Have you started your summer reading yet? If you’re looking for a good, thought-provoking read, here are 7 books that shaped my adulthood after college. I’ve recommended and gifted these so many times because they have positively impacted my life and perspective in some way that I feel everyone could benefit from. So here it is, my personal “required reading” list for Adulting: (No affiliate links here! Just sharing the love…)

Daring Greatly & Rising Strong by Brene Brown:
These are books that I reread every so often. Each time they seem to speak to me a bit differently, depending on where I am in my life at that time. But what doesn’t change is that every time I read them, I say “Everybody needs to read this!” about 600 times, and I come away from it with an improved, empowered frame on the world.

Note: Brene also wrote ‘Braving the Wilderness’, which is wonderful as well. I’ve only read it once, and it’s on deck for a re-read. I’ll write more about that one after one or two more reads!

We got to meet Jenny on her 2015 ‘Furiously Happy’ book tour, and show her the birthday card that Marc used to propose to me- which she had designed, with a photo of her taxidermied weasel “Juanita”! (She gave Marc a misty-eyed “Well done!” for that)

Let’s Pretend this Never Happened & Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson:
These books are hilarious. If you’ve ever felt like the outsider for any reason, you will definitely identify with Jenny on some level. She is honest in speaking about her struggles with mental illness, and fearlessly laughs at herself in a way that makes her readers feel just a little more…OK (I was going to say ‘normal’, but that’s not it. She makes sure you understand that “normal” is overrated). For more of her insanely hilarious writing, check out her blog, thebloggess.com

Quiet by Susan Cain – In this book, Susan Cain does a spectacular job of looking at introversion from several angles. She sheds light not only on what makes a person an “introvert” but how people can gain a better understanding of eachother through this knowledge- for instance, if you  are an extrovert and married to or raising an introvert, or vice-versa.

When Women Were Birds by Terry Tempest Williams – I read this one quite a while ago. It was a random library pick (I guess I gravitate towards birds), and there are lines from it that still stick with me today. It’s a really beautiful, special reflection of the author’s mission to make sense of her mother’s journals after her passing.

Hold Still by Sally Mann – I really enjoyed this one, and not just because I’m a photographer. I wrote a post a couple of years ago about 5 lessons I learned from this book. Check that out on my creative blog, reenfitz.wordpress.com

Currently Reading: ‘The Name of the Wind’ by Patrick Rothfuss

Want more? I’ll be posting more “Favorite Things” soon! Follow along here and on Instagram and Facebook!