For the #SupportLocalAuthors in me:
BREAD&, by my good friend and very talented gender fluid writer, Teré Fowler-Chapman. This chapbook of resilience and joy is a collection of poems and body of work that I couldn't wait to get my hands on! Recently published just this summer, BREAD& is tangible magic that you otherwise see performed on stage. Not only is this chapbook for the #SupportLocalAuthors in me but also for the poet in me. Without the author of this chapbook, the poet in me wouldn't be as evolved.
For the poet in me:
salt., by Nayyirah Waheed is a poetry book that I return to over and over again. Waheed has a way with words by constructing them with much softness, yet such power. Every seemingly bite-sized poem holds so much meaning and I find much inspiration flipping through all 251 pages as my soul resonates. It's more than love. It's lyrical and raw and healing. It's a celebration and experience in itself.
For the wise teacher in me:
The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho. I highly doubt this is the first time you hear of this book. It's one of those books you read several times at different points in your lifetime. The main plot follows the journey of a shepherd boy who's in search of a treasure he dreamt of. What I love about this book is the fact that every time I read it, I always learn something new. It's a story about moving forward, about turning to oneself for answers, about perseverance, about the power behind our beliefs, about awareness, fear and opportunity. There's just so many lessons embedded in the shepherd boy's travels. I would honestly call this book a classic self-development work of art.
For the yogi in me:
Meditations on Intention and Being, by Rolf Gates. Whether you are a yogi or not, if you want a book with insightful daily reflections (a.k.a. - the ultimate coffee table book) then you should have this one in your space. It's an easy read; one you can meditate and ease into. It's one of those books I turn to when I need a simple boost of insight and open the book to a random page!
For the conscious and spiritual lover in me:
The Mastery of Love, by Don Miguel Ruiz (who's also the author of The Four Agreements). I honestly call this book my bible. I think that if I had to journey through this life with just one book, this would be it. The best part is that I did such a good job at underlining all the key excerpts to where now I can read the book from beginning to end in just one sitting. Whenever I feel emotionally unstable, mentally blocked, heartbroken, or simply feel like I need to be re-aligned/awakened, I grab this book and take it everywhere with me. This book would make the world a better place if everyone read it.
For the health nut in me:
The New Health Rules, by Frank Lipman. Now this is an awesome coffee table book! (And by the way, saying a book is coffee table worthy is a compliment, not a downgrade). First off, I absolutely love the way this book was designed. So clean, modern, and aesthetically pleasing to read. This book embodies wellness in today's society. I learned so many simple changes to adjust my well-being. Everything from what omega-3s are to why I should step outside barefoot.
For the humanitarian in me:
Tattoos on the Heart, by Gregory Boyle. First of all, shoutout to Homeboy Industries for all that they do/have done. I discovered this gang intervention program through this book and felt extremely inspired! Boyle shares his experiences and journey working in the ghettos of Los Angeles via essays. As you read, you feel immense generosity and unconditional love. You'll honestly get the desire to help others and value life in reading this book.
For the creative in me:
Big Magic, by Elizabeth Gilbert (also the author of Eat Pray Love). I am all about easy reads, especially since I'm a slow reader. Not only just easy reads though but an easy read that gets the point across and actually holds power in moving you. While I was reading this I felt like Gilbert was my personal life coach. She delves into the life of a creative and shares her own personal wisdom. If you're looking to embark on an artistic dream of any sort, this ones for you.
For the girlboss in me:
You are a Badass, by Jen Sincero. Like Gilbert, Sincero felt like my personal life coach - except Sincero has tough love and cuts to the chase. Basically, it's a how-to guide and self-help book for people that want to kick ass in life. As much as it's entertaining to read, it's motivating too. She has another book out now called, You are a Badass at Making Money, and I'm dying to read it. Just because this one was so good! You'll want to get up and take action!
For the student in me:
My Voice, by Angie Martinez. There are two types of books I absolutely love and find valuable: self-development books and the (auto)biographies of people I look up to. Angie Martinez is an icon and huge inspiration of mine, so this book for me is a must-have/must-read. If Angie Martinez isn't on your list of role models, I highly recommend looking into some books about those who are on your list.
P.S. Shout out to good friends that gift you books!
For the Hip Hop head in me:
Holler If You Hear Me, by Michael Eric Dyson. I have to say, any writer that can manage to encapsulate the story and life of someone who is such an icon with such a legacy gains my highest respect. Dyson was able to do just that with Tupac without sounding like a critic of any sort and it was so dope to read. If you're a fan of Tupac or a fan of Hip Hop, this is a must-read for you. I also recommend delving into the work of Dyson. It's well worth your time if you're looking to be moved and intrigued intellectually.