My Summer Reading Adventure: From Cherry Trees to Untapped Potential

A bowl of delicious cherries in summer


There’s something magical about summer reading. It’s the season when you can finally slow down, find your perfect sunny spot, and dive into a world of stories and insights. This summer, I’ve curated a special list of books. These are books that have grabbed me at some stage during the year and in some cases sat beside my bed for months. They have made it onto my Summer Reading List and given I am all about accountability - this blog will be updated through summer as I read them. Ooh - that scares me to write it as it means I will have to commit now!
Read along with me and I hope some of the following will provide the summer inspiration you are looking for.  Join me on my book tour and let’s turn the pages together under the summer sky.
First on my list is “At the Foot of the Cherry Tree” by Alli Parker. My favourite bookseller from InkBookshp in Mansfield hosted this author and while I didn't get to attend, the story fascinated me.  This book, a tale of Australia’s first Japanese war bride, is a personal story penned by the couple’s granddaughter.  I am starting with this one and can't wait to get lost in the pages. I love a good story grounded in reality, and it sounds like there might be a little romance. Fingers crossed. 
****Update -  Am I Brave Nobuko? This simple question has stayed with me. Curled up on the couch, this book was my rainy Boxing Day companion.
I loved the gentle story of love and genuine character. I immediately googled the story of Gordon and Cherry Parker. A lovely read. I hope you enjoy Brave Nobuko’s story.
Then there’s “Hidden Potential” by Adam Grant. Who doesn’t love unlocking secrets to being their best selves? Grant’s books always have a way of finding those little nooks and crannies in our understanding and filling them with life-changing insights. This is a book I plan to read with a notepad at hand – I expect to be jotting down plenty of ‘aha!’ moments.
“Outlive” by Peter Attia is a substantial read, packed with data and insights on extending our vitality. I want to live as long as I can. I want to run and jump and dance my way into my nineties. I foresee this book being my go-to companion for those long, lazy afternoons. It’s the kind of book you digest in parts, allowing each piece to settle and resonate. Could this be your thing?
****Update - Please read this! It is a little heavygoing in parts if you have no medical background (like me) but OMG - it is all about building a strategy for your health and preparing to live well, not just longer. Dr Peter Attia has delivered a brilliant book. I am officially preparing for the Centenarian Decathalon - VO2 Max, Grip Strength, Rucking, Dental health, sleep, metabolic health. This is about gathering the data you need to build a personalised and preventative strategy for you. You probably already know this, but spinach and broccoli will never lead you astray. I also loved the vulnerability he showed in the final chapters where he shared a very personal mental and emotional health journey. Critical for all of us.
Hannah Diviney’s “I’ll Let Myself In” comes with a trigger warning written by Hannah herself. Hannah is a writer, disability, and women's rights advocate and has been in the media recently as she is pushing Disney to create a princess with disability I am excited to read this. If you don't already follow Hannah on Instagram, do it now @hannahthewildflower. Her honesty and spirit are bound to offer a powerful and moving reading experience. 
****Update - Hannah Diviney you took my breath away. Your skills with words are exquisite. Your generosity is Brave and powerful. I love the self agency of the whole
book. A powerful message for all of us. You had me from the very first page and sealed the deal with your playlist. Thank you.
Reese Witherspoon’s book club hasn’t steered me wrong yet, so I’m excited about “Yellow Face” by Rebecca Kuang. The book explores racism in the publishing industry and Stephen King described the book as "Hard to Put Down, harder to forget".  How on earth will I choose the order of these books!
In “WifeDom” by Anna Funder, we explore the life of George Orwell’s first wife, Eileen O’Shaughnessy. Funder’s intent to give Eileen a voice resonates deeply with me. It’s a journey into the past, giving life and narrative to a woman who was much more than just a wife to a famous man.
“Something Bad is Going to Happen” by Jessie Stephen’s is her first novel following her best-selling non-fiction book “Heartsick”. My expectations are high, and I can’t wait to dive into it.
“Salt and Skin” by Eliza Henry Jones comes recommended by Great Escape Books, a magical bookstore in Aireys Inlet. I’m always up for discovering new authors and narratives, and this one sounds like a perfect beach read.
Despite this hearty list, I know myself – there will be weekly trips to our local bookstore, and I’m sure to find more treasures. And, of course, I can’t forget to include “Bel Canto” by Ann Patchett. After falling in love with “Tom Lake,” I’m eager to dive into another of Patchett’s masterpieces.
So, there you have it – my summer reading list! A sneak peek into the books that captured me over the last 6 months. I can't wait to start.
What about you? What’s on your summer reading list? Do you have any recommendations that you think I should add to my list? Share your favourite summer reads with me – let’s make this summer one filled with amazing stories and insightful journeys.
Remember, there’s no better summer accessory than a good book. Imagine yourself: feet buried in the sand, taking refreshing dips, strategically positioned to read in the sun with the perfect hat. Sounds like paradise, doesn’t it?
Happy summer reading! You know where to find me.

Looking for a break from all of this reading and need something lighter?

Leadership Resource - Brave Feminine Leadership Podcast Episode #121 with Tammy Medard, Managing Director at ANZ Institutional Banking shares a wonderful conversation about being intentional in her career. I love how she shares insights into her routine to help her show up as the best version of herself. Listen here.

Maybe you want to dive into a little insight about yourself and your leadership style. Take our Summer Leadership Quiz here and Access your free copy of our Summer Glow Magazine. Access here