My bedside table situation is always two minutes from being a total wreck. I try to maintain some sense of order in the chaos, but it’s like someone comes along while I’m sleeping and adds one or two (or ten) things and then I can’t seem to keep the mess from overflowing on to the chair next to it and eventually to the floor. There lives a lamp, my little basket of diaper changing items (and other baby stuff), a small ceramic bowl with tiny things like hair ties and lipbalm, and then there are the books. It’s really the book’s fault. (They’re everywhere.)
I’m the kind of reader who will start a book and then that topic will get me excited about another book and so I’ll start that one and so on until I’m half way through about six books. Maybe eight. They do little rotating dances depending on what mood I’m in and how much mental energy I have to offer. I try to give most books a good ol’ democratic try but I have been known to abandon ship if it’s just not worth it (or if the story totally freaks me out, which has happened.) So this is how the mess grows.
I’d love to give you a peek at what I’m reading right now and maybe a few will sound good enough to give it a whirl. This is a tidy stack and by no means all that is taking up residence next to my pillow at the moment-
- Educated by Tara Westover. Amazon tagline summarizes, “An unforgettable memoir about a young girl who, kept out of school, leaves her survivalist family and goes on to earn a PhD from Cambridge University.” If you follow me on Instagram, you might have caught my 20 minute rambling about this book last week in my Stories. I was thinking about Tara’s story for days (days!) after I flew through the book…the things that she experienced and overcame in her young life are truly incredible. This one is a page-turner!
- Gay Girl, Good God by Jackie Hill Perry. Jackie is a firebrand of a woman- she’s a poet, a rapper/artist, a preacher, and a writer who has an amazing story of God’s redemptive love. After I posted on Instagram about reading her memoir, a few of you asked me about this book and I’ll just give you this– about half way in, she sums it up with this sentence: “God was not calling me to be straight; He was calling me to himself.” When I read that, I connected with her story so deeply because this is the transformational gospel of Christ that I know to be true in my life. If something in you is stirred by this, please give it a read and then we can have an Instagram book club all about it. 🙂
- Paris to the Moon by Adam Gopnik. The New Yorker alum “comic-sentimental essayist,” as he calls himself, writes about packing up his wife and brand new baby and moving to Paris for the final 5 years or so of the 20th century. I’ve only just begun this one but I’m enjoying it as a way to wind down at the end of the day. He also writes about being a writer, which (indulgently) I totally enjoy, and particularly in this insightful comment, “The essayist dreams of being a prism, through which other light passes, and fears ending up merely as a mirror, showing the same old face.” Honest and funny and sometimes poetic, just as I like it.
- On Writing Well by William Zinsser. This is a classic manual, if you will, on writing non-fiction and it is a delight to read. So much wisdom found here! Zinsser was a professor at the New School, Columbia, and Yale and you can just sense the love that he had for his students. He gives four essential elements for anyone wanting to be better in their communication (and I think we can all aim for that!): clarity, simplicity, brevity and humanity. I need to print that out and hang it up somewhere as a reminder.
- Felicity: Poems by Mary Oliver. Ah, Mary Oliver. Do you ever read something and just let out a sigh? Maybe not audibly (or maybe so) but it’s like everything inside of you just relaxes a little bit because you are in the presence of someone you like and trust. That’s what its like for me to read her poetry. I’ve never met Mary but I think we would be comfortable in each others company, even if there wasn’t much to talk about.
As a parting word for you friends, I’ll leave one of Mary’s short poems from Felicity (this one is found on page 3.) Hope you have a lovely weekend and find a little time to enjoy a good book! xo
Things take the time they take. Don’t
How many roads did St. Augustine follow
before he became St. Augustine?