Summer Reading

I can’t believe I forgot to wish everyone a happy Summer Solstice on Friday. I hope you had a magical first day of summer. Here in Minneapolis, we had a very memorable June 21st. We endured a huge storm that left hundreds of thousands of people without power. Trees were uprooted all around the city, and the morning revealed them collapsed upon houses and cars. There are still some people without power. I was very lucky to have gone only about 20 hours without power.


view from in front of my apartment. thankfully, that’s not my car.

On Saturday, I took myself on a solo picnic to enjoy the calm after the storm, as it were. I enjoyed a yummy kale salad with delicious hummus from a local co-op.


I also took a book I’m reading to enjoy on the grass.


Reading reminded me that I had not yet done a Summer Reading List post. I really enjoy these posts because I usually get a lot of new reading ideas from the stuff you suggest in the comments. (I hope this time proves that true!).

I’m actually reading Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition for the blog. The publishers emailed me and asked if I’d like to receive a copy to review on TRGK. I was familiar with the author as the scientist behind the best-selling book The China Study. I was excited to dive in considering that it was described as “an eye-opening, paradigm-changing journey through cutting-edge thinking on nutrition, a scientific tour de force with powerful implications for our health and for our world.” More on this in a future post!


I just finished the book Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed. There is so so much to say about this book, but for the sake of time, I will just urge you to pick it up for yourself. It is about love and life and feelings and decisions and loss and grief and joy and family and friends and hope and despair. It is all the things. I cannot recommend it enough.


I’ve slowly been making my way through How Yoga Works, which is a story about a young Indian girl who gets thrown in a Tibetan jail and ends up teaching yoga to the prison warden. It’s meant to be a creative way to teach the lessons of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, and to explain how yoga arrived in Tibet. I’m enjoying it, but it’s a bit slow-going. Still unsure what I think.


These ladies have inspired me to pick up Homeward Bound: Why Women are Embracing the New Domesticity. I’m really excited to read it!


Others on the list:

  • My grrrl Abby recommended Diane DiPrima’s Revolutionary Letters, because one of the letters in the book speaks explicitly to the food we consumer and general reflections on a radical approach to health.
  • Jennifer Eagan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad has been on my summer reading list for the past couple years, but I’ve never gotten around to it. Maybe this will be the summer!
  • …plus a lot of academic articles.

Now it’s your turn! What are you reading this summer?!

15 thoughts on “Summer Reading

  1. FoodFeud says:

    I didn’t get to comment on yr last post, but CONGRATULATIONS on the super badass job in Massachusetts! Boston is kinda my second hometown, it’s a great town. Have you been before?? What kind of job does yr bf have? So great that he is so supportive.
    Weather has been SO crazy everywhere recently. I’m sick of the storms but at least it’s making things green….
    As for the books, I’m stoked you picked up Homeward Bound. I’m eager to hear what both you and Nikki have to say about it. I just finished reading Swamplandia, which was incredible. I like Karen Russell’s short stories but the novel was unlike her other pieces and really beautiful and intense. Then I picked up Dorothea Lasky’s book of poetry, Thunderbird, and it too is so melodic and calm but ravenous. Really good stuff.
    I’ve got to check back to see what other people recommend….
    Happy summer! :)

    • raechel says:

      Thank you! I’m glad to hear you like Boston. I play to take lots of weekend trips to NYC, so maybe someday we’ll cross paths! I’d love to know yr fave Boston vegan spots!

      Mike is a labor union organizer. Actually the Assistant Director of Organizing, which means he not only gets to do what he loves, but also has a really high position in the union which means he has a lot of influence on stuff, which is good for someone with good politics and stuff. And he’s just up and leaving this great position he’s worked really hard for. : (

      I will look forward to discussing Homeward Bound with you!

  2. Jess says:

    Thank you for the suggestions! I’m so excited to have time to read again! I just finished The Autobiography of Red a few weeks ago—it was great to read something so different. I’ve also been reading David Sedaris’ newest book. It makes for good early-morning gym reading.

    • raechel says:

      I need to get on the David Sedaris train. I know I am waaaay behind, but I never picked up Me Talk Pretty One Day, and then it just seemed too late. Autobiography of a Red definitely sounds different. Not sure if it’s my cup of tea, but sometimes it’s good to stay from the norm….

  3. Kari @ bite-sized thoughts says:

    Happy summer, and I’m glad you survived that storm! It sounds like a full on one. I’m so excited to hear of that book too, and will look forward to hearing more about how you found it – I enjoyed The China Study but found it a bit over the top in trying to sell the message (I agreed with the message but thought it could have been written in a more balanced way). It will be interesting to see how this one is!

  4. Christy says:

    Glad you were okay in that storm, the damage looks terrible :\
    I love book posts! Adding all of these titles to my to-read list (do you use Goodreads, by any chance?).I just finished Waiting to Be Heard, by Amanda Knox (convicted, then acquitted, of killing fellow student and friend in Italy) and was surprised by how emotional I got reading it.
    Two relatively recent novels that are all about setting and characters: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, and Coney, by Amram Ducovny.
    A great food memoir is Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant, edited by Jenni Ferrari-Adler.
    There’s so many more- I’ll come back and add to the list! Love all your suggestions, too :)

    • raechel says:

      I have been wanting to read The Night Circus! I heard the author interviewed on NPR and it definitely sounded interesting. I’ll have to check out the other ones you suggest too! Thanks!

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