Sorry to have been away. My final weeks of August have been crazybusy, filled with all good things (camping, day trips, longboarding, sunshine) but filled. I can only do filled for so long before I begin craving me-time and more of a routine.
For this reason, I look forward to autumn. Fall is when I do my best writing, when I am fully immersed in my writing life.
August is my warm-up to summer, my reading life days.
Here are some of the books on my list TO READ and some of the books I have completed.
READ This SUMMER:
Darin Strauss' Half a Life: A Memoir & Tina Fey's Bossypants- I've already raved about both of these. Read them both in an evening and a morning.
Alexandra Robbins' The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth: Popularity, Quirk Theory, and Why Outsiders Thrive After High School - Great reading for any parent who *doesn't* aim for their kids to be in the popular group and believes in following one's own path, even it if doesn't conform to what is being dished out to us on television shows, commercials, and the land of celebrity culture.
Harriet Rubin's The Mona Lisa Stratagem: The Art of Women, Age, and Power - A good read for women who are heading to age 45 (and up) and a look at powerful, remarkable things that have been achieved in the second part of life. Smart reading and thoughts about how women tend to come into themselves in a more authentic way later in life. I was also thrilled to learn the 50's were viewed as a time when women are "most creative." Even though I have quite a few years until then, I was happy to get that report.
Cecile Andrews' The Circle of Simplicity: Return to the Good Life ($5.18 on Amazon, btw!) - I read this ever year to help put my values, thoughts and beliefs back into order and remind myself of my priorities. I have recommended this book many times, so here it is again after my summer reading of it (probably my 9th reading of this good book).
Seth Godin's Poke the Box - I read this after a friend's rave review and was a little disappointed. Basically, it's a motivational book to try new things, to "poke the box" and not be afraid of risk or mistakes. Pretty basic stuff, but if you're trying to overcome these fears, you might like this (also a good price at Amazon $6.99).
Steven Pressfield's The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles - Super-duper easy read, but inspirational. Some good thoughts on overcoming resistance -- If this is your issue as an artist or writer, you might get some motivation in making positive changes in your life. I felt he understood many aspects of being an artist/writer, and honestly, I just enjoy books like this.
Douglas Edwards' I'm Feeling Lucky: The Confessions of Google Employee Number 59 - This looks like an interesting book on being part of the Google start-up before it was so big, worth so much, and so well-known. Received good reviews for those interested in these types of memoirs, which I am.
Kelle Groom's I Wore the Ocean in the Shape of a Girl: A Memoir - My sister, who is not a poet or artist, recommended this book to me and I keep hearing good things about it. NPR said this about the book-- “After reading I Wore the Ocean, you'll wish that more poets would write their lives in prose — Groom's voice feels vital and awake, uncompromising and refreshingly spare. Groom beautifully summons the smallest moments from her memory.”
Mika Brzezinski's Knowing Your Value: Women, Money and Getting What You're Worth. A friend recommended this to me and it sounds interesting despite 1) I don't know who she is and have never watched her morning show 2) I don't work in corporate America. I read some of the Amazon reviews that marked this as "too simplistic," but I'm kind of interested. This will be towards the end of my list, but honestly, I'm intrigued by the mixed reviews.
Hearing about this book, reminded me January O'Neil recommended this book quite a few years ago-- Linda R. Hirshman's Get to Work: . . . And Get a Life, Before It's Too Late (and it also received mixed reviews. I read GET TO WORK and enjoyed it despite being a "stay-at-home/work-from-home" mom). And with that, I'd be interested in reading this--Leslie Bennett's Feminine Mistake, The: Are We Giving Up Too Much? (title nodding to Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique).
Nassir Ghaemi's A First-Rate Madness: Uncovering the Links Between Leadership and Mental Illness - With so many poets who have lived short lives as well as the artists and leaders who have struggled with mental illness, this book sounds as if it will be an interesting read. Amazon reviewers have it at 4 stars.
Joshua Foer's Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything - From Booklist- In this intriguing look at the nature of memory, Foer reassures us that we don't need to acquire a better memory; we just need to use the one we have more effectively. Definitely something I'm interested in since I spent much of the summer looking for my keys and phone.