Aside from my family and friends, yoga and reading are the most favorite, best-loved, dearest things in my life. And ha, sometimes yoga and reading nudge the people out of first place. #justbeinghonest
I’m going to be bringing more yoga and meditation practices, photos, tips, and thoughts to you here on the blog and via Instagram and Facebook. But, I wondered, how to share my other favorite hobbyhorse of reading and interact with you more about the books we are all loving? Inspired by Annie Grace’s newsletter and how she shares what’s on her nightstand each week with her readers, plus Aidan Donnelley Rowley’s bookshelf page on (one of) her fantastic websites, I had the idea of creating my own bookshelf to share with you. Click here to visit!
And because one of my favorite things about my favorite pastime of reading is collecting the quotes that I come across for times when I have all of the feels and none of the words, I’ll share some of the best quotes, IMHO, from each book with you, too. I’ve been doing this for *years* in the pages of journals, scribbled notes in the margins of documents that probably shouldn’t be defaced with literary meanderings, and audio notes in my phone. It borders on obsession, I know, I know. But with this new little endeavor of creating a virtual bookshelf to share with you, it’ll seem less fanatic and more, well, studious! Or something. :) Coming soon, when you click on the cover of each book, a new page will pop up with my favorite quotes.
So, I’ll start by sharing something Eleanor Brown wrote in The Weird Sisters about the sheer volume of books one of the sisters read each year. It’s a conversation I’ve had with people, almost literally. And I’m guessing fellow booknerds will understand this in the very marrow of their literature-loving bones:
“She remembered one of her boyfriends asking, offhandedly, how many books she read in a year. "A few hundred," she said.
"How do you have the time?" he asked, gobsmacked.
She narrowed her eyes and considered the array of potential answers in front of her. Because I don't spend hours flipping through cable complaining there's nothing on? Because my entire Sunday is not eaten up with pre-game, in-game, and post-game talking heads? Because I do not spend every night drinking overpriced beer and engaging in dick-swinging contests with the other financirati? Because when I am waiting in line, at the gym, on the train, eating lunch, I am not complaining about the wait/staring into space/admiring myself in reflective surfaces? I am reading!
"I don't know," she said, shrugging.”
I’m that rare breed of coach / yoga teacher who cannot hardly ever read a self-help book cover to cover. I lean heavily towards fiction and memoir, with the ever-present Buddhist / essay / meditation / how-to / poetry book in an ongoing pile by my bed. To my way of understanding, we learn the most about life and love and and hardships and friendships and relationships and work and struggle and courage and success by reading stories about how other people, real or imagined, experience their lives. So novels are largely the currency by which I give and receive literary wisdom.
I’ll finish for now by telling you that Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough (the book is as delightfully British as her name) is a must-read if you liked The Girl on the Train and Gone Girl. You think you know how it’s going to end and then you think it’s done and then…well, it’s so good. And Commonwealth is a family saga told in the gorgeous way that Ann Patchett tells us stories, but completely different than her other books. Lucky You by Erika Carter was *weird* and the characters are still haunting me. The Sun Is Also a Star was the first YA novel I’d read by Nicola Yoon and it strikes, methinks, the exact right balance between “the moral of the story is…” and “happily ever after.” Lauren Groff is a GIFT to readers everywhere, read Fates and Furies immediately. And if you have suffered from debilitating anxiety and ever had a drink to help numb the pain, Between Breaths by Elizabeth Vargas will feel like someone is writing your story down for you and also serve as a cautionary tale for how things can go terribly wrong…and then right again in the most arduous way conceivable. Which gets us up-to-speed with what I’ve read in 2017, somewhat.
I’d love to hear from you; what are you reading? Loving? Looking forward to picking up next? Share with me in the comments below or on my Facebook page!