Admittedly, my time for leisure reading comes in waves sometimes. Months go by where all I seem to read are pubmed articles and other months when I’m can’t be bothered to do anything else other than read Harry Potter from start to finish. But like most things in my life, I like moderation and balance, and that means reading things for pleasure and joy every day while also keeping up with all the work related stuff too. At the start of the year, I wanted to carve out more time for home-life things, meaning tucking my computer away when I come home each day and focusing on more creative tasks that don’t involve a computer screen. So far – it’s been blissfully rewarding to do this, and I’ve curated a few truly awesome books to tide me through the wee dark hours before I drift off to sleep every night…
For the Body
Big Magic – After a couple of years (yes, years) of feeling pretty plum out of inspiration and creative endeavors, this self described non-self help book is pretty freakin’ awesome. It’s not so much about how to live a creative life, but why we should live a creative life. And that reminder, that permission, that transition is all most of us need to invite creativity back in to our lives. I was turned onto this idea from Elizabeth Gilbert’s own Ted Talk about the elusive creative genius and daemons in the walls and little creative goblins that come and go and not taking total fault in crappy (or amazing) work. I love that concept, and personally feel like it’s pretty right on.
The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up – I’ve actually been wanting to hop on this bandwagon for months now after practically everyone I talked to somehow worked this book into our conversation. It’s been incredibly fun to read through the KonMari method of keeping your house in order and getting rid of things that don’t serve you (or “spark joy”). I haven’t done the full blown show down on my own house (because I share it with someone who is kind of the antithesis of the KonMari method so that would be disastrous), but in certain places, it made a huge and magical difference! For real.
For the Mind
Lapham’s Quarterly – I’ve had a subscription to this for several years, and it comes with me most places I go. It’s filled with short stories, excerpts and glimpses into already published works that follow a collective theme for every issue. Themes like Nature, or Youth, Revolutions or Spies etc. I’m one of those people that can’t just mess around on their phone when they’re waiting for something or bored. I have to be reading something, and if I don’t have something to read, my brain feels robbed of a good story. This is my perfect literary companion to take with me everywhere, because who knows when you’ll need something good and short to read during the open moments of the day.
For the Soul
Animal Vegetable Miracle – Because I re-read this book over and over again, and it’s my favorite for the beginning of spring and all the joyful wonderful things that happen when you have a home garden and a devotion to the land. I think it was this book, 10 years ago, that really got me into the path of nutrition while I was working as an organic gardener. And still to this day, this book makes my inner summer child come pouring out (and solidifies my love of Virginia!).
What are your favorite early spring / summer books to get you in the spirit of the new seasons or into your creative groove? I’d love to hear more recommendations!