You can probably sense a bit of a theme in the books that I’ve read over the past couple of months, but they were all such wonderful (and desperately needed) reads! Without further ado, here is my spring book haul, spanning April through today (yes, I am aware that June doesn’t count as spring, but it shall for the sake of this blog post!).
Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert
Life. Changing. That’s it – you have to read it.
Occasional Magic: True Stories about Defying the Impossible edited by Catherine Burns
I love using the word “devour” to describe my reading habits. There are some books that take ages to finish (see the next on the list), while others I cannot seem to read fast enough. Those are the ones I devour, and this collection of stories was all that I read in my free time for two days. I am not usually a fan of short stories because it always seems that just as the story is getting good, you turn the page and it’s over. This book, however, is a collection of speeches, where the speaker recalls this defining moment in their life, something that really changed them or their outlook on life. As a writer (or maybe it’s just a human trait of mine), I love learning about other people’s lives and stories. This 348-page book was like meeting 47 new people. I read about experiences of homelessness and war, tragic losses and terrifying situations and thought to myself, “I’ve never experienced 95% of these moments and pray I never will.” It was eye-opening, and each story was structured or written in a different way, as they were originally spoken stories. 11/10 recommend. (I’ve since purchased another book in this series, if you will, and I cannot wait to read it…once I no longer live in boxes and know where all my things are!)
You are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero
This is a book that took me ages to finish; in fact, I think it took over six months, if not more. A good friend of mine recommended it to me, and I started reading it, inspired by each chapter, then I would get distracted by something else. Recently, as I was grappling with some questions about myself and my life, I turned to it again, cleaned off the thin layer of dust that had accumulated since the last time I gave it any attention and finished it. Sincero’s writing makes the book worth reading (in addition to the content, of course). What I’m saying is: Had this book been written by anyone else, I don’t think it would have been as successful or had as great of an impact. You remember the things she talks about because she does so with antidotes from her life as well as plenty of humor. It’s enjoyable to read, and all the concepts seem like you could actually apply them in your own life (and, of course, you can!). If you’re in need of a bit of inspiration, a reminder of how great you really are, then I’d recommend reading this, even if it takes you a while.
All 3 books in the Cousins O’Dwyer Trilogy by Nora Roberts
I love Nora. (These are the kinds of books I read before bed: super easy to digest and entertaining. Who doesn’t love a good, usually wildly unrealistic love story!?)
Commonwealth by Ann Patchett
The name Ann Patchett was not unfamiliar to me when I found this book on the “Best Fiction Book” list a while ago, but other than being a well-known writer, I couldn’t place why her name was familiar to me. As the massively organized freak I am, I have an excel spreadsheet of all the books I’ve ever read (since like high school-ish—judge me if you want), so when I finished this book and added it, I looked for Patchett among the 197 other books. Apparently I had read her before! I don’t remember the book at all, so I’ll be reading it again soon, but as for Commonwealth, it’s an 11/10 recommendation from me. It’s a book that makes you think: It jumps between times and characters without warning. It’s also, more importantly, a book about siblings and family and the love that ties people together. (There’s a bit of novel inception in the book too, but I won’t spoil that part!)
The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz
I came to this book recently, and for the second time in my life, for some help during a personal struggle. These agreements that we make with ourselves are the way that we understand and operate within the world. Ruiz offers four new agreements that, if applied consistently and diligently to our lives, can help free us from these old patterns, ways of thinking, and self-destructive outlooks on life. The first time I read this book, there was no connection for me; I finished it and moved on to another book. But this time, the spark of looking for this book came out of the blue and about a month before I needed to read it. When the issue in my life arose, I bought the book that day and began reading it immediately. It was exactly what I needed in that moment; the connection between myself and what I was reading formed. It’s a really wonderful book.
Also, I love sharing photos I snap, so here are a handful of my favorites from the past couple months!