a little theme to keep going, if you will.
since i have cut back on screen time lately, i have found myself with…free time.
the internet and all of our little devices are truly magical little things and have opened up worlds of possibilities for us all. but they have also sucked up all of our free time. bored? scroll through insta. waiting for jury duty? check email and facebook. waiting in a line or just generally waiting for something? buzzfeed, reddit, twitter.
what did we used to do in those moments? i’m not saying that we didn’t have other ways to just fill the time. we did. and i’m not saying that our phones are evil and that we shouldn’t use them or that checking email and twitter and fb and insta etc are bad. i’m saying that for me personally, those are not my values and i don’t want to be spending my spare time with those things often.
i want to read.
and again, i know i can do this on my phone. but for me, the temptation to switch apps and mindlessly scroll is too great.
somehow this has turned into a rant. it’s supposed to be about the good stuff i’ve read/am currently this fall!
so here we go. the point of the post.
opened ground by seamus heaney. if you follow me on instagram, you will know the depths of my love for poetry, especially seamus heaney’s poetry. the man can do no wrong. i spent about 2 years with this lovely collection of his work and it was beautiful and meaningful. it is full of poems i will return to again and again. i love the way poetry seeps into your brain and takes up residence there and then flows out in mundane moments. i was walking up the street one day after it had been raining for days. there were little rivers running down the curbs and immediately the line “where springs washed into/ the shiny grass / and darkened cobbles /in the bed of the lane” immediately sprang to mind.
the witch elm by tana french. this was my first foray into tana french’s beautifully written irish world and it will not be my last. this book was a book club read. i was intimated by the size of the novel (500 pages) and worried that my commitment of finishing book club picks on time would be hindered by the length of the book. i didn’t need to worry because i devoured this one. i couldn’t stop reading. i am not one for scary things. i can’t handle violence or gruesome death scenes/descriptions. but a little suspense? i’m in. this book made me want a candlestick holder. yes, i know that’s random and weird. read it and you’ll understand. except it’s used in a pretty terrible way. but really. tana french’s description of it was so gorgeous that i had to buy one, “barley-sugar-twist stem and graceful fleur-de-lys swoops at the top, the center prong sharpened to hold the candle (stub of melted wax, a night with wine in bed and Nina Simone).” i mean, come on.
the woman in the window by aj finn. i needed another page turner after the witch elm and another suspense was the way to go. the story of how i came into possession of this book entertains me: my brother in law asked for it for christmas last year. upon opening it, he realized that my grandparents had accidentally bought him the large-print version. not one to be ungracious, he thanked them for it, then later asked me if i wanted it. undeterred by large print, i happily accepted. i started this book at my first-ever jury duty. i was blessedly not chosen that day and had spent all of my time at the courthouse reading this book. from then on, it was another one i couldn’t put down. there are twists and turns and parts that make your heart beat fast.
my brilliant friend by elena ferrante. my book club has a bit of a history. for a while, we read only very serious books. it wasn’t on purpose. we don’t have a theme or anything, but i think we were all feeling the heaviness of the world and wanted to stay woke. we mostly got it out of our systems and have read some really great books that were a little more entertainment than education since then. this month, after discussing the witch elm, the chooser of december’s book gave us a choice. one, my brilliant friend, was one i had already read and loved. the other, a title i cannot remember, was a serious and heavy book. our group decided that since my brilliant friend was just about to air on hbo that night, and because i had a positive experience with it before, and because nobody wanted to read something so heavy and serious, that we would go with my brilliant friend. i’m only a few pages into my re-reading of it, but i am loving it again. i cannot wait to watch the hbo show.
hunger, hope, and healing by sarahjoy marsh. as i mentioned in one of my last posts, i am in yoga teacher training. i am specifically learning psychotherapeutic yoga, so much of my research into yoga has been how i can apply it to my job as a therapist. there is so much out there about how yoga is good for such emotional healing and i have been trying absorb it all. i was at half-price books recently and was perusing the yoga section and i came across this book. after reading the subtitle, i was worried that it was going to be yet another book that claimed freedom from food and body obsession but still had the diet mentality at its core. so i flipped through and read bits and pieces and looked over the appendix and decided it was worth a try. then i started reading. i am not far into it yet, but my friends, whoa. this is going to be such an asset to my job, to my yoga training, and hopefully, to my patients. it is a beautiful and useful combination of eating disorder and body image training, therapy, and yoga. i cannot wait to keep reading and start applying it. i am envisioning this book being one of those that becomes completely beat up and worn down with love and near-daily use.
what have been your favorite reads this fall?