Health & Wellness

Books and Podcasts for the Summer

By Judith Mewhort on July, 13 2021
5 minute read

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Summer, for whatever reason, is the season when everyone shares their reading lists. Us included. Last year, we curated a list of podcasts that promote employee wellbeing. This year, we are highlighting some of the best books and podcasts that are staff are reading. Many of these books are perfect beach reads and the podcasts are the perfect companion on long strolls through the neighbourhood. 


The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett: Historical fiction is one of the most popular genres and this book is a worth addition. This book explores the lives of twin sisters and how, though living in different cities and having lives of their own, their fates remained connected. 


The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab: A woman makes a deal to live forever. However, she's cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets. This novel details the adventures of Addie LaRue as she explores continents and lives through the centuries and how everything changes after she meets a boy at a bookstore who remembers her name. 


The Girl with Seven Names: Escape from North Korea by Hyeonseo Lee: Hyeonseo Lee grew up on the edge of the North Korean boarder, right next to China. As a child, she caught glimpses of what life what like elsewhere and when she grew older, began to wonder if she and her family had been brainwashed by their leadership. At seventeen, she decided to escape. 


Once Upon a Time in Hollywood by Quentin Tarantino. The ultra-rare move to book adaptation.  Whether Tarantino is bored of making movies, had too much time on his hands during the pandemic, or just always wanted to write a novel, the auteur has become an author. The book works both as a standalone or companion to the movie and adds an extra chapter expanding on the background of one particularly beloved character. 


The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave: Before Owen Michaels goes missing, he smuggles a note to his beloved wife of one yearThe note says that Owen's sixteen-year-old daughter, Bailey, must be protected. One problem: Baily, who lost her mother as a child, wants nothing to do with her stepmother. 

The Quick Fix by Jesse Singal: Psychology is in a bit of a crisis. Many of exciting psychology discoveries that we've heard about by TED talks and best-selling books turned out to be bogus. In controlled studies, they don't replicate. Singal walks readers through the replication crisis, explains why many popular psychological fads simply aren't worth paying attention to, and explains how the discipline got here. 


Atomic Habits by James Clear: We all have habits we wish we could form. And we all definitely have habits we wish we could break. This perennial best-seller carefully explains what goes into making (and breaking) habits, how we can set achievable goals for ourselves, and the powerful impact of a routine. 



I Am Athlete: For sports fans in general and football fans in particular, this podcast has everything you can possibly dream of. Each episode, NFL greats: Brandon Marshall, Chad Johnson, Fred Taylor, and Channing Crowder get together and for an unscripted conversation. Over the series, they talk about a wide range of topics, from performing in the biggest moments to mental health struggles. This podcast is a must listen for sports fans everywhere. 


The Dollop: Comedians don't exactly make great historians. However, listeners of The Dollop understand that what Dave Anthony and Gareth Edwards lack in academic rigour, they more than make up for in entertainment value. Each episode centers around an event or person from history selected for its humorousness or peculiarity. Typical episodes feature subjects from American history, described and commented on by the hilarious duo.


Pieces of Britany: Britany Spears has been in the news a lot recently, as more information about her conservatorship has been brought to light. This eight-part series for BBC Radio 4 covers Britney’s life: from her childhood in Louisiana through to a young mother on trial by the paparazzi. The series uses archival footage and interviews to bring the story to life. 


Nixon at War: Most people are vaguely familiar with Richard Nixon's downfall. Ask and they'll reply: Watergate. But what about the events that led to Watergate?  Journalist, Kurt Andersen, dives into the Nixon Library and emerges with an answer he wasn’t expecting: It was the Vietnam War that led to the president's downfall. This podcast draws on hours of recorded audio from the Nixon administration and features phone calls with important political figures such as Henry Kissinger, Lyndon B. Johnson and more to weave a compelling and engaging narrative for its listeners.


The Psychology Podcast: If The Quick Fix shook your faith in the field of psychology, this podcast should help restore it. Each episode, clinical psychology, Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman, sits down with guests. They have one goal: to give you a better perspective of yourself. No one cool tricks or life-hacks to become a better person, just in-depth conversations with experts in their fields.


The Pete and Sebastian Show: What happens when two comedians get together and create a podcast? The answer is: whatever you'd call this show. Each week, comedians Pete Correale and Sebastian Maniscalco come together for an hour to talk about, well pretty much anything. Episodes cover a wide range of subjects, from poor manners on airplanes to Sebastian's trip to the foot doctor. Regardless of the content, you know you'll have a good time listening.  

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