What I’m Reading Lately

I have a stack of my own To-Be-Read books and an even taller stack waiting for me at the library, but I am only reading four at the moment. I just noticed that that three out of four authors are of Irish heritage…interesting!

Although I’ve been reading Colm Toibin’s The Master for several nights, I didn’t realize until last night that it’s about Henry James. It is beautiful: poetic and imaginative, and told by a true Irish storyteller. Have you had the opportunity to read anything by this author? Last year, I read his book Nora Webster and fell in love with the characters, the Irish landscape and style of speaking, the sad story, and her strong, surviving spirit.

David Whyte‘s The Heart Aroused has been on my unread bookshelf for a few years. Since it’s about corporate America, and I don’t have any experience in that arena, at first glance it seems a bit irrelevant to my life. But since I love all of David Whyte’s writing–poetry and prose–and once I dug into it, I realized the message is for all of us. The subtitle is “Poetry and the Preservation of the Soul in Corporate America”. David works with large companies, focusing on “the conversational nature of leadership. If you haven’t already, listen to his TED Talk “A Lyrical Bridge Between the Past, Present, and Future”.

John O Donahue left this world too soon. A friend of David Whyte’s, everything he wrote was pointing his readers toward beauty, imagination, curiosity, and wonder. His book Walking in Wonder was published posthumously and contains talks he gave. I don’t want to miss one word this man left for us! However, if you like his work, then read my favorite book of his Beauty: The Invisible Embrace .

This is Marketing is Seth Godin’s latest book and everything he writes is something every business owner, entrepreneur, and worker in today’s economy needs to read. Seth has always thought and spoken outside the box and his ideas might take a while too assimilate. He speaks much on generosity, doing good work, picking yourself, and shipping your work ( as opposed to perfectionistic procrastination.)

What I’m Reading Lately

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Hello from the Finger Lakes! This cool and sunny sweater weather we’re enjoying these past few days is my favorite. The sun going down earlier means more time for books, which I always welcome! Right now, I have a great stack of books that I’m either reading through or about to start and I can’t wait to share them with you.

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Tom Asacker was interviewed in this episode of Todd Henry’s The Accidental Creative Podcast last year when he talked about the stories we tell ourselves, how they can limit us, and what we can do about it. His book is I am Keats: Escape Your Mind and Free Your Self*. You know that voice in your head that says things like, “Who do you think you are to …” you fill in the blank. Well, that’s you telling yourself a story, a limiting story. Tom Asacker addresses this voice in your head.

Speaking of that voice in your head, in Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life Anne Lamott talks about that voice, the things that distract and how to focus on your writing, in addition to many hilarious, poignant, and very real stories from her own life with words. If you write at all, it’s good to read books that describe other writers’ experiences, paths that led to writing, and how they deal with distraction, loneliness, failure, and success. I picked up a copy at my local used bookstore and am nearly finished reading it. I recommend this if you take an interest in writing!

Min Jin Lee’s Pachinko  has been on my TBR list for such a long time! I finally placed a hold at the library and am looking forward to diving in. Isn’t that a gorgeous cover!?

I included poetry because I always have at least one collection going. David Whyte’s The Bell and the Blackbird was published earlier this year and I am slowly working my way through it. His way with words brings me to tears, in a good way. He writes with such depth and tenderness, clarity and boldness, delving into the difficult, the painful, as well as the joyful seasons of life. My particular favorites so far have been his poems to the late Irish poet John O’ Donahue as well as his poem to beloved poet Mary Oliver. If you haven’t read David Whyte’s poetry or essays yet, what are you waiting for?

The Art of the Wasted Day by Patricia Hampl was a random book purchase, simply because I was intrigued by the title. My life has been anything but leisurely, especially since I’ve started a business, but I still want to know how to waste a day right when I get a spare one!

Parker Palmer’s A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward an Undivided Life has also been on my TBR for several years. After going through so many transitions and finding my way forward, I need to hear the wisdom of someone older and wiser that myself. Maybe the truths within the pages will assist me as I seek to connect the pieces and make sense of the journey. Look for more about this when I finish reading it.

Lastly, The Upward Spiral: Using Neuroscience to Reverse the Course of Depression, One Small Change at a Time is a book I placed on hold at the library after a recent bout with depression and extreme anxiety. This book sounded, well, up! And hopeful and like maybe there are actions that I can take, habits that I can form, ideas I haven’t thought of, that will help me reduce these symptoms and live with more positivity and calm. I’m about a third of the way through already; the writing is clear, the material easy-to-understand, and best of all, there are practical helps I can implement. I’m looking forward to reading the rest!

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Alright, that’s it for now! What have you been reading lately? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.

* This post contains Amazon affiliate links. If you choose to make a purchase through one of the links here, it benefits me in a very small way at no extra cost to you!

Too Many Good Books

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Yes, it’s that time again! Time to talk books, that is. I haven’t been reading as much as I’d like as I’m making things to sell at craft fairs. I’m also participating in NanoWriMo, which is thrilling, intimidating, enlivening my writing life and taking up a serious chunk of time this month.

All good stuff and like my daughter noted today, “You’re so much happier, Mom.” So true! I’m doing work I enjoy and living in a place I love.

 

As I said before, I went to the Ithaca public library a few Sundays ago while at Wizarding Weekend and greedily picked up a stack of books that Alan then had to haul through the rainy streets back to the parking garage. He’s a treasure!

Whenever I’m in a library, it’s like a kid going to the dessert table at a family gathering or potluck dinner, piling her plate high with food she couldn’t possibly consume in one sitting. And in the same way, I couldn’t possibly read all those books in one borrowing period, but I can’t help myself–I have to take as many as I can carry.

So, what are the to-be-read books in my current library stack, you ask?

I’ve mentioned Laura Vanderkam’s 168 Hours about time management.

I may not have mentioned Laura Vanderkam’s other book that I borrowed, I Know How She Does It: How Successful Women Make the Most of Their Time. This one also has to do with time management. Doesn’t it help to have those real women’s stories to inspire us to get our acts together and do what we dream of doing?

Beartown: A Novel by Fredrik Backman. I must admit to never having read one of his books. What  is wrong with me, right? Not even A Man Called Ove? Nope, not yet. I’ve been following other reading rabbit trails and I am so behind the times. But if I can get to it, I’ll plunge into this one.

The description and stories of other people reading Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng has me curiously wondering what I’ll think of it. I usually don’t pick books other than mysteries where someone dies at the beginning, but Anne Bogel raves about it. Ok, Anne, it’s made it home. Let’s see if I like it as much as your readers do.

Purple Cow, New Edition: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable by Seth Godin was a happy discovery. The library is usually out of his books, plus I’ve read most of his by now. But I heard him talk about this one on a podcast recently, how he dedicated it to a friend and French chef who passed away and decided I should read it.

The Lemoncholy Life of Annie Aster by Scott Wilbanks intrigued me when I first heard about it. A door to the past and a murder to solve? A must read! Time travel books are some of my favorite fiction reads. (I’m working my way through 11/22/63 right now as well…)

What do you think of this book pile? Have you read any of them? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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