By Perri Ormont Blumberg
July 31, 2018
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"The beach is not the place to work; to read, write or think." If there's a better first line of a book, I'd like to know it.

The timeless — and certainly true for our times — words come from Anne Morrow Lindbergh in her lyrical opus, Gift from the Sea. First published in 1955, Lindbergh penned the work on Florida's Captiva Island, off the coast of Fort Myers. Almost every chapter explores a different sea shell, using the natural wonder as a launching pad for teaching life lessons about love, patience, family, and more. While many Southern bookworms have long praised the book's wisdom, Hoda Kotb has now brought it back into the spotlight on this week's installment of the TODAY Show's Favorite Things.

"If you get one book this summer, this is it," she says, alongside TODAY correspondent, Jenna Bush Hager. "Maria Shriver turned [me onto the book]. Get the hardcover, you want to highlight it and give it away." (Kotb isn't kidding about the gifting potential — I've gone through three copies since December, though, admittedly, I spare my friends of my personal scrawlings.)

WATCH: How About That! Hoda Kotb Used a Ziploc Bag as a Purse on the Red Carpet

Already devoured Lindbergh's pensive Gift from the Sea ten times over? For more superb reads, check out the South's Best Books.