Hi there! It’s been a while since I talked about books. Here’s a catalog of what I’ve read over the last year. I like to keep track and also give a bit of a list of suggestions for anyone looking for something new to read.
by Glennon Doyle
The most recent book I’ve read is this third memoir by Glennon Doyle. I’ve been reading her writings since the early Momastery days. I read her first book, Carry On, Warrior but never got around to her second one, Love Warrior. Now I’ve just finished Untamed. I loved it! It is so powerful, so real. As I was reading, I thought of numerous friends that I wanted to tell, “You have to read this.” I will be forever grateful that she had the courage to put herself out there, to lead the way, to tell me and all women, that we are meant to be wild, we are worth it, and the world needs us to be untamed.
by Fredrik Backman
My friend Joan told me about this book and I thought it looked really enjoyable. I had seen the movie version of Backman’s previous book, A Man Called Ove, so I assumed this would be equally lovely. What I appreciated most about this story was how light it was. Even though it deals with the hardships of life and how they can lead to our self-destruction, this story about a bank robbery gone wrong and subsequent hostage situation at an apartment open house is full of humor and real human connection. It was an easy read with a twisty plot that kept me guessing until the end. A delight.
An American Marriage
by Tayari Jones
I feel like everyone was reading this so I jumped in too. A couple struggles early on in their marriage and then are torn apart when the husband is accused of a rape he did not commit. It shows the challenges a marriage endures, from the point of view of everyone involved. What does it take to stick it out? How much do you sacrifice? A very real and honest story with good character development and artful writing.
by Min Jin Lee
This is a hearty book! I think I read it on Brittney Bathgate‘s recommendation. I do love a book set in the past and very much like a book set in Japan. I read a few books by Yukio Mishima in college. Anyway, Pachinko is a beautiful, heart-rending story about a Korean woman who’s fate is altered by charming Japanese businessman. It chronicles her struggle and “luck” and those of the generations that follow. I learned so much about the history and culture of Korea and Japan.
by Emma Straub
I went on a search for the quintessential light beach read back in August. I remember liking The Vacationers, so looked for another Emma Straub book. Modern Lovers feels like a Netflix show. The characters are easy to get to know and seem somewhat familiar. Everyone makes foolish decisions and you can see how they’re going to regret them later. A quick, easy read.
by Chloe Benjamin
I jumped into this book and pretty soon wondered if it was a mistake. Four siblings go to see a psychic and each find out the day they will die. So, it was kind of dark. I stuck it out and I’m glad I did. It was a page-turner. I had to find out if (and how) they died. And of course, I thought a lot about which is worse; knowing when or not knowing when.
The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying
by Sogyal Rinpoche
After I read Noah Levine’s The Dharma Punx I went out and bought The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, which Levine describes reading and implementing as he attempts to find meaning in his life. That was four years ago. Then this past summer, out of the blue, a friend said I should read The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. He said it was the most important, most life-changing, most profound book he’s ever read and I should do myself a favor and read it. I said, I OWN THAT BOOK! But, I was about to go on vacation and didn’t think it would be a casual read. I did end up reading it on my trip and it was fantastic. I am still reading it, many months later, putting it down as I read other books, but I will say it is life-changing. No one wants to confront death. But what I didn’t know is that death is not what we think it is. This book is full of wisdom and truth … and beauty. You should read it.
The Snow Queen
by Hans Christen Andersen
This book was recommended by my therapist. She often talks about fairy tales and myths to describe the psyche. I bought the hardback version linked above because I loved its Scandinavian illustrations but before I got a chance to read it I got an email from my friend Jennifer who had just recorded the book! So I listened to it. I don’t usually like audio books but JC’s voice is so amazing I had to. The Snow Queen tells the tale of a two young friends and an evil mirror. The original fairy tales aren’t like Disney’s. They are dark and strange. I enjoyed listening to the 7 stories of the Snow Queen but think I’ll read the physical book too.
Awakening the Heroes Within: Twelve Archetypes to Help Us Find Ourselves and Transform Our World
by Carol S. Pearson
Also recommended by my therapist. I’ve only started reading this so I can’t say much but I gotta say, I love an epic quest. I had to read the Odyssey in high school and then I chose to read it again as an adult for fun! Also, Circe. But this isn’t fiction, it’s more of a psychology text book. Or a self-help book. The goal being that you discover “archetypal allies that can help you live the story that is needed for you to discover your true identity, calling, and purpose.” So, yeah. I’ll get back to you on how it goes for me.