it the power to crack us open and bring in the light.

It is in this space that we grow, where we build our empathy, broaden our perspective, see our world from another vantage point and realize that, at our core, we are all one. With a broadened perspective comes power – a call to do something, to act, to make change, but with an added bit of “I see you, I hear you and let’s walk together to make change, bring healing.” So this summer read far and wide, read everything, no limits no judgment. Settle in and enjoy the walk in another’s shoes.

Credit: Samantha Hahn

Credit: Samantha Hahn

This summer, quarterlane has joined Juniper Books and created a fiction box of seasonal favorites, wrapped in QL creative director Samantha Hahn’s stunning artwork. For this fiction box, we’ve included The Overstory by Richard Powers, a brilliant and stunning book with heroes that stand 300-feet tall at the center. A surprising premise, and my favorite book of the year. We’ve also included Tangerine by Christine Mangan and Circe by Madeline Miller, both featured in earlier posts and well worth a read.

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For me, reading memoir is a way out of my head -- a path to shift perspective and truly walk in another's shoes. As said by author Alice Walker, "If literature didn't inspire empathy and compassion, it would be virtually useless. The reason I absolutely do love and treasure literature is that it has taken me out of myself." For our summer memoir box, we are featuring three phenomenal stories, Educated by Tara Westover, a coming-of-age memoir about a girl raised in a survivalist family who finds her way out to the halls of Cambridge, Maggie O’Farrell’s I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes with Death and Heart Berries by Terese Marie Mailhot, a series of essays revealing how one brave woman wrote her way out of trauma. A stunning and ultimately healing book.

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