with a book! Elysian celebrates National Book Lovers Day with our favorite titles.
Once upon a time, there were these rectangular things that had a binder and a bunch of pages, and on those pages were lots and lots of words. Sometimes there were pictures, too. In any case, it felt really good to hold one of these things in your hand and leaf through its pages. Yep, we’re talking about books, and we’re not the only folks who love them. Thursday August 9 is National Book Lovers Day, an unofficial holiday that is as good an excuse as any to park yourself in a hammock with some exceptional reading material. Wisdom. Inspiration. Laughs. Vicarious adventures. Secrets to a better life. Pretty much anything you might be looking for can be found in the pages of a book. To jumpstart your literary journey, the staff at Elysian compiled a selection of our favorite titles:
Our schedules are so packed with family, work, friends, Netflix. Ya know, really important stuff. So if we’re going to set aside a few hours from life to read a novel, it had better be good. Our shortlist of fiction faves includes something old, something new, something purple and something for you. We promise.
Before We Were Yours
by Lisa Wingate
A poignant novel inspired by the true story of the Memphis adoption agency which kidnapped children from poor families in the 1930s and relocated them with wealthy families at a hefty profit. Despite its grim premise, the book is beautifully written and life-affirming.
by Lauren K. Denton
After her grandmother’s passing, a young woman goes to her Alabama B&B with the intention of tying up loose ends so she can sell the property. Instead, she embarks on an unexpected journey of discovery into who her grandmother really was.
We Were the Lucky Ones
by Georgia Hunter
Georgia Hunter’s own heritage is the inspiration for her novel about a family that was separated at the start of World War II, but determined to find one another again after surviving the Holocaust. A brilliant take on a painful history.
To Kill a Mockingbird
by Harper Lee
Harper Lee’s classic is one of the most acclaimed novels in the modern American cannon. If you haven’t read it since fourth grade, it’s definitely worth picking up again so you can experience its impact as an adult.
The Color Purple
by Alice Walker
It’s been a Pulitzer-prize winning novel, an acclaimed film, and an award-winning Broadway show. But if you haven’t read The Color Purple yet, clear a few afternoons on your calendar and prepare to be wrenched, dazzled, and utterly changed.
Just as entertaining as fiction, but factually-based. News you can use, wisdom from the ancestors. Open a book and dive in. We promise this won’t hurt a bit.
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
by Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou was 41 when the first of her seven memoirs was published. By then, she had already lived an extraordinary life as a calypso singer, touring cast member of Porgy and Bess, a market researcher, a playwright, an actress, an activist, a university administrator, and a journalist. And she was just getting started. Caged Bird is the first of her seven memoirs, and an excellent entry point into her considerable body of work.
In the Company of Women: Inspiration & Advice from Over 100 Makers, Artists & Entrepeneurs
By Grace Bonney
Grace Bonney’s book is the next best thing to sitting down with 100 inspiring women and hearing their stories, one at a time.
The Creative Habit: Learn it and Use it for Life
By Twyla Tharp
Regardless of what you might aspire to do or make in life, Tharp’s book is a master class in making it happen.
We Should All Be Feminists
by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
It’s funny how the word “feminist” has become co-opted by a negative connotation. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s lucid and persuasive essay sets the record straight.
A Room of One’s Own
by Virginia Woolf
Originally published in 1929, Room is an extended essay on women writers and women as characters in fiction, and served as the manuscript for a series of lectures that Woolf delivered at Cambridge University.
Have you ever noticed that the best children’s books are delightful for young minds and older ones at the same time?
Oh, The Places You’ll Go!
By Dr. Suess
A rich morsel of inspiration for when you’re embarking on a new journey or just trying to figure out potty-training.
Little Kunoichi the Ninja Girl
by Sanae Ishida
Kunoichi isn’t the top ninja in her class, but she works harder than anyone else to achieve her personal best. We think there’s a Little Kunoichi in all of us, which makes this book a particularly fun and useful read.
Shark Lady: The True Story of Eugenie Clark
by Jess Keating
The world renowned zoologist and shark expert Eugenie Clark was once a small girl who dreamed of learning the secrets of the ocean. May her story inspire others like her to study the sea and share its wisdom with us all.
The Girl Who Thought in Pictures: The Story of Dr. Temple Grandin
by Julia Finley Mosca
Temple Grandin was born in 1947 and was diagnosed with autism at a time when there was very little known about the condition. Grandin’s mother insisted that her daughter was different than others but “not less.” Eventually Grandin became an acclaimed biologist and author because of – not in spite of – her unique way of seeing the world.
Mae Among the Stars
by Roda Ahmed
The true story of Mae Jemison, the young girl who was enchanted with outer space and grew up to be the first African American woman to travel in space.
Of course we love to read. But we can’t deny the old adage “a picture is worth a thousand words.”
The Atlas of Beauty: Women of the World in 500 Portraits
by Mihaela Noroc
Noroc’s collection of portraits from across the world is a magnificent display of beauty in all of its diverse manifestations.
Wild Horses of Cumberland Island
By Anouk Masson Krantz
Off Georgia’s Atlantic coast lies an island where wild horses roam free, inspiring Anouk Masson Krasntz to spend a decade working on this photographic tribute to their grace and beauty.
Bonnie Cashin: Chic is Where You Find It
by Stephanie Lake
We all know Balenciaga, Dior, and Chanel, but the work of sportswear and accessories designer Bonnie Cashin was relatively unknown–except by fashion insiders–until Stephanie Lake made Cashin the focus of her PhD dissertation, thus embarking on a journey to reintroduce Cashin’s work to the world.
Shocking! The Art and Fashion of Elsa Schiaparelli
by Dilys E. Blum
Elsa Schiaparelli, the edgier rival of Coco Chanel isn’t as famous in the 21st Century as she was in the 1930s, but her aesthetic stands up to the ravages of time.
Frida Kahlo: Fashion as the Art of Being
by Susana Martinez Vidal
During her lifetime, her considerable creative prowess was often eclipsed in the public eye by that of her husband Diego Rivera, but decades after her death, Kahlo continues to soar as a painter, an intellectual and a fashion icon.