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‘Tis the holiday season and no summer break is complete without a good book or two. You can grab a crime novel or romance as you dash through the airport but if you fancy something a little more substantial, pick a book that will inspire you long after the tan fades. I asked my writer/teacher/yogi/runner friend Cila to recommend five life-enhancing beach reads.
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1. Letters of Note – Shaun Usher, ed.
Editor Shuan Usher has been sharing beautiful, moving, inspiring letters via Letters of Note blog and released this lovely book last year. Chock-a-block with wonderful missives from the likes of Amelia Earhart, Leonardo da Vinci, Elvis, and many more, it will leave you in awe of the power of words and the depths of the human heart.

2. Born to Run – Chris McDougall
Part adventure story, part mystery, part history and part science: Born to Run is a paean to long-distance running and one of the best books about the transformative power of physical movement I’ve ever read.

3. Tiny Beautiful Things – Cheryl Strayed
Another book of letters, this one is complied from an advice column that best-selling memoirist Strayed wrote for several years. It isn’t exactly light reading, but I defy anyone to remain untouched by her frank, empathetic, inspiring responses.

4. Dress Your Family in Denim and Corduroy – David Sedaris
Funny, poignant and brutally frank, this essay collection by American humorist David Sedaris will ring bells with anyone who has a family. He has a gift for finding the humour in heartbreak, and for fearlessly exposing the subtle difficulties of love.

5. Letters to a Young Poet – Rainer Maria Rilke
This brief book by the famed German poet Rilke is like a swimming pool for the soul. He writes exquisitely and humbly about creativity, love, sadness and finding purpose in life. The perfect antidote to haste, anxiety, and impatience.

What are your favourite inspirational books? Please share in the comments!

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