morning word: read
I'm trying a new thing where I write something (every morning?? we'll see) that I've "creatively" coined: morning word: X. It'll be a way for me to write something quickly that you can read quickly that will hopefully be a) fun b) useful c) different or d) over before you know it.
morning word: read.
Whenever you read a good book, somewhere in the world a door opens to allow in more light.
Vera's kind of right, isn't she? That feeling when you're immersed in a good book—it creates this crazy pull of gravity that gives you more momentum and brightness in life. Whenever I'm in the middle of a good read, I feel more creative, open, and opportunistic. Anyhow.
I've started a new daily routine (it rotates quite regularly) where I wake up, make coffee, then read for an hour. I used to check my phone, hop on my computer, or go for a run, but now I stick to books until the suns comes up (which is sadly still past 7am. Is it summer yet?).
Waking up and reading really does clear the clutter and gives you a peaceful and delicious start to your day. Try it! Here is what's on the bookshelf for me:
In the queue: Already Free, Bruce Tift
Tagline = "Psychotherapy meets Buddhism." You might say I had .. a day .. where I needed to buy all the self-help books. (See next book.) I'll let you know how this goes.
Current: How to Be Alive, Colin Beavan
Why do all 'self help books' have the worst titles? I WILL say I'm enjoying this so far. It's a read about how to do what's truly meaningful for you while ensuring you're also helping the world. I've struggled with this concept a lot, and Colin (aka "No Impact Man") breaks it down in a way that makes such a daunting task easier to move towards.
All The Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr
This is a solid novel about WWII and how the lives of two teenagers—a French blind girl and a solider in Hitler's army—unsuspectingly come together. It was a Pulitzer Prize best-seller that finally went to paperback, so I tried it out. For all the hype though, I wasn't totally blown away. It's fine. It's quick. It's about 500+ pages but you can read it in a weekend. Maybe save it as a beach read.
Lit, Mary Karr
Mary Karr is a genius. I've been getting into memoirs (the trend that occurred before the self-help books) and her work is unparalleled. Lit is her most recent, but I'm pretty sure Lion's Club is what she is most well-known for. Anyhow, Lit briefly visits her unstable childhood in Texas before moving towards her adulthood as a poet, alcoholic, wife, and mother. Her writing is intoxicating and a must-experience.
Whip Smart, Melissa Febos
THIS MEMOIR IS MIND BLOWING. It's a story about a young woman becoming a dominatrix in New York City. Think: 50 Shades of Gray but real and written incredibly well. It's insane and beautiful and heart-wrenching and raw and so, so brave. You'll learn all about domming—including brown showers. You're welcome. (Side note: my writing teacher personally recommended this to me. Still trying to untangle that one.)
The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion
I actually haven't read much Joan Didion, though it's time I change that. I picked this up after watching the documentary on Netflix. This memoir is about grief, and specifically the year following the death of her husband, John Dunne. I enjoyed it, but think I would have liked it even more had I not seen the film first.
The Buried Giant, Kazuo Ishiguro
If you want to escape into a different world, escape into Ishiguro's. The book takes place in England—the time period right after the reign of King Arthur. The book is mythical, yet set in reality. There are dragons. There are questions about morality. Religion. Love. It's a harder read, and I definitely struggled to get through it at times. But worth it if you stick with it.
Poser: My Life in 23 Yoga Poses, Claire Dederer
If you want to read a good memoir that's about someone you can relate to AND you like yoga, this is for you. I was worried it would be too wonky as a book about yoga, but it's so truthful and realistic and cynical—just like I like 'em. Plus, it takes place in both Seattle and Boulder! What's not to love?
Thunder and Lightning, Natalie Goldberg
Ahh. Natalie Goldberg. Last year I attended a writing workshop in Bend, Oregon, and my teacher's teacher was Natalie Goldberg. She is incredible. If you're a writer, read all of her things. Seriously. This was a great book about writing that didn't feel academic, or dry, or how-to. She seamlessly weaves in stories about her life and her world while sharing compelling ways to move your thoughts and experiences from mind to paper.
I realize now this has been is quite long ... but books are just too good to talk about! I think the next post will either be about raw garlic or commuting so will definitely be shorter. Sorry!
And happy reading! (Books, not my posts.)