Summer Reading List

Amelia wachtin books

Guys! Its not too late to start a summer book list!

I realize there are more books on my list than I will probably get around to reading, but hey I am ambitious this summer. Plus I have been reading A LOT, which I haven't been able to say in along time. 

This is my summer book list. Some of these I have read already this summer, and some are still waiting to be dove into. 

I have included amazon links at the bottom for each book to make it easy for you, should you choose to purchase any :)

Without further adieu, here is my list 



By Cheryl Strayed

amelia wachtin wild book

Wild had been on my to-read list for quite some time. I finally purchased it at my favourite bookstore in Portland (shout out to Powell's!). 

Luca and I started reading Wild while on our recent road trip down the Washington coast. I am reading the book out loud to him, and I must say we are LOVING it so far. It is such a hard book to put down. 

The first couple chapters are emotional (seriously prepare to ball your eyes out), but Strayed's writing is so captivating and descriptive, you truly get absorbed into her story. 

Here is a synopsis of the book as explained on the back cover. 

At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother's death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life. With no experience or training, driven only by blind will, she would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State - and she would do it alone. Told with suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild powerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her. 

The Desire Map 

By Danielle LaPorte 

amelia wachtin desire map

I purchased the Desire Map along time ago at the same time I also purchased Danielle Laporte's other book "The Fire Starter Sessions". I absolutely loved the Fire Starter sessions, and feel it is a must read for anyone looking for meaning in what they do in life, work, love and more. 

The Desire Map is all about creating goals with soul. 

Knowing how you want to feel is the most potent clarity you can have. Generating those feelings is the most powerful thing you can do with your life.

- Danielle Laporte

Danielle gets it. She is both inspiring and vulnerable in her writing. I LOVE her, and I am positive you will too.

Here is the synopsis for The Desire Map

Your bucket list. Quarterly objectives. Strategic plans. Big dreams. Goals. Lots of goals and plans to achieve those goals-no matter what. Except.

You're not chasing the goal itself, you're actually chasing the feeling that you hope achieving that goal will give you.

Which means we have the procedures of achievement upside down. We go after the stuff we want to have, get, or accomplish, and we hope that we'll be fulfilled when we get there. It's backwards. And it's burning us out.

So what if you first got clear on how you actually wanted to feel in your life, and then created some "Goals with Soul"?

With The Desire Map, Danielle LaPorte brings you a holistic life-planning tool that will revolutionize the way you go after what you want in life. Unapologetically passionate and with plenty of warm wit, LaPorte turns the concept of ambition inside out and offers an inspired, refreshingly practical workbook for using the Desire Map process:
  • Identify your "core desired feelings" in every life domain: livelihood & lifestyle, body & wellness, creativity & learning, relationships & society, and essence & spirituality
  • Create practical "Goals with Soul" to generate your core desired feelings
  • Why easing up on your expectations actually liberates you to reach your goals
  • Self-assessment quizzes, worksheets, and complete Desire Mapping tools for creating the life you truly long for
Goal-setting just got a makeover.

There are more than 10,000 "Desire Mappers" who have worked through this system. "Every day I get stories about inner clarity, quitting jobs, dumping the chump, renewing vows, pole-dancing classes, writing memoirs, moving on," says Danielle. "This is about liberation. And pleasure. And self-determination. This is about doing much less proving, and way more living."

If you've had enough of trying to trick yourself into happiness through affirmations or bucket-listing your hopes into some distant future, then you're ready for The Desire Map-a dream-fulfilling system that harnesses your soul-deep desire to feel good.


The Gifts of Imperfection 

By Brene Brown 

amelia wachtin brene brown

Dr. Brene Brown is a research professor and thought leader on topics such as shame, vulnerability, courage and worthiness. This book is all about living a wholehearted life and how to engage with the world from a place of worthiness.

She gets down and exposes the nitty gritty awful things we like to convince ourselves. She is real, honest and full of wisdom. Shame and vulnerability are two topics much pushed aside in our culture, yet we all experience them in some form or another. In this book, Brene encourages us to let go of who we think we're supposed to be, and embrace who we really are. 

At 126 pages, this book is a quick and inspiring read!

The Opposite of Loneliness

By Marina Keegan 

amelia wachtin opposite of lonliness

This book was definitely an impulse buy. Not knowing much about it, except having seen it repeatedly popping up on bookshelves in front of me, I decided to purchase it.

Marina Keegan’s star was on the rise when she graduated magna cum laude from Yale in May 2012. She had a play that was to be produced at the New York International Fringe Festival and a job waiting for her at the New Yorker. Tragically, five days after graduation, Marina died in a car crash.

As her family, friends, and classmates, deep in grief, joined to create a memorial service for Marina, her unforgettable last essay for the Yale Daily News, “The Opposite of Loneliness,” went viral, receiving more than 1.4 million hits. She had struck a chord.

Even though she was just twenty-two when she died, Marina left behind a rich, expansive trove of prose that, like her title essay, captures the hope, uncertainty, and possibility of her generation. The Opposite of Loneliness is an assemblage of Marina’s essays and stories that, like The Last Lecture, articulates the universal struggle that all of us face as we figure out what we aspire to be and how we can harness our talents to make an impact on the world.

I can't wait to dive into this one... 

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (and other concerns) 

By Mindy Kaling

amelia wachtin mindy kalig

I freaking love Mindy Kaling. She is hilarious and witty and cute. This book was a super quick read, but full of big smiles and a good laugh. 

I like to mix up my genres of the books I read from health books, to self-help, to inspirational to humour.

This is definitely the perfect light summer beach read. 

Mindy Kaling has lived many lives: the obedient child of immigrant professionals, a timid chubster afraid of her own bike, a Ben Affleck–impersonating Off-Broadway performer and playwright, and, finally, a comedy writer and actress prone to starting fights with her friends and coworkers with the sentence “Can I just say one last thing about this, and then I swear I’ll shut up about it?” 
Perhaps you want to know what Mindy thinks makes a great best friend (someone who will fill your prescription in the middle of the night), or what makes a great guy (one who is aware of all elderly people in any room at any time and acts accordingly), or what is the perfect amount of fame (so famous you can never get convicted of murder in a court of law), or how to maintain a trim figure (you will not find that information in these pages). If so, you’ve come to the right book, mostly!
In Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, Mindy invites readers on a tour of her life and her unscientific observations on romance, friendship, and Hollywood, with several conveniently placed stopping points for you to run errands and make phone calls. Mindy Kaling really is just a Girl Next Door—not so much literally anywhere in the continental United States, but definitely if you live in India or Sri Lanka.

Eat Pretty

By Jolene Hart 

amelia wachtin eat pretty

This book gives nutritional sciences a sexy feel. HA, is that possible? Well after you explore the pages of this book, you will think so too. 

There is so much confusion when it comes to nutrition. Are carbs still bad? What about gluten? Fruit has too much sugar in it, doesn't it? These are all valid questions, and ones I get a lot.

As someone with a background in nutrition, I really really appreciate this book. Jolene Hart simplifies terms such as antioxidants, omega-3s, phytochemicals that are thrown around in nutritional lingo. 

Eat pretty explains how nutrition and diet can help enhance your beauty both inside and out. I LOVE how she walks through the seasons and different fruit and veg that are in season and their health properties. She provides plenty of delicious and healthy recipes too. 

Fad diets are silly, whole food based nutrition is the way to go for both health and beauty!


By David Winston and Steven Maimes

amelia wachtin adaptogens

In naturopathic medicine, adaptogens are a hot topic. Simply put, adaptogenic herbs such as ginseng, licorice, rhodiola and ashwaghanda help the body to "adapt" to stress. They increase stamina and counter the normal effects of aging. 

They are herbs used a lot in natural medicine, and I have had much success with them personally. As a future doctor, I really want to be as best educated on the physiology and phytochemistry on the plants I am prescribing my patients as I can be. This book goes into detail on the present and historical uses of adaptogens, and explains how they work and why they are so effective at combating stress-induced illness. 

If you are interested in herbal medicine or natural medicine, this book would be a great read! 

Amazon Links

Adaptogens: Herbs for Strength, Stamina, and Stress Relief
By David Winston, Steven Maimes

What is on your summer book list? I love discovering new books. Let me know what you're reading in the comments below!