I’m hungry to learn and grow in the craft of writing so I read books with a great deal of tenacity.
A few days ago, I pulled my paperback copy of The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls off my bookshelf in the family room to re-read it. Sometimes when I’m writing, I study books like my kids study their notes for tests. The Glass Castle is a memoir and I happen to be writing my own. When an agent told me recently that my writing reminds him of Walls, I decided to open it back up again.
I’ve noticed that some of the books I’m re-visiting have old boarding passes in them that I used for bookmarks. This one happened to have an itinerary for my last trip to Rwanda stuck between the pages. Seeing it brought back cherished memories.
For me, books are like boarding passes to sacred portals of the heart waiting for my undivided attention. I know that I won’t be the same after giving myself over to the pages. I’ll be better. And because of that, I want to share them with you, my friends.
Here are a few titles currently laying on my nightstand, strewn about the coffee table and couch, and stacked on my desk beside the computer. I’ll carry one of these to the beach this weekend, if the rain stops.
Books I just finished and loved:
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Frye by Rachel Joyce – It’s charming and English and Joyce’s first novel. And for those who know me, you know I could have stopped at the word English, right?
The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman – I couldn’t put this one down, it’s so well written. And it’s her first novel. Mix the coastline of Australia, a handsome lighthouse keeper, romance and mystery with the fact that the author lives in London . . . need I say more?
Books I’m currently reading and really like so far:
Daring Greatly by Brene Brown – the sub-title sums up the content: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead. I’m savoring it. It’s revolutionizing my thinking. I’m also enjoying an on-line discussion about the content. If you are interested in joining us, let me know in the comments.
The Right to Write by Julia Cameron – love, love, love this book. My friend and faithful follower, Lynn Morrisey gifted this book to me while at the Jumping Tandem Retreat, right after Michelle DeRusha mentioned it in her workshop. She brought it from home and didn’t know Michelle was going to recommend the book. I’d call that divine providence, wouldn’t you? I think this book would be a great resource for a writer’s small group. It has writing exercises at the end of each short chapter.
Books I Can’t Wait to Crack Open:
The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin – It’s her debut novel (I’m seeing a pattern here) based in the Pacific Northwest and it’s already haling Best Book of the Year from notables. I’d be less than honest if I didn’t tell you that I might have picked it for the beautiful cover art and deckle-edge pages. It’s just not the same on a Kindle, sorry.
The Priory by Dorothy Whipple – Picked this up at my favorite bookstore, Persephone, on my trip to England last month. I read her Someone at a Distance and became an instant fan. And yes, the setting for the book is in England (I’m seeing a pattern here too, are you surprised?)
Books on Sabbath:
As I wander into Sabbath, I’m in a constant state of re-reading The Rest of God by Mark Buchanan. Probably why I’ve given two copies away this week. If you missed his guest post on the blog Wednesday, do yourself a favor and go over there right now. I’m also reading a new one, The Sabbath World: Glimpses of a Different Order of Time.
Okay, all this writing and linking is wearing me out. I’m ready for Sabbath aren’t you?
So tell me, what’s on your nightstand that you’ll want to put in your carry-on this summer? I’d love to know. There’s always room for one more.
May you savor the gift of rest, like losing yourself in the pages of a good book. Allow yourself to sink in to the story that’s already been written for this day without needing your edits. And remember that the best part of a story, your story, is not knowing how it will end, but in the journey toward Home.
Happy Sabbath Friends!