currently: on the ground next to my bed

8 Jul


In a perfect world this post would have been entitled “currently: on my nightstand” but I don’t have a nightstand. I must change this nightstand situation soon because the pile of books next to my side of the bed is getting out of hand. I trip over them constantly. Although, they do come in handy when I am in need a surface to balance my water and chapstick on. Anyways, my bedroom layout/makeover is for another post…a home decor post. This post is about books! Are you guys reading anything good?? I have a handful of books going right now. It depends on my mood which one I pick up on a given day. Does anybody else read 5 books at a time? Or do I just have commitment issues?

Currently on the floor…next to my bed…

“The Brain That Changed Itself” by Norman Doidge

I’ve been interested in the powers of the human brain recently, so I found this book about neuroplasticity fascinating. Until recently the brain was thought to be hardwired and unchangeable- much like a machine. But new research shows that the brain is a plastic, living organ that can change its structure and function…and not only in infancy like originally thought but well into old age. I’m not usually one to read books that you can find in the science section at the bookstore but this one reads different from a wordy textbook. It is filled with personal stories of triumph- ranging from stroke patients to amputees…to my personal favorite…a woman who recovers from the damage to her inner ear’s vestibular system.

“Bird By Bird: some instructions on writing and life” by Anne Lamott

Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report on birds written that he’d had three months to write. It was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother’s shoulder, and said, ‘Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.’

One of my favorite excerpts from the book. The way her brother felt about his report on birds is how I feel about life some days. Not the fabulous parts but the parts that feel hard. I doubt I am alone here. Sometimes certain tasks, projects, lessons and days for that matter seem completely overwhelming and all you can do is take it bird by bird. As you can probably tell from the title of the book it’s not only a book about how to navigate life but also how to navigate being a writer. Anne Lamott is such a soulful and funny writer. I have a major crush on her.

“The Girl On The Train” by Paula Hawkins

I know. I know. I’m so late to girl on the train party. It seems like everybody and their mother has read this book- and loved it for that matter.. I think it’s taken me so long to read it because I was waiting to borrow it from a friend but no one seems to have paper books anymore. Instead everyone has an electronic device. Clearly, I am late to the electronic device party as well. I just hate the idea of saying goodbye to books. Anyway, I’ve seem to have diverged. Back to the girl on the train. I’ve barely just begun it but I have a feeling I’m going to devour it quickly.

“The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz

I have read this book a million times and it never disappoints. It’s always next to my bed and I pick it up from time to time when I am in need of some wisdom. The author Don Miguel Ruiz shares four principles (1- Be impeccable with your word 2- Don’t take anything personally 3- Don’t make assumptions 4. Always do your best ) to practice in order to create love and happiness in your life. Has anyone not read this book? You must run out and buy it immediately if you have not. It’s so so so good.

“Euphoria” by Lily King 

My mom passed along this book to me after reading it and loving it. I have yet to begin it but it’s up next after The Girl On The Train. Here’s the synopsis…Euphoria is Lily King’s nationally bestselling breakout novel of three young, gifted anthropologists of the ‘30’s caught in a passionate love triangle that threatens their bonds, their careers, and, ultimately, their lives. Inspired by events in the life of revolutionary anthropologist Margaret Mead, Euphoria is “dazzling … suspenseful … brilliant…an exhilarating novel.”—Boston Globe. Sounds like an interesting read, right? Has anybody read it?

“Taking The Leap” by Pema Chodron 

And lastly, Taking The Leap….yet another book that has a permanent place next to my bed (as you can probably tell by its ripped cover). The always inspiring Pema Chodron draws on the Buddhist concept of shenpa to help one understand how certain habits of the mind tend to “hook” us and get us stuck in states of anger, blame, self-hatred, and addiction. But once recognize these patterns, they instantly begin to lose their hold on us and we can begin to change our lives for the better. I pick it up often when I am in need of her reboot.

….so what are you guys reading???

“I never feel lonely if I’ve got a book – they’re like old friends. Even if you’re not reading them over and over again, you know they are there. And they’re part of your history. They sort of tell a story about your journey through life.” – Emilia Fox




13 Responses to “currently: on the ground next to my bed”

  1. di @ life of di. July 8, 2015 at 7:44 am #

    I loved ‘Girl on a Train’ – it wasn’t the most well-written book but it was super entertaining. I flipped through in a couple of days. Also, I have heard good things about ‘Euphoria’ and hope to read it soon.

    I’m reading a variety of books right now. I highly recommend ‘The Book of Unknown Americans’ Cristina Henriquez and ‘Happiness for Beginners’ by Katherine Center 🙂

  2. cravesadventure July 8, 2015 at 7:48 am #

    I am very much the book in the hand type of person. I look at screens all day long and do not want another one. I always have a book with me to read as well as a pile by my bed. I am currently reading A Sudden Light by Garth Stein. I have The Wicked Girls by Alex Marwood to read next (looks like a possible page turner). Happy Reading – Happy Day 🙂

  3. snoozing on the sofa July 8, 2015 at 8:26 am #

    I am currently reading the up and down emotions of three kids. The last will graduate high school in about 16 years. Perhaps I will be able to return to reading books then.

  4. Maria July 8, 2015 at 8:33 am #

    3 of those books are on my “to read” list. There is not enough time in the day to read everything I want to read. I have stacks of books in my big Ikea block book shelf. Right now, I’m reading a historical fiction book called The Women by T.C. Boyle. It is about the 4 women involved with the architect Frank Llyod Wright. I’m not far into it because of all the traveling I’ve been doing since I left Florida and got to Philly but what I have read I like.
    Do you have a Good Reads App? If not, you should get one. It has been so helpful for me. Whenever I’m at a store I have that list ready to help me pick books and I can keep track of everything I’ve already read so I don’t re-read stuff, unless I want to 🙂

  5. righteousbruin9 July 8, 2015 at 9:34 am #

    In a nutshell: Fortune Cookie Chronicles, by Jennifer Lee; Looking for Alaska, by John Green; Seven Years in Tibet, by Heinrich Harrer; Hard Times Require Furious Dancing, by Alice Walker; The Book Thief, by Markus Zuzak; Terra Incognita, by William Barnes. (I don’t have the skill set to put these titles to bold face, sorry.)

  6. the usual bliss July 8, 2015 at 11:49 am #

    I have a huge pile of books I haven’t read yet that will take me quite a while to get to! I love to read and seem to pick up new books faster than I read them… On my nightstand, I’ve got a vintage copy of Watership Down, The Vacationers by Emma Straub, Willie Nelson’s autobiography, and Judy Blume’s new book (for adults… who knew??). xxx

  7. Liz Hott July 9, 2015 at 12:08 pm #

    YAY Girl on the Train! I’m her publicist (shines nails on sweater) so I’m SUPER excited to see so many people loving it! You’ll tear through it – I want to hear if you guess the ending!! And I just read Euphoria, it’s fantastic. Really sexy and smart but still a total page turner. AKA my kind of book. ALSO I have a crush on Anne Lamott too. Basically we’re the same person.

    I just read Tell the Wolves I’m Home (so-so) and am in the middle of Burial Rights which is amazing, a murder story set in Iceland in the 1800’s. Diggin’ it. I love your list!! I’m also all about print over e-reader. Print 4evr!

    • Shauna841505 July 9, 2015 at 3:05 pm #

      Liz! How awesome!!! I had to comment even though I’m not Kate! Hahaha. I did NOT guess the ending, and stayed up until 3am reading it so I could get to the ending! Guess you’d call that a success! Haha

      • Liz Hott July 10, 2015 at 6:01 am #

        Woo hoo! This makes me so happy! I didn’t guess the ending either and I’m usually so good at predicting mysteries. I’m so happy you liked it!

  8. Shauna841505 July 9, 2015 at 3:03 pm #

    Let me know what you think about Girl on the Train! I wish I would have known you wanted to read it, I got two copies for my birthday and would have sent you one…because apparently, you’re not the only one missing the e-train (see what I did there?). 😉

    • kate365til July 9, 2015 at 3:05 pm #

      Hahaha. The e-train! Glad to know I’m not alone:)))

      • Shauna841505 July 9, 2015 at 3:08 pm #

        There’s just something about the feel of a book in your hands, and the accomplishment of finishing a book! 🙂

  9. Sophia July 28, 2015 at 6:34 pm #

    All I could find at Costco this weekend from your recommendations was “the girl on the train”. I started it this morning because I was too lazy to go upstairs for my current book (I’d gone up a lot already this morning) and this was one was on the stairs to be taken to the office. In already on pg. 123 and don’t see it lasting much past tomorrow. Its very “Gone Girl-esque”….so far. Thanks for sharing. Unsolicited book recommendation by me is “Goldfinch”. Have a great week!

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