Ah, October! It has been rich fall month, with all the yellows and reds dotting the landscape. Snow on the mountain peak, chill in the air, and the reluctant return to the thermostat for home heating. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about finding some warm flannel sheets!! And, I’ve been enjoying my Kindle reader tremendously. I’ve been focusing my mind on possibilities, strategizing about daily routines, and seeking to understand how I’m wired and how I can better love and affirm others in my life. And, after a very long time (more than a year), I am becoming reacquainted with fiction, consuming little bits before bed.
Some of my readings this month:
- You Are a Writer (So Start Acting Like One) by Jeff Goins. Goins tells his story of launching as a full time writer. He encourages anyone who is pushing past a “hobby” and claiming it as a vocation. Lots of honest advice and tips.
- Glittering Images by Susan Howatch. This novel is the first in the Starbridge Series, tales of the Church of England. It’s a fascinating read, with character development and psychological analysis. Of particular interest to me was the spiritual direction retreat following the main character’s mental breakdown.
- Manage Your Day-To-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind by 99U. I liked this book’s collaborative format, featuring insights from a wide range of successful individuals who’ve focused on different aspects of the creative routine. Good insights and suggestions.
- The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brene Brown. I loved Brene Brown’s honesty. Really. This book deserves its good reputation. She is a trained academic researcher, but she is so down-to-earth. It is highly readable for a wide audience. She tells her story of awareness and growth, moving from perfectionism and a false “performer” self. I think many can relate.
- The Dance of Connection: How to Talk to Someone When You’re Mad, Hurt, Scared, Frustrated, Insulted, Betrayed, or Desperate by Harriet Lerner. I purchased this book a while back when I got really angry with someone and completely dis-connected from that person (i.e. did not talk it through, just stopped talking), Brene Brown recommended it, so I thought I’d better finish it! It has all kinds of good advice for various different kinds of relationships and situations — some applicable to me, some not. But I found it all very helpful. She describes bigger concepts and issues as well as helpful tips for keeping things light (allowing exits to the tension by way of humor or silliness), affirming the value of the other person in the midst of tense moment, and setting ground rules (such as giving the other person permission to call a “time out”).