Funny how it seems that the times when I have the least amount of time to read are usually the times when nothing would do my soul more good than diving into a great new novel or an engrossing memoir. This past month has been crazy busy (whatever happened to the “lazy days” of summer?) and I’m making a concerted effort to make time to unwind by reading (instead of texting, tweeting or watching TV) before bed. I definitely think that the sheer act of opening a book makes my heart rate slow down a bit — and besides, did you know that the bright light from a TV or computer can actually stop our melatonin levels from rising to induce sleep, tricking our bodies into thinking it’s still daytime? If that’s not enough reason to pile some good reads on your nightstand, I don’t know what is! Here’s what I’m reading this month:

The Language of Flowers, by Vanessa Diffenbaugh. Thanks to all of your countless comments suggesting I read this book in previous On My Nightstand posts, it’s become my book club’s official selection this month! It’s the tale of a girl whose gift for flowers helps her change the lives of others, as she struggles to overcome her own troubled past. Can’t wait to dive in.

My Greek Island Home, by Claire Lloyd. I just stumbled across this little gem of pure escapism, and while I may not be going on any exotic vacations in the near future, I have a feeling this book will totally take me away. A former art director for W Magazine, Lloyd chronicles her story of finding restoration and inspiration surrounded by beauty and the bluest waters on the island of Lesvos.

Clean Gut, by Alejandro Junger. I’ll go ahead and preface by saying: this one’s not for everyone. But if, like me, you’re completely fascinated with the way our bodies process food, the unhealthy state of our nation and why so many of us are walking around with chronic illness and inexplicable fatigue… you won’t be able to put it down. Although Junger lays out an extreme 6-week eating plan that I’ve yet to tackle, I took away tons of nuggets of wisdom that I’ve been applying to my diet on a daily basis.

The French Market Cookbook, by Clotilde Dusoulier. Lately I’ve found myself gravitating towards more veggie-centric recipes and making at least a couple of totally meat-free meals a week (thanks to the aforementioned, Clean Gut.Like me, food blogger and author Dusoulier is not a vegetarian but is constantly on the hunt for what’s ripe and in season, meaning that most of her recipes omit the cream, cheese and pastas that can cover the bright flavors of perfectly seasonal vegetables. This one’s on its way to becoming a cookbook library essential.

Now it’s your turn! Let me know what you’re reading this month… and for other book ideas, be sure to check out the last few editions of On My Nightstand.

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