I’ve been reading some excellent books lately, and wanted to share some of them. Please, I am curious: what are you reading?
Station Eleven (Emily St. John Mandel): I admit it took me a few chapters to get into this story, but once I did I was hooked. It’s a darkly glittering tale of a post-apocalyptic world that ultimately concludes that humans are good, art endures, and the world we take for granted now is breathtakingly beautiful. I can’t recommend this book enough. It’s a riveting, unsettling story whose characters I can’t stop thinking about and whose pages contain indelible images of beauty. Mandel’s novel reminds us to see the beauty that we don’t even notice around us. I believe this book would make a terrific movie. (read my friend Jennifer’s thoughtful and compelling review of Station Eleven here)
Playing Big: Find Your Voice, Your Mission, Your Message (Tara Mohr): I devoured Tara’s book, underlining madly because so much of what she said made so much sense to me. Playing Big is a call to action, a reminder of all that women leave on the table when we don’t speak up, and a careful diagnosis of the ways in which we sideline ourselves without even realizing it. In every chapter Tara unfolded an insight that I’d never seen that particular way before, and I frequently gasped as I read. “This book was born out of a frustration and a hope,” says Tara in the introduction, and Playing Big helped me both understand my frustration at certain constructs in the world and allowed a new hope about what might someday be to bloom.
Parenting in the Present Moment: How to Stay Focused on What Really Matters (Carla Naumburg): “Mindful parenting is about remembering that in any moment we have a choice about how we engage with, and respond to, the details of our lives.” I love this quote so much that I instagrammed it, and it’s been running through my head like a banner ad ever since. Yes, yes, and yes. Carla’s book is sensible and reassuring, sensitive and wise, thoughtful and realistic. I dislike parenting books as a general rule, but Parenting in the Present Moment feels different. It’s a book about how we live our lives. Period. Plain and simple and powerful. I highly recommend it.
Lila (Marilynne Robinson): This was one of my most-anticipated books this year, and the honest truth is that when I first read it I was slightly disapppointed. I found the narrative, which cuts back and forth between history and the present day, a little bit confusing. But I haven’t been able to stop thinking about the story, and that tells me that Robinson’s book is another masterpiece. Like Gilead, Lila‘s pace is deliberate, and reading the novel felt like attending a sermon or praying. And yet for all the parallels between the books, Robinson beautifully differentiates Lila’s voice from John’s. This is a powerful tale of redemption and grace, and reminds me of what religion, at its best, can be. I loved it.
I write these posts about what I’m reading and thinking about and listening to and loving lately approximately monthly. You can find all the others here.
What’s on your bedside table, your kindle, and your mind lately?
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