Never Leave LA

Top 5 Inspirational Books for Summer

If you have ever been blown away by a book and wanted all of your friends to read it, then look no farther than our motivating LaLaScoop List. If a book alters your thinking, makes you a better person, inspires you to change or do good, than Just Read. Read your summer away.

1. The Code. The Power of “I Will” by Shaun Tomson

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The Code by Shaun Tomson (Photo credit: http://www.rsfmagazine.com)

We happened to hear this world champion surfer Shaun Tomson speak at an elementary school. His code offers 12 “I Will” stories about faith, courage, creativity, determination, and the promises we make to ourselves about the future. We shed many tears reading this book, especially as the author recounts memories with his son when he was young in their sacred story circle. Each chapter offers an important message that leaves you creating your own code.

The message is simple. Set goals. Sometimes simply writing down your dreams or telling a story about them, makes them come true. At the end of the book, you can write your own Twelve Promises of “I will.” Here are a few we are practicing and promising:

  • I will have faith that I am making the right choices.
  • I will give back to others, especially those less fortunate.
  • I will inspire – kids, the world, those around me.
  • I will listen more and talk less.
  • I will love, love, love (even if I am not loved back).
  • I will be understanding.
  • I will travel and explore.
  • I will perform random acts of kindness.

“But my confidence comes more from working towards my goals rather than the goal itself. Goals are temporary; my sense of self-worth – the kind of person I want to be – stays with me the rest of my life. If there’s a challenge out there to meet, you know which direction I’ll be headed: back out there to catch another wave. ” – Shaun Tomson

2. The Promise of a Pencil. How an Ordinary Person Can Create Extraordinary Change by Adam Braun

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The Promise of a Pencil by Adam Braun (Photo credit: http://www.forbes.com)

Fellow Semester at Sea alumni Adam Braun shares with us how he had to make the difficult choice of making a lot of money at a hedge fun, or doing something that matters. His struggles take us through his process of creating an organization that benefits the world inspired through the simple act of asking children around the world of what they wanted most. The answer of “A pencil” led to building schools all over the world, where most children have never attended school. From his supportive family in Connecticut, to his band manager brother who launches Justin Bieber’s career and becomes the first major supporter of Pencils of Promise, Adam Braun shares his mistakes and journey in a candid way. Braun reveals how he learned to build a community of supporters to fulfill his dream via social media, college students, investors, charity events, office learning lunches, and people willing to work for free or little money. Braun’s fascinating life story shows us how he built his first school, and how five years later, he has built over 200 schools around the world. If you ever wondered how you can live a more purpose-driven life, and turn your ideas into reality, read this book. Adam Braun was named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 list and Wired magazine’s 50 People Who Will Change the World.

3. The Martha Beck Collection: Essays for Creating Your Right Life, Volume One by Martha Beck

After I heard Martha Beck speak years ago at a major Oprah event I was covering, I was immediately hooked to MBCollection-Vol1-214x300her connectedness to nature, and how she shared the magic in her life via major obstacles. Some of her stories had me in tears and I became hooked just listening to her advice through her life’s stories. One of her first books I read was Expecting Adam, A True Story of Birth, Rebirth, and Everyday Magic, a book chronicling her struggle of keeping a child with Down’s Syndome while working and attending Harvard with her husband. Now whenever I am looking for wisdom, I consult her Facebook page for inspiration through life’s hurdles. Deeply inspiring and engaging, The Martha Beck Collection Volume I  includes 25 articles from Martha’s column in O, the Oprah Magazine in a fun, easy-to-absorb format. Topics deal with relationships, holding grudges, avoiding avoidance, problem-solving, handling mean people, and good old-fashioned love. This book is an incredible resource that you may find yourself going back to review each month. Martha Beck speaks all over the world, works with companies, offers self-transformation adventure retreats, and she even trains others to become life coaches. Create your right life with Martha Beck and read/listen to her tools for inspired living.

4. David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell

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David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell (Photo credit: http://www.johnharmstrong.com)

Always a fan of Gladwell’s books, this book continues his journey to explain to us why certain things happen.  His theories begin with the story of David and Goliath, and the unexpected. He explores how adversity can bring forth personalities capable of changing the world. Often setbacks at a young age can harden you, but the actual persevering through rejection and setbacks, enable many to be who they are, and thus change the world or make the world work differently. Gladwell’s fascinating compilation of tales share how people often acquire skills through hardships, or share how some are brave enough to break out of the mold, and it is these people that prevail, whether we like them or not.

5. God Never Blinks 50 Lessons for Life’s Little Detours by Regina Brett

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Photo credit: http://www.amazon.com

I received this book a few years ago from someone I loved, and when I received it as a gift, I didn’t know I loved them yet. It was the start of falling in love for me, I guess you could say. The lessons in this book are so powerful they may alter your being, they way you look at the world, and the way you react and present yourself. This book will help you deal with your past, help you grow now, and get you back on the right path. Some of my favorite chapters include: Lesson 7 – Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone. Lesson 9 – The most important sex organ is the brain. Lesson 18 – A writer is someone who writes. If you want to be a writer, write. Lesson 19 – It’s never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else. Lesson 21 – Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save anything for a special occasion. Today is special enough. Lesson 22 – Overprepare, then go with the flow. Lesson 23 – Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple. Lesson 24 – Start saving 10 percent for retirement as soon as you get your first paycheck. Lesson 25 – No one else is in charge of your happiness. You are the CEO of your joy. Lesson 28 – Forgive everyone everything. Lesson 29 – What other people think of you is none of your business. Lesson 30 – The passage of time heals almost everything. Give time time. Lesson 37 – Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.

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