These are some of my long favorite books as well as some current biblio crushes. Books on Life & Creativity as well as a few choice Fiction titles. It's constantly changing so check back often!
If intrigued, you can Click on the title to purchase on Amazon.*
BOOKS ON LIFE
These books offer wisdom, insight or just cool ideas about life.
This guy Stephen Cope I swear is my soul brother. And, this book changed my life.
"Yoga master Stephen Cope says that in order to have a fulfilling life you must, in fact, discover the deep purpose hidden at the very core of your self. Cope describes the process of unlocking the unique possibility harbored within every human soul. The secret, he asserts, can be found in the pages of a two-thousand-year-old spiritual classic called the Bhagavad Gita—an ancient allegory about the path to dharma, told through a timeless dialogue between the fabled archer, Arjuna, and his divine mentor, Krishna." Amazon
If you have an inkling that you're stuck at a crossroads, READ THIS BOOK.
This book "begins by walking you through your relationship with your thoughts and emotions, helping you uncover the source and fluctuations of your inner energy. It then delves into what you can do to free yourself from the habitual thoughts, emotions, and energy patterns that limit your consciousness. Finally, with perfect clarity, this book opens the door to a life lived in the freedom of your innermost being."
This is where he got me: “There is nothing more important to true growth than realizing that you are not the voice of the mind - you are the one who hears it.”
Fascinating book on personal energy experiments. They're easy and interesting: "nine 48-hour experiments to prove there really is a positive, loving, totally hip force in the universe. Yes, you read that right. It says prove."
After reading it and doing the experiments there's no doubt that your thoughts have powerful energy and they're connected to everything in the universe. Pam Grout introduces an invisible energy "field of infinite possibilities." And, it's available to us all the time.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People - I first read this book about 20 years ago and the advice is so intrinsically simple that it's still so relevant today.
- Be Pro-Active: Take the initiative and the responsibility to make things happen
- Begin With an End in Mind: Start with a clear destination
- Put First Things First: Manage yourself. Organize and execute around priorities.
- Think Win/Win: See life as cooperative, not exclusive of others.
- Seek First to Understand: Understand, then be understood.
- Synergize: Apply the principles of cooperative creativity and value differences.
- Renewal: Preserving yourself by renewing the physical, spiritual, mental and social/emotional dimensions of your nature.
Malcolm Gladwell is the arguable expert on success. This book asks the question: what makes high-achievers different?
"His answer is that we pay too much attention to what successful people are like, and too little attention to where they are from: that is, their culture, their family, their generation, and the idiosyncratic experiences of their upbringing. Along the way he explains the secrets of software billionaires, what it takes to be a great soccer player, why Asians are good at math, and what made the Beatles the greatest rock band." Amazon
Oh, this is one of my favorite books to give as a gift: to new babies, high & college grads and my adult friends. The message is brilliant for all ages.
"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You're on your way. And, you know what you know. And, YOU are the one who'll decide where to go." Dr. Suess
This lovely and funny book is written by a dear friend of mine, Debra Rogers. She uses her own heartbreaking and heartwarming experiences to help other women.
"He Did You a Favor is a witty, empowering, essential guide with straight talk and advice to help you break away from Mr. So Very Wrong and break through to the life you desire. You'll also discover: - How to use your breakup as fuel to step into the life you're really meant to live. - How to conquer your fears, get back out there, and kick some serious butt in the world. - Secrets to creating an even better you and attracting a better man."
It lives up to its title. It was pretty life-changing for me. I haven't been great about keeping it up, but I know I can always come back and do it again.
"With detailed guidance for determining which items in your house “spark joy” (and which don’t), this international bestseller featuring Tokyo’s newest lifestyle phenomenon will help you clear your clutter and enjoy the unique magic of a tidy home—and the calm, motivated mindset it can inspire."
BOOKS ON CREATIVITY
These books offer many fresh ideas plus just kick-ass thoughts about writing and creativity.
On of my favorite books on writing. Anne Lamott is inspiring and funny.
And, the word is you "will be seduced by Lamott's witty take on the reality of a writer's life, which has little to do with literary parties and a lot to do with jealousy, writer's block and going for broke with each paragraph. Marvelously wise and best of all, great reading." - Amazon
She's also fun to follow @annelamott
Pilar Alessandra is my screenwriting coach. She's my go-to consultant after I complete a script or rewrite or if I want to flush out an idea in 3 acts. Her grasp of story is unparalleled. This book is for us busy folks who carve out chunks of time to write, as on a coffee break.
"The writer receives guidance and tips at every stage of the often intimidating writing process with a relaxed, “ten minutes at a time” method that focuses the writer and pushes him or her forward." - Amazon
Jack Grapes' class changed my writing. I found my deep writing voice in ways I couldn't have imagined.
"Method Writing is a powerful approach to finding your deep voice and activating the creative process. Based on a series of concepts and exercises Grapes has used in his writing workshops over the last 30-plus years, Method Writing does more than describe techniques: it takes you step-by-step through a process that will empower your writing and make it unique." - Amazon
What I love most about Liz Gilbert's book is her take on curiosity as a way of living, of creating. She has such a relatable writing voice.
"She shows us how to tackle what we most love, and how to face down what we most fear. She discusses the attitudes, approaches, and habits we need in order to live our most creative lives. Balancing between soulful spirituality and cheerful pragmatism, Gilbert encourages us to uncover the “strange jewels” that are hidden within each of us." - Amazon
Oh and she talks about wonder, such a great word and perspective for life.
I return to Pressfield's book time and time again. His explanation of resistance, as a universal force like gravity or attraction, blew my mind.
“Are you paralyzed with fear? That’s a good sign. Fear is good. Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do. Remember one rule of thumb: the more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.” Steve Pressfield
She had me at:
"Every time I picked up a pen, this grinding, unnamed fear overcame me—later identified as fear that my real self would spill out. One can’t mount a stripper pole wearing a metal diving suit. What I needed to write kept simmering up while I wrote down everything but that. In fact, I kept ginning out reasons that writing reality was impossible. I cranked up therapy and drank like a fish.” ― Mary Karr
One of the classics. It must be included.
“Let's get one thing clear right now, shall we? There is no Idea Dump, no Story Central, no Island of the Buried Bestsellers; good story ideas seem to come quite literally from nowhere, sailing at you right out of the empty sky: two previously unrelated ideas come together and make something new under the sun. Your job isn't to find these ideas but to recognize them when they show up.”
FICTION & MEMOIR
These books are favorites I've read & recommend. Some are written by family & friends. I'm surrounded by a talented lot!
Written by my sister, former grade school teacher, this is a delightful read for all ages!
Keeper of the Compass: Secrets - Everybody has secrets. Who do you tell your secrets to? Your mother? Tori has secrets and she certainly wouldn't tell her mother, especially now that she has to live in Hawaii with her. Why can't she be back home in Michigan with her dad and friends? At least she could talk to her friends about what she took and what's been happening to her. No one would even believe her. Except now she's a thief and a liar." Book cover
My Dad's 3 novels are so good and so much fun!
Campus Indiscretions - When Nicole Barnes returns to college to pursue a graduate degree, she soon falls in love with Marshall Stevens, a handsome, but married, professor. Their relationship grows tense until a body is found on the campus and evidence surrounding the murder begins to point toward the professor. Nicole strives to find ways to exonerate Marshall. Her efforts lead to other possibilities and motives for the murder which, in turn, place her in danger.
Felony on the Fairway - When Gabriella Evans discovers the body of a murdered man on the golf course, she is stunned to find it is that of a prominent attorney she has reason to hate. She is even more shocked when the evidence at the scene implicates her as the killer. Gabby and her sister strive to find motives and evidence that would absolve Gabby and lead the police to the real killer.
Once Remembered - When Maria Gonzales enters Tommy John Watson's world in a small Kansas town in the 1950s, his life is changed forever. But, in addition to dealing with typical coming-of-age issues, their ethnic differences cause many challenges, between themselves and with others. Can their love overcome the vicious attacks by a former girlfriend and her cruel clique of insiders? When a dangerous group of hoodlums from the little town is joined by an out-of-state hate group determined to cause trouble, even their families find themselves in danger.
The Memory Painter. Written by my friend Gwendolyn Womack, this romantic thriller that travels through 10,000 years is so beautifully written. Couldn't put it down.
Bryan Pierce is an internationally famous artist, whose paintings have dazzled the world. But there's a secret to Bryan's success: Every canvas is inspired by an unusually vivid dream. Bryan believes these dreams are really recollections—possibly even flashback from another life—and he has always hoped that his art will lead him to an answer. And when he meets Linz Jacobs, a neurogenticist who recognizes a recurring childhood nightmare in one Bryan's paintings, he is convinced she holds the key. As his visions intensify, Bryan and Linz start to discern a pattern. But a deadly enemy watches their every move, and he will stop at nothing to ensure that the past stays buried.
The Goldfinch. Pulitzer Prize winner for fiction. Loved it.
Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his longing for his mother, he clings to the one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.
Wild. Just a great memoir. Better than the movie.
A powerful, blazingly honest memoir: the story of an eleven-hundred-mile solo hike that broke down a young woman reeling from catastrophe “and built her back up again.
At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life: to hike the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State “and to do it alone.
It caught me by surprise how much I loved this novel.
Water for Elephants meets The Night Circus in The Magician's Lie, a debut novel in which the country's most notorious female illusionist stands accused of her husband's murder - and she has only one night to convince a small-town policeman of her innocence.
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