What I'm Reading | Fall 2018
Ask any one of my friends and they’ll tell you, I like to read. A lot. I love reading so much that I had a library built into my houseboat as a centerpiece of my home. I always wanted a library. You know one with the dim green light, red leather chair, fireplace and floor to ceiling bookshelves? Or so I thought. As I got older, I realized that I wanted to share my love of reading with others. So when I built my library, I flipped the concept. With my books on the outside of the room showcased for all to see. It’s my favorite part of my home. I love watching people scan the shelves for books they’ve read. It tells me more about them, and always leads to an interesting conversation.
Books tell stories. And stories tell the world who we are. Where we’ve been. And who we want to be. They connect us together. Here are eight books that I’ve read recently that I wanted to share with all of you.
This book was given to me by a friend. He must have known I needed to read it. I am a recovering perfectionist. This book teaches us that we’re imperfectly perfect by design. In fact, to be imperfect is to be human. Embrace it.
Humans need three things to be happy. 1. ) To have purpose 2. ) To feel authentic and 3. ) To feel connected to others. Sebastian goes on to say that humans are wired for belonging “in small groups that are defined by a clear purpose and understanding.” I read this book after choosing “Find your Tribe” as our tagline for Tribute, and felt —possibly for the first time, an alignment with my purpose I hadn’t yet experienced.
Taking the Leap
I read anything and everything from Pema Chodron. Many of you have heard me recommend “When Things Fall Apart.” I think everyone should have this book in their library. At some point or another, our lives will fall apart. Usually when we least expect it. Pema’s natural language and compassionate understanding of human behavior radiates through her work. I feel deeply understood, and safe, when in the company of her writing. Taking the Leap encourages us to lean into uncertainty as that is where all real living begins.
Beware! This book will WAKE YOU UP. I have never been challenged so deeply to face my own limiting beliefs. Holy crap. It was me all along sabotaging myself. Damnit. With no one to blame, Tara Mohr introduces us to our own inner mentor and leaves us with practical advice for how to start living, and playing BIG.
OK by now, you’re probably wondering if I read anything “fun”. Yes! Keep reading. My Dad introduced me to Tara Brach’s podcast, which is self-titled and highly recommended. I was immediately hooked. I tend to hold on to things. Not physical things, but emotions, people and feelings. Radical acceptance is a lot like it sounds — a practice of accepting what is. Right here. Right now. I’m still working on applying her teachings, but it’s comforting to have a book to turn towards when I need sage advice.
Dare to Lead
I’m halfway through this one, but had to include it on my list. Like Pema, I love Brene Brown’s writing. In her latest book, she takes an honest look at her own experience of leading others. Having studied leadership, vulnerability and courage throughout her career, she shares that it’s entirely different putting it into practice. I love the honesty and have found myself rethinking some of my own behaviors while reading this. This is a must read for anyone who wants to lead others.
Love and Ruin
I saved the novels for last. To be fair, I’m always reading a novel. I love the escape of transporting to another time in history. To someone else’s life for awhile. Love and Ruin is Paula McLain’s 5th novel. She is best known for The Paris Wife and Circling the Sun. Both incredible reads. In this book, she explores the life of Ernest Hemmingway’s third wife., Martha. An accomplished WWII journalist. What I love most about Paula’s work is how she anchors her stories from the heroine’s point of view.
The Female Persuasion
This book was recommended to me by my Grandmother, a woman of impeccable taste, and whom l inherited my love of reading. I dragged this book’s ending out for as long as I could. Highlighted in between a story of two women’s lives, set generations apart — are important messages about female mentorship, the price of feminism and paying Tribute to the women who have paved the way for us. This every feminist’s must read.
Thank you for letting me invite you into my library. If you have read any of these books, I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment and share what these books have meant to you.