It’s been three months since I’ve posted a reading recap. I continue to devour books at a record pace, all thanks to the free time “retirement” provides. I’m grateful for the opportunity to continue to pursue this lifelong hobby. Reading is relaxing, cathartic, educational, enlightening, enriching, something you can do alone, and can be totally free thanks to libraries and book sharing with friends. My Goodreads tracking system says I’ve read fifty books this year, which is well above my modest goal of fifteen. Below is my list categorized by genre. If I feel a book is worthy of explanation or special recognition, it is noted. Books make a great holiday gift. Consider adding one or two to a stocking or tuck one under the tree—bow is optional.
1. I Liked My Life-Abby Fabiaschi This book has a spiritual slant, which I enjoyed. There’s a quote in the book by real-life poet and essayist, Adrienne Rich, that’s become a favorite:
“If we could learn to learn from pain, even as it grasps us.…”
2. Mornings on Main-Jodi Thomas
3. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine-Gail Honeyman I loved this book! It’s funny, quirky, sad, tragic, but most of all, very well written.
4. Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and The Drug Company That Addicted America-Beth Macy
This book should be required reading for all Americans. An eye-opening account of our current opioid/heroin epidemic and its origin. SPOILER ALERT: Corporate power and greed are outed. Kudos to Ms. Macy for sharing this behind-the-scenes look at how this crisis began, who created it, who enabled it, and what’s being done to combat it.
5. Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui: Free Yourself from Physical, Mental, Emotional, and Spiritual Clutter Forever-Karen Kingston
I first read this book about fifteen years ago. I had to dig through old journals to locate the title. I reread it for research on an article I’ve started about clutter and its relation to EVERYTHING! If you are a New Year’s resolution type of person and think clutter is well, cluttering up your life, read this book between now and January 1 and get ready for a happier, more grounded you. Oh, and your home will be tidier, too.
6. The Last Ocean: A Journey Through Memory and Forgetting-Nicci Gerrard This book is about dementia and its impact on patients, caregivers, and family. Dementia, like cancer, will touch us all in some way.
7. Journey of Souls: Case Studies of Life Between Lives-Michael Newton, PhD. I would categorize this book as “spiritual/educational.” It was written a few decades ago, but its message remains relevant. An interesting read if you care to learn more about where we came from and where we’re going when we leave this planet.
8. Make Miracles in Forty Days– Melody Beattie
I finally read this gem recommended by a friend. The book is about gratitude and making time each day to jot down ten things you’re grateful for. You do this for forty days (or more) and watch as your miracle unfolds. I’ve reached the forty day mark, but found real change occurring just days into the practice. I plan to make it a daily habit, like brushing teeth. I highly recommend this book and its message.
9. The Universe Has Your Back: Transform Fear to Faith– Gabrielle Bernstein
In my book, Carried By a Feather, I briefly discuss the only two real emotions—love and fear. Fear is how many of us navigate life. If you can find a way to dismiss your ego and all of its negative self-talk, you’ll find your way to LOVE. Ms. Bernstein’s book reiterates this message.
MEMOIRS (My favorite and most populated category.)
10. Saturday Night Widows: The Adventures of Six Friends Remaking Their Lives– Becky Aikman
This book is about six strangers, gathered by the author, who come together once a month to share their experiences as they navigate widowhood.
11. maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, And a Mother’s Will To Survive– Stephanie Land
Ms. Land recants her tale as a single mom who worked as a maid to support herself and her daughter all while harboring a dream of relocating to Montana to pursue a college degree. She shares what it’s like to be poor in America, and how she ultimately dug her way out. I read it in a day.
12. Hungry Heart: Adventures in Life, Love, and Writing– Jennifer Weiner
13. It’s Okay to Laugh– Nora McInerny Purmort “Funny” isn’t the only f-word in this tale of life and loss.
14. Hot Young Widow’s Club– Nora McInerny
15. Good Mourning- Elizabeth Meyer A New York fashionista turned funeral planner. This sentence pretty much sums up the gist of the book. She’s a little braggy about her designer clothes and shoes, which does nothing to move the story forward. If you get past that, it’s an interesting read.
16. Calypso- David Sedaris. I recently had the pleasure of attending an evening with Mr. Sedaris. He’s hilarious, quirky, and a gifted writer. His books never disappoint.
17. Born to Run– Bruce Springsteen. I finally tackled this wordy memoir—754 pages in the Large Print version. I’ve been a devoted fan since the mid-70’s. I enjoyed and appreciated this peek into his life.
18. Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love-Dani Shapiro
19. devotion: a memoir– Dani Shapiro
20. Hourglass: Time, Memory, Marriage- Dani Shapiro
Of the three memoirs by Ms. Shapiro, I enjoyed Inheritance the most. It also happens to be her most recent body of work and one that’s relevant to our culture’s current fascination with researching our roots. Thank you, Ancestry.com.
Twenty titles this go-around. There are sixty-four days left in the year. I think I can knock off at least ten more books before the ball drops on 2019. I’ll keep you posted.