Truth may be stranger than fiction, especially these days, but reading (fiction or non-fiction) is wonderful. Books help young children learn to read, and can help anyone experience a life outside their own. Books can even bring a couple closer – Matt and I have begun reading together lately, and I’ll share with you that our time reading together has been an incredibly intimate experience that we both look forward to now.
Honestly, I don’t read as much as I’d like to. I’m always trying to read more. But what I find is that when I do read, I usually read in some stage of awe; I either smile and laugh at the fantastic character development in a novel (1), I listen wide-eyed to the fast and powerful plot in a play (read by my husband – 2), I say “huh” in appreciation of a new perspective (3) or I finish a chapter and smile, amazed that such simple ideas can make such an impact on the feeling in our home (4).
With the help of my social media marketing expert/fitness blogger/all-around ladyboss best friend Katie (check her out at thehealthytrek.com) I recently installed a Book of the Month feature on the home page of my blog and I immediately experienced an unanticipated bonus for me – I now HAVE to read more! P.S. Sometimes when I write, a voice in my head goes “nerd alert!!” and when that happened just now, I pictured the angels swooping in with giant French horns a la Bill Nye the Science Guy saying “now you know!” and I just wanted to share that with you because let’s face it, if you’re still reading my posts, you may as well be laughing along at/with me! 🙂 Anyway, that same friend Katie suggested earlier this week that we start a book club someday – we joked that we would add it to the list of aspirations!
But in the meantime, I do want to share some books that have made a positive impact in my life with you, and I would LOVE if you’d share some of your favorites with me (you can write at the bottom of this post using the comments section!) so I can expand my mind!! So here comes Eliza’s Library 🙂
Note: These 4 books are a start – some of my favorites (Jeffrey Archer’s Kane and Abel, Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale) didn’t make it to the list YET because I want to re-read them and give you an updated review! But I hope you enjoy these recent reads of mine which have made it to this totally exclusive (ha!) list.
Note #2: Each book image below is a direct link to Amazon.com, if you’d like to check them out! They’re affiliate links, so if you purchase anything through them, I may be compensated for referring you. Check out my disclaimer, or let me know, if you’d like more info. Thank you!
My best friend Katie handed me this fantastical adventure of a story a while ago, and before I had finished the first page (I swear) I sat back and said “whoa” (see point 1 above). I had already met the main character, been introduced to his most magical item (which itself was a totally new concept to me, an avid Harry Potter fan :)) and had met another character in such a tempting way I couldn’t possibly not turn the page. The whole series was like that for me, so to be honest, you may as well go ahead and check it out here Shades of Magic (3 Book Series)…that was a library pun! Anybody? 🙂
Fences by August Wilson (2)
Wilson’s first Pulitzer Prize-winning piece, Fences was just made into a movie starring Denzel Washington and Viola Davis. The play is a fast, fantastic read, and the writing is GOOD. My husband Matt read the play out loud to me on Christmas Day this year, and then we went to see the movie. Fences is a story you’re immediately immersed in due to the fast and ongoing character development. Wilson might have lived next to these characters, the way he intentionally placed each line, and the benefit of reading the play is the incredibly detailed stage direction. We dove into Fences, as would any reader, and emerged having laughed a lot, cried a little, and feeling like we’d been a part of something important.
Ok, so I just picked up Shrill again (via Kindle app on my iPhone) and re-read it on my flights back from Florida this week. It’s still amazingly good, and not only in a shocked laughter kind of way; West expanded my understanding significantly and consistently by relating her perspective as a comedy writer in straightforward, earnest, entertaining and eloquent stories. Halfway through Shrill, I started to log new vocabulary words, prompted by West’s enviable writing – but she uses language I can understand while learning. Shrill isn’t shy about swears or bodily fluids, nor does it shy away from controversial topics. I’ve recommended it to my mother and a stranger I met flying from DC to Boston two days ago. It’s a quick read, and one I’m honestly confident you’ll be glad to have finished.
This inspiring and instructional book was originally given to me as a gift from my best friend Jamie, after she read it while preparing to relocate to Brooklyn. I love the writing itself – it’s accessible and easy to relate to, while being incredibly applicable and simultaneously enjoyable – and the graphics are fantastic. One chart lays out cleanly and inoffensively how to identify what type of emotional clutter connects to physical clutter in your home, and how to fix it accordingly, i.e. a fear of failure can lead to “piles of procrastination” manifesting in clothes lying around or unfinished to-do lists. Granted, I’m into the “wooey” stuff (as my Mom says) but I’ve read parts of The Holistic Home to Matt (Mr. Practical himself) and he can relate and gain insight too! I absolutely love our home, but I still have a long way to go in fully transforming it. Benko provides applicable advice gently, understanding that these things take time – my favorite way to read the book is a chunk at a time, since it usually inspires me to get up after a few minutes and organize or clean!
What are your favorites, new or old? And if you have or choose to read any of these, I would LOVE to hear what you think! Yay for reading, and thank you for reading the blog! It’s wonderful to write about amazing writers. Thanks for giving me that chance, and remember to keep an eye on my home page for rotating book recommendations each month 🙂
Wishing you a little time curled up with a good book and (in my reading fantasy) a cup of hot tea – from our home to yours!
A Happy Wife