Let’s talk books!  With the busyness of the holidays it can seem too chaotic to find time to read, but I say BS!

Pay attention to what eats up your day and you’ll find you could have read a chapter or two instead of scrolling your phone, or watching re-runs of reality T.V. (guilty).  Anytime someone says they don’t have time to read, I don’t buy it.  If you want to read, you have to make it a priority like anything else!

I set a goal of 50 pages a day- sometimes it’s more or less, but I am reading something every day and that’s the point.  Another way I get in my reading time is by treating my current book like my iPhone- I bring it everywhere.  It’s always in my purse on the go so if I find myself with down time, it’s productive.

OK, let’s get into it, shall we?

Here are the top 5 reads that have me craving words this winter:

1. Crapalachia by Scott McClanahan

This book is a self-proclaimed, “biography of place” set in rural West Virginia.  McClanahan reflects on his youth in a fond and exploratory way while introducing readers to a cast of colorful characters- Grandma Ruby is a gem.  The unique ending including an appendix and notes will make you re-think everything you’ve read and send you back into the book.

Excerpt:  “The theme of this book is a sound.  It goes like this: Tick, tick. tick, tick, tick, tick, tick.  It’s the sound you’re hearing now, and it’s one of the saddest sounds in the world.”

2. Gratitude by Oliver Sacks

Oliver Sacks is widely known for his exploration and writing on abnormal topics in the medical world.  In the months leading up to his death he wrote a set of essays examining life and coming to terms with the imminent end of his own.  These essays are masterfully and genuinely crafted.

Excerpt:  “It is the fate of every human being to be a unique individual, to find his own path, to live his own life, to die his own death.”

3. A Guide to Being Born by Ramona Ausubel

A Guide to Being Born is a compilation of short stories broken into 4 categories: Birth, Gestation, Conception, & Love.  These stories are wildly fictitious yet contain some real life grounding elements that make them relatable.  This book definitely inspires readers to look at things from interesting perspectives.

Excerpt:  “Everything around us is alive and busy, but all we have to do is stand still.  The small birds that make homes in our bodies have left us alone in the dark.”

4. Born to Love, Cursed to Feel by Samantha King

This is another author I found via Instagram.  I kept seeing her poetry pop up in places and always liked what I read so I bought her book.  King’s poetry deeply explores all facets of love and relationships.  You’ll find revalation, longing, distress, and gratitude all flowing flawlessly into unpunctuated stanzas.

Excerpt:  “I am not angry, I’m determined / Thank you for the fuel, but the fire is all mine”

5. Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

Bird by Bird is a book yielding Some Instructions on Writing and Life.  It’s a great tool for writers, but not limited to!  Lamott explores some of her early influences and takes the reader through each aspect of writing.  She uses real life experiences, and in true writer form shares metaphors that seem completely disjointed, yet make perfect sense.

Excerpt:  “Tell the truth and write about freedom and fight for it, however you can, and you will be richly rewarded.  As Molly Ivins put it, freedom fighters don’t always win, but they are always right.”

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I hope you find (MAKE) time this winter to check out some of these books or any others that you’ve been eyeing.  Let me know what you’re reading too- I’m always looking for the next one!


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