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“Books are a uniquely portable magic.” Stephen KingI love to read. I love the feel of a book in my hands (never got into the whole Kindle thing). Curling up on the couch with a good book is to me one of life's pure, simple joys and I can never get enough. And while I love me some non-fiction, especially anything in the self-development sphere, fiction is where my heart lies. I love being transported into another world and connecting with characters from all walks of life. So much so that I was seriously bummed the day I finished the Harry Potter series and knew I would never know what happened next! For me, the issue is always what to read next. As you can tell from my emails, I live life on the positive side and haven't ever been jazzed about sloshing through hundreds of pages of depressing drama to get to the happy ending. In other words, I want my story with a side of consciousness, please. So since this the season for reading on the beach, I thought I'd share with you some of my all-time favorite novels and books series in case you're looking for a cool world to escape to for awhile... The Breakfast with Buddha series is fast becoming my all-time favorite. Roland Merullo somehow mixes ancient spiritual lessons with everyday realism and humor. Lunch with Buddha was also awesome and I'm almost done with, you guessed it, Dinner with Buddha. Herman Hesse's Siddartha started me on my own spiritual path in 2007. A short read filled with brilliance, this one's sure to awaken something within you. I just finished Jean M. Auel's Earth's Children series, starting with Clan of the Cave Bear. The books follow a woman named Ayla, a prehistoric homo sapien who is raised by some of the world's last Neanderthals. A staggering work of historical fiction, these books show what it was like to live thousands of years ago and just how closely tied to the earth we really were. Like the bedtime story you wish you had been read as a child, The Alchemist has romance, adventure and everything you want in a summer read, including some mad doses of spirituality. I must confess - I don't feel very guilty about my guilty pleasure. Diane Gabaldon's Outlander series is my all-time fave, complete with time-travel, love and a smart, bad-ass heroine. And now you can watch it as well since Starz just made it a TV series (the first season just finished and they're currently filming season 2). I know I've mentioned it before, but Eat Pray Love will always hold a special place in my heart. I remember reading Elizabeth Gilbert's words for the first time thinking she was talking directly to me. This book profoundly changed the course of my life, but that doesn't mean it's heavy. You'll laugh yourself through this spiritual journey!