52 Books

“The greatest thing is to be always reading but not get bored-treat it not like work, more as a vice! Your book bill ought to be your biggest extravagance.” //c.s.lewis

One of my (many) resolutions in 2015 is to read one book each week. I love reading, its ability to transport you into another world, a free literary vacation. I find I think most clearly in life when I’m reading consistently. I’m able to reflect, to connect, and to allow my own mind and dreams to wander.

My journal is filled with quotes from authors, famous and little known, random thoughts and life mantra worthy epiphanies, all stemming from books.

I find that reading makes me appreciate writing: honest prose, clean lines, artfully crafted sentences. Simply, reading makes me want to be a writer. Words hold immense power and I love their ability to connect in every sense.

What I read completely varies, depends on my mood, and is all over the map.
Here’s what I’ve been reading lately:
chasers of the light
Chasers of The Light by Tyler Knott Gregson. Author of the typewriter series, lover of nature, Gregson has the intense ability to illuminate love in a way I’ve never heard before. I read and reread this again and again.

“Sometimes you look up and there just seems to be so many more stars than ever before. More. They burn brighter and they shine longer and they never vanish into your periphery when you turn your head. It’s as if they come out for us and to remind us that their light took so long to come to us, that if we never had the patience to wait, we never would have seen them here, tonight, like this.
That as much as it hurts, sometimes it’s all you can do, wait, endure and keep shining, knowing that eventually, your light will reach where it is supposed to reach and shine for who it is supposed to shine for.
It is never easy, but it is always worth it.”

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
“That life – whatever else it is – is short. That fate is cruel but maybe not random. That Nature (meaning Death) always wins but that doesn’t mean we have to bow and grovel to it. That maybe even if we’re not always so glad to be here, it’s our task to immerse ourselves anyway: wade straight through it, right through the cesspool, while keeping eyes and hearts open. And in the midst of our dying, as we rise from the organic and sink back ignominiously into the organic, it is a glory and a privilege to love what Death doesn’t touch.”
Savor by Shauna Niequist. I love Shauna’s writing style, view on life, and ability to connect. Part daily devotional, part story, part recipe book, this has it all.
scary close
Scary Close by Donald Miller. Author of Blue Like Jazz, Miller’s ability to talk about learning to live authentically is inspiring.
“I don’t know if there’s a healthier way for two people to stay in love than to stop using each other to resolve their unfulfilled longings and, instead, start holding each other closely as they experience them.”
anthony bourdain
Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain. I love Bourdain, his ego and his adventurous approach to food. I’d love to share a few beers and pork belly with this guy.
the light between oceans
The Light Between Oceans by Stedman.
“But how? How can you just get over these things, darling?…You’ve had so much strife but you’re always happy. How do you do it?’
‘I choose to…I can leave myself to rot in the past, spend my time hating people for what happened, like my father did, or I can forgive and forget.’
‘But it’s not that easy.’
He smiled that Frank smile. ‘Oh, but my treasure, it is so much less exhausting. You only have to forgive once. To resent, you have to do it all day, every day. You have to keep remembering all the bad things…I would have to make a list, a very, very long list and make sure I hated the people on it the right amount. That I did a proper job of hating, too: very Teutonic! No’ – his voice became sober- ‘we always have a choice. All of us.'”
the power of no
The Power of No by James Altucher. I follow this LinkedIn Influencer and love his articles, writing style, and honest approach to life. Sometimes you fail, and that’s generally where and when you learn the most.
“Being grateful is the bridge between the world of nightmares and the world where we are free to say no. It’s the bridge between the world of delusions and the world of creativity.
It’s the power that brings death back to life, the power that turns poverty to wealth and anger to compassion.”

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by Berendt.
“Rule number one: Always stick around for one more drink. That’s when things happen. That’s when you find out everything you want to know.”

the pun also rises
The Pun Also Rises. I met this author, John Pollack, at my sister’s doctorate defense party in NYC a few years ago. I asked him what he did and he grabbed a book off the shelf and said “Well, I wrote this.” Former world pun champion and presidential speechwriter for Clinton, this book is funny, witty, and interesting.

the book thief
The Book Thief by Zuzak. I love this book more every time I read it. Written from death’s point of view, this book evokes nearly every emotion.

“His soul sat up. It met me. Those kinds of souls always do – the best ones. The ones who rise up and say “I know who you are and I am ready. Not that I want to go, of course, but I will come.” Those souls are always light because more of them have been put out. More of them have already found their way to other places.”
love and respect
Love & Respect by Eggerichs. This book changed my life. It changed my approach. I give this book now to every friend that gets engaged.

yes please
Yes Please by Amy Poehler
“People are their most beautiful when they are laughing, crying, dancing, playing, telling the truth, and being chased in a fun way.”
the gifts of imperfection
The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown. My sister told me about Brown a few months ago and I’ve been obsessed with her books and TED talks since. A must read.

“We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honor the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness and affection.
Love is not something we give or get; it is something that we nurture and grow, a connection that can only be cultivated between two people when it exists within each one of them – we can only love others as much as we love ourselves.
Shame, blame, disrespect, betrayal, and the withholding of affection damage the roots from which love grows. Love can only survive these injuries if they are acknowledged, healed and rare.”

What are you reading right now?

Wish me luck on 52 this year!
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